A River Ain't Too Much To Love

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. You’re going to want to hear this one.
  4. As much as it hurts to admit it, not everybody will get so much out of Smog's latest understated masterpiece.
  5. Although not as compelling as his more subversive material, this softening of his sound doesn't carry the negative connotation of an artist losing steam later in his career; Callahan's distinctive baritone and cutting inflection are unchanging and iconic, and show that this sensitive appearance is just one more spin of the kaleidoscope.
  6. 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
  1. SecretJunior
    Jun 6, 2005
    10
    Don't believe critics such as the ever out of touch Rolling Stone. In forty years they'll be sucking Bill's cock as a true Don't believe critics such as the ever out of touch Rolling Stone. In forty years they'll be sucking Bill's cock as a true musical troubadour, who hasn't been seen since the likes of Dylan and Neil Young, only Callahan makes them both seem hackneyed, and I ADORE the two aforementioned. Bill makes my balls shrivel and my eyes leak like neither of the two luminaries I've just mentioned. Expand
  2. stephenm
    Dec 9, 2005
    10
    A must have album, second only to the mighty "Illinoise" by Sufjan Stevens in my best of 2005
  3. tintmantintman
    Jun 8, 2005
    10
    i put it on at midnight i heard it about 7 times till dawn it is the best effort of smog to date probably a record i will grow older and wiser with
  4. LeonardoF
    Jun 30, 2005
    10
    an album that gets better and better with each listen. the subtle (andmar marvelous) instrumentation helps us focus on his wonderful voice an album that gets better and better with each listen. the subtle (andmar marvelous) instrumentation helps us focus on his wonderful voice and lyrics. Expand
  5. plexus
    Oct 19, 2005
    10
    Classic, you gotta hear this record.
  6. TimJ
    Aug 1, 2005
    9
    This is a great album that gets much better with repeat listens. The Rolling Stone review was the dumbest thing I've ever read. Do they This is a great album that gets much better with repeat listens. The Rolling Stone review was the dumbest thing I've ever read. Do they even know who Raymond Carver is? Come on, seriously. Expand
  7. LawrenceP
    Mar 15, 2006
    8
    "This one's called the well..."

See all 9 User Reviews