Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. What makes Ghost succeed so magnificently... is how the directness, the openness of the lyrics in general, is so beautifully matched to the damaged music, which is itself rife with symbolism and meaning.
  2. On almost every level, Jeff Tweedy and Co. have concocted the perfect follow-up to an epochal, career-defining record--taking greater risks and yielding deeper rewards--and finding more challenging ways to channel pain that just won’t quit.
  3. The songs are structured firmly in the classic tradition, evoking Dylan, the Band, Hendrix and Beatles. They're enriched by a bottomless well of melodic invention and find an emotional core in Tweedy's shy, plaintive vocals. [20 Jun 2004]
  4. Unlike the first three Wilco albums and even more than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost is Born requires careful listening.
  5. If the album weren't so agreeably off-kilter--short, whispery tunes alternate with long, rambling epics--its mix of guitars and piano would almost seem like the stuff you'd hear on rockers like Layla or Abbey Road.
  6. If Foxtrot's songs were fractured pop, then Ghost is just plain fracture, a soft and brutal self-examination that pulls no punches even as it manages to remain carefully elliptical.
  7. Every aspect of the project is an improvement on the last.
  8. A work like this is only self-indulgent if its accoutrements aren't justifiable. Wilco makes every note count on this album: however miraculously, it all manages to cohere. And the songs are undeniably stunning.
  9. For the most part, Ghost channels its shaggy sound into pop music. True, it's pop music that constantly threatens to erupt into noise or fade into silence, but it's still hard not to hum along.
  10. 100
    A Ghost Is Born feels like a band learning to be spontaneous and unencumbered, and coming up with their most engaging album yet. [Album of the Month, Jul 2004, p.94]
  11. 91
    Feels more timeless, more effortless. [#11, p.91]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 66
  2. Negative: 4 out of 66
  1. Oct 12, 2014
    9
    How is a ghost born? Someone dies, of course. This is the outlook of this album, taking terrible things that happen in life and making themHow is a ghost born? Someone dies, of course. This is the outlook of this album, taking terrible things that happen in life and making them resolve hopefully, all these thoughts swirling around a character on the border of madness. Full Review »
  2. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    8
    Decent follow up to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. There's moment of musical bliss, but than there moments of over-indulgent noise that detracts fromDecent follow up to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. There's moment of musical bliss, but than there moments of over-indulgent noise that detracts from it's high points. Full Review »
  3. Aug 6, 2011
    9
    My second favorite Wilco record, right behind Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Jeff Tweedy never ceases to amaze me. Great **** record filled withMy second favorite Wilco record, right behind Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Jeff Tweedy never ceases to amaze me. Great **** record filled with classic songs. There is definitely that "noise" from YHF and it's wonderful. "Wishful Thinking".. goddamn. Full Review »