All Things Will Unwind - My Brightest Diamond
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8

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  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 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 ofWhat 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. Expand
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. Jan 11, 2012
    60
    Worden can be preposterously experimental - but she's always intriguing. [Dec. 2011 p.96]
  2. 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.
  3. 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]