Illumination finds the Pastels in a similar mood to its predecessor, Mobile Safari. Scaling back the snappy production and crisp guitars of their earlier releases, the group crafts a collection of subdued, lovely melodies in the vein of the Velvet Underground's third album. While the Pastels lack Lou Reed's lyricism or the Velvets' assured experimentalism, the hushed ambience and sighing melodies of Illumination make it a charming listen.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine