A River Ain't Too Much To Love Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: Bill Callahan's 12th Smog album finds him joined in the studio by such musicians as Jim White (Dirty Three) and Joanna Newsom.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. The subtle backing musicians never overshadow Callahan’s reedy baritone and direct lyrics; they merely add subtle shading and light in the appropriate spots--a restraint reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s use of studio musicians on laid-back classics like John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline.
  2. Burrows deep into the collective unconscious of American song.
  3. Callahan is a true original. [#255, p.65]
  4. His sinister Americana is understatedly cruel and sublimely dolorous, with a kinder view of nature than humanity. [#16, p.135]
  5. A honky tonk Leonard Cohen, the music of Smog sounds like it's spent all its life half cut in a saloon bar way out in the American mid-west thinking far too deeply about love and life for far too long.
  6. The cryptic, empty songs of Rain on Lens and wandering, upbeat folk-tunes of Supper have been usurped by a renewed focus and direction.
  7. 40
    Too much of A River, though, doesn't give you enough music to love it. [#68, p.110]

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9