All Things Will Unwind - My Brightest Diamond
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Dec 7, 2011
    90
    All Things Will Unwind finds this musical auteur at the top of her game, maturing, pushing her already broad boundaries, and brimming with imagination.
  2. Nov 10, 2011
    90
    Worden does "brave the war" and becomes quite the victor on All Things Will Unwind, the third studio release and a wowing conclusion to the trifecta of work she has produced since 2006.
  3. Oct 13, 2011
    90
    [A] glorious album, that is full of both gravity and levity, wisdom and beauty, and that is, most of all, infused with the honesty and humanity that make of it such a triumph.
  4. Nov 21, 2011
    85
    A series of genre-bending compositions written with New York chamber-music ensemble yMusic that puts [Worden's] full vocal range of on display... a really powerful synergy. [#82, p.59]
  5. Oct 19, 2011
    82
    All Things Unwind is a cohesive trek that leaves the listener enraptured by Worden's talent and undeniable magnetism.
  6. Nov 17, 2011
    80
    Under the rule of Worden's powerful vocal these sophisticated compositions provide a gripping, melodramatic exploration of a mindset both childlike and brooding.
  7. Oct 21, 2011
    80
    This album is a consistent, expansive collection of modestly experimental pop songs (covering familiar aesthetic territory, and exploring broad and intertwining personal/familial, political, theological, and philosophical themes), and well worth repeated listens and eventual internalization.
  8. Oct 19, 2011
    80
    Anything is possible. This record is proof.
  9. Oct 17, 2011
    80
    Each pinprick or flutter or flourish in Ms. Worden's arrangements manages to feel integral, supporting the songs as well as the singing.
  10. Oct 13, 2011
    80
    It's an elegantly lush record, brimming with imagination, that was no doubt slaved over in the studio yet sounds entirely natural.
  11. Oct 5, 2011
    80
    The luminous All Things Will Unwind uses strings, brass, marimba, and mellotron, brilliantly showcasing her operatic, slightly scary voice in tricky songs that remain fresh after repeated plays.
  12. Oct 5, 2011
    80
    This album sounds more rounded and more complete than her previous releases; the sound of an artist truly ARRIVING and ready to play.
  13. Oct 7, 2011
    74
    It's an album both in tune lyrically and out of time stylistically, and that's what has All Things Will Unwind approaching relevance.
  14. Oct 19, 2011
    70
    Traversing life with wide-eyed self-awareness isn't always comfortable, but My Brightest Diamond sublimate heartbreak into transcendent beauty.
  15. 70
    This is a big album full of big emotions, and to close out on one of the biggest cements its themes.
  16. Oct 17, 2011
    70
    She inevitably succeeds by walking this fine line, a quality that gives her music its own stamp, saving it from the trap of uninspired pastiche.
  17. Oct 17, 2011
    67
    It's a heady and abstract album that feels more like it should be studied than enjoyed.
  18. Oct 19, 2011
    65
    All Things Will Unwind, both suffers and succeeds in relation to its scope.
  19. Jan 11, 2012
    60
    Worden can be preposterously experimental - but she's always intriguing. [Dec. 2011 p.96]
  20. Oct 18, 2011
    60
    It's stylistically impressive, but Worden only connects emotionally when she goes for simplicity. [Nov 2011, p.93]
  21. Oct 19, 2011
    50
    So while it sounds pleasant throughout, and sometimes awfully beautiful, it won't stick with you as long as it could after the album's final notes fade.
  22. Oct 17, 2011
    50
    On All Things Will Unwind, though, the bursts of inspiration in each corner and crevice remain too stiff to merge into anything more than the sum of their parts.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 30, 2011
    5
    What is wrong with this album? Why has My Brightest Diamond not yet exceeded the sum of its quite glorious parts? Like Worden's previousWhat is wrong with this album? Why has My Brightest Diamond not yet exceeded the sum of its quite glorious parts? Like Worden's previous albums as MBD, Unwind fails to break through the singer's showy persona to something more personal and raw. Worden's voice is an amazing instrument--she could sing the phonebook and I'd listen--but it seems she hasn't found the right combination of theater and life, and she frequently errs on the side of theater. "There's a Rat" and "Ding Dang" are cringingly twee, with the high-pitched vocal squeaks on the former and spoken action words of "Snap! Kerplam! Kalamazoo!" on the latter. If these are songs about the urban ruins of Detroit, why are they so damn happy? What purpose are all these instruments actually serving? Indeed Worden's most beautiful song to date is The Gentlest Gentleman, a B-side from her previous LP "A Thousand Shark's Teeth." It has a quality that Unwind sorely lacks--understated and genuine, it impresses without trying. It's a hard quality to describe or place, and some tracks on this record truly are exciting and engaging. The self pep-talk "Be Brave" builds to an electrifying climax; the intriguing duet "Everything Is in Line" offers a haunting dialogue between Worden and an effeminate, otherworldly voice; the quiet "She Does Not Brave the War" offers a touching reminder of overlooked women who take care of us. One could almost find Worden's cutesiness and musical theater sensibilities to be an audacious risk in our ironic age--hell, didn't everyone think that about Joanna Newsom's Ys?--but while Newsom's creaky voice gave us a way to empathize with her weird tales, Worden's soaring pipes are just another layer of shellack. Which is too bad, because this could have been one hell of a record. Full Review »