• Record Label: K
  • Release Date: May 5, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic 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. Like nothing else you’ll hear this year.
  3. 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.
  4. 80
    A Ways Away is a beautifully low-key set that frames her mellifluous voice and folky asongs with guitar drones and a slow-motion, dream-like feel. [Aug 2009, p.98]
  5. A Ways Away casts a spell you won't want to break. [Jun 2009, p.102]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. From the title on down, O'Neil invokes space and silence, guiding you through more sonic and emotional emptiness than you might think possible in 37 minutes.
  9. 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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