A Dotted Line - Nickel Creek
A Dotted Line Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Band members: Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins
  • Summary: The Grammy-winning bluegrass trio of Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, and Sean Watkins return from its 2007 "indefinite hiatus" to release its Eric Valentine-produced sixth studio album.
  • Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Genre(s): Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Americana, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass, Contemporary Country
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Apr 1, 2014
    83
    It’s a ready-made best-of album, superb in execution but light on surprises--the major exception being the new-wave-inflected speed-folk of the percussive Mother Mother cover “Hayloft.”
  2. Apr 1, 2014
    82
    Not merely a product of maturity, Nickel Creek has grown without losing its palpable joy or wondrous ability to make musicianship as accessible as the engaging way their voices draw listeners to them.
  3. Apr 1, 2014
    80
    A Dotted Line is a work of supreme songcraft; one might call it a “return to form”, but from the sound of it, the form was never gone in the first place.
  4. Apr 1, 2014
    80
    The time away has done the California-spawned group good, as the conversation is familiar--intricate instrumental phrasing, pristine harmonies--but also full of fresh energy that lends everything from the buoyant gospel bluegrass of “21st of May” to the joyously bleary “Rest of My Life” an air of excitement.
  5. Apr 7, 2014
    80
    While they might not be better than ever, they’re at least what they once were and what they’ve always been in the collective memory: instrumental virtuosos and sophisticated songsmiths, all the while finding a way to make it look easy.
  6. Apr 1, 2014
    70
    If there isn't much spark, there is a surplus of warmth; the trio is comfortable and relaxed, and it's hard not to succumb to such friendly, familiar vibes.
  7. 60
    A closing cover of Sam Phillips’ plaintive and rarely heard ballad “Where is Love Now” shows the group knows how to dig for a great song, even if the originals that dominate this disc aren’t immediately as accessible. This isn’t the band’s finest (half) hour, yet it’s great to have them back.
Score distribution:
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