On their fourth album in as many years, Joan of Arc may have gone just a little too far. Tim Kinsella (apparently he added an "s" to his last name for this record) and company seem a bit short on ideas this time around. Actually, there are also the possible excuses that they had plenty of ideas, just not any surprisingly good ones, or that they are the purveyors of a complicated in-joke that no one else is privy to. Any way you look at it, The Gap is a difficult record to take. Among the sounds of kitchen appliances rattling and intentional skips, Kinsella tosses off his stream-of-consciousnes-styled observations devoid of any of the humor he was once capable of slyly inserting. Instead there are ten tracks that meld into one another and rarely manage to stir up even a bit of excitement. From time to time, Joan of Arc manages to let out a few melodic bursts or pretty acoustic moments, but in every instance the rare pleasures are soon lost among studio tricks or flat-out boring repetitions. While the notion of bizarre but pleasant tones characterized some earlier records, the music on The Gap often sounds as if three or four completely unrelated songs are being discordantly performed at once. Only "Me and America (Or) The United Colors of the Gap" even achieves true status as a "song," leaving the rest of the record to come off as a series of interrupted thoughts that never fully materialize. Joan of Arc has been known to create some strikingly beautiful and well-planned records, but the difficult to listen to and somewhat unwarranted avant-garde leanings of this release make it only necessary for serious fans and the occasional masochist.
AllMusic Review by Peter J. D'Angelo