Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Buy On
  1. Jan 25, 2013
    80
    Almanac proves that Widowspeak can embrace more traditional sounds without feeling stuffy, as well as make music that's much more eclectic than might have been expected.
  2. Jan 24, 2013
    80
    Niche though it may be, it is far more organic and authentic for experimenting with the folk model than the plethora of records churned out by ersatz acts.
  3. Jan 22, 2013
    73
    Without a singular narrative to tie it all together besides Hamilton's lovely but noncommital exhalations, it's a little too easy to lose interest.
  4. Feb 13, 2013
    70
    The band’s neurotically smoldering dream pop plays it cute and creepy--mashing up the doom-whispering Ambien-elegance of Mazzy Star, Fleetwood Mac at their witchiest, Cat Power at her clawiest, murder-tinged country ballads and steamy psychedelic vertigo.
  5. Feb 7, 2013
    70
    Thanks to the similarities in vocal styles, it’s easy to compare Widowspeak with other acts around, and it’s fair to say that there’s plenty here for fans of such acts to admire. However, there’s also more here for anyone willing to look deeper, especially if you’re fond of a little country-tinged drama with your reverb and wistful vocals.
  6. Under The Radar
    Mar 22, 2013
    75
    The sound of a home recording project cohering into a band and darn good one at that. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.102]
  7. 70
    Lashings of reverb and experimentation with acoustic instruments draw the music into something much more evocative.
  8. Feb 19, 2013
    70
    In ramping up their scope--a laudable and understandable idea really for a second LP--Widowspeak instead often lose sight of their strengths, too often not seeing the wood for the trees. Indeed, it’s when they’re seemingly less sure of where they are that Almanac excels.
  9. Jan 22, 2013
    84
    Widowspeak's Almanac strikes as a true original, as a natural evolution from the band's original concept.
  10. Jan 25, 2013
    70
    Armed with bolstered production and the band's strongest songcraft to date, Alamanac represents not only the next step for Widowspeak, but perhaps the next point in our never-ending discussion of what "real" folk is in the 21st century.
  11. Feb 5, 2013
    80
    Almanac, on the whole, is warmer, more confident and polished than Widowspeak’s self-titled entrée. Enthusiasts along with those on the fence may well find themselves bewitched.
  12. 75
    If you’re willing to spend some time in Widowspeak’s headspace, chances are you’ll find yourself wanting to roam Almanac’s enchantingly surreal landscapes a little longer each time you visit.
  13. Jan 30, 2013
    65
    More often than not, they miss, retreating back instead of charging forward.
  14. Jan 22, 2013
    80
    At first it sounds like scratchy old vinyl, but actually it's the crackle of fire that leads off the warm and sumptuous new album from Brooklyn's Widowspeak.
  15. Jan 22, 2013
    80
    While the songs retain their verse-chorus-verse clarity, the newfound breadth of the music orchestrates and enriches lyrics that take the long view.
  16. Feb 14, 2013
    70
    It’s accomplished, mixing studied nostalgia with current concerns, but not a standout in its field.
  17. Mar 11, 2013
    64
    Whereas Widowspeak suffered a touch from homogeny, Almanac casts its entrancing firelight in a variety of attractive bearings.
  18. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    All in all, seemingly indebted to many, this is a band equipped with new-found confidence, poise and an incredibly impressive sophomore effort.
  19. Jan 23, 2013
    80
    The result is a whirlwind of a record, tight but decidedly fleshed-out, doting on death but still affirming life, and definitive proof that Widowspeak looks and sounds best in rapturous tones of earth.
  20. Feb 14, 2013
    80
    Widowspeak’s greatest accomplishment is maintaining that same sense of simmering, uncertain wonder over the course of one wonderfully blurry album.
  21. Mar 4, 2013
    70
    A few of the tunes seem to want to ape the front cover of waterfalls and Jesus-long hair ("Sore Eyes," "Locusts" etc.) but most of Almanac is able to bring a love of the past into the right now and (usually) make it seem effortless.
  22. 83
    Under the wing of producer Kevin McMahon, the duo was able to flesh out arrangements and let their music mature.
  23. Feb 8, 2013
    80
    As with Real Estate, producer Kevin McMachon has coaxed the wispy dreaminess of an excellent debut into a progressive, immersive successor.

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