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A Ways Away Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This is the first album on K Records for the Portland, Oregon, singer-songwriter.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. She succeeds in a rare feat here, making a mood-sustaining record comprised of songs that only improve when listened to in sequence.
  2. There’s an extemporaneous feeling to A Ways Away that persists amid its clear recording quality and allows O’Neil to sing quietly as though she’s unsure of herself, while still underscoring a natural sort of confidence--she doesn’t have to sing loudly.
  3. A Ways Away casts a spell you won't want to break. [Jun 2009, p.102]
  4. Like nothing else you’ll hear this year.
  5. A Ways Away, O'Neil's fifth solo album and first on the K imprint, draws together her considerable experience as a producer, singer, and songwriter in a fleetingly beautiful 36 minutes that washes over the listener in an introspective haze.
  6. No, it won’t blow the hat off your head, but a life-changing album simply isn’t as appropriate as a life-affirming one, as far as this artist is concerned, and A Ways Away is another clean bill of health for a long and rewarding career.
  7. It seems a little mean to judge this against song-based records - if anything, the narrative arc suggests it's 'about' the deterioration of meaning / tunefulness / drama into the inconsequentiality of real life; still, on its own terms, it's rather precious.

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