American Kid

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: May 7, 2013
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
Buy On
  1. Jun 11, 2013
    100
    American Kid is a triumph of songwriting and expressive singing.
  2. May 9, 2013
    100
    Patty Griffin has clearly been saving the best of her own material for a long time, making this perhaps her finest hour.
  3. May 16, 2013
    90
    American Kid successfully recaptures Griffin’s acoustic roots in haunting and moving fashion.
  4. May 14, 2013
    90
    One of the best albums of the year so far.
  5. May 7, 2013
    90
    With its immediacy, economy, cagey strength, and vulnerability, Griffin delivers these 12 songs not as gifts or statements, but as her own evidence of what is, what was, and what yet may come.
  6. May 7, 2013
    90
    Taking emotional truths and cutting to the quick, her razor-sharp sense of detail has never been sharper.
  7. Magnet
    Jun 17, 2013
    85
    Intensely personal and musically powerful, Griffin captures the bold spirit of her family's history with top-notch songs. [No.99, p.56]
  8. Q Magazine
    Jun 17, 2013
    80
    It's her devastating voice and ear for the smallest details that ultimately makes all the difference. [Jul 2013, p.104]
  9. May 8, 2013
    80
    If it can be said that Griffin has been toiling in the shadow of Emmylou Harris, then American Kid is the long-overdue moment that puts the full range of her talent on display.
  10. 80
    Griffin digs deep into introspective lyrics, some with historical references, to display her distinctive vocals and original songs with stripped down arrangements that use space and the silence between notes to create shimmering music you won’t soon forget.
  11. May 17, 2013
    70
    Her unusual harmonies with Plant on "Highway Song" and the hypnotic "Ohio" match anything from his celebrated Raising Sand LP.
  12. Uncut
    May 7, 2013
    70
    It's a record that manages to sound deeply affectionate without being sentimental. [Jun 2013, p.70]
  13. May 16, 2013
    67
    There are points when Kid feels a little boxed; "Mom & Dad's Waltz" plays trite in the indicated time signature, and "Wild Old Dog" delves too far into its God-as-errant-mutt metaphor. Nevertheless, Griffin re-emerges with her best foot forward, sparse folk for the working man ("Faithful Son").

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. May 9, 2013
    10
    It's hard to imagine a more blissful combination of pain and paradise than hearing Patty Griffin on this stripped down, heart-broken-openIt's hard to imagine a more blissful combination of pain and paradise than hearing Patty Griffin on this stripped down, heart-broken-open recording. MASTERPIECE! Full Review »
  2. May 9, 2013
    10
    I have long wondered why Patty Griffin isn't more well known if not downright revered for her art. American Kid makes that gap between herI have long wondered why Patty Griffin isn't more well known if not downright revered for her art. American Kid makes that gap between her achievements and notoriety seem even stranger. She has put forth collections of perfectly sculpted songs for years, too many masterpieces to recount at this point. American Kid is her finest accomplishment to date. American Kid is not the same sort of collection of miniatures Griffin typically releases. It's unified by theme in a way her other albums have not been, save Downtown Church. It's a whole, fully formed work. Nothing she has ever done has felt more personal, and that is saying a lot, considering her distinctive ability to hit the heart and soul with that one of a kind combination of singing and songwriting. The people in these songs, veterans, slaves, lovers, sons, God himself, fathers, especially her own, walk in to the room during these songs--her word choices are that perfect and evocative in each turn of lyric and note. This album also seems to carry with it the weight of American history, the history experienced by men like her father, men now leaving the earth, people long past and forgotten. Anyone who has known these men or who has lost someone they love or seen a love end too soon will cherish this album. Patty seems determined in these songs to commit their stories (most poignantly her father's story) to memory for all time. American Kid is a stunning achievement. A masterwork by one of our great living singer/songwriters. No one who still values the craft of song-making and songwriting should leave this album out of their collection. Full Review »
  3. May 9, 2013
    9
    Stunning album, and the best I have heard this year. Patty Griffin has always amazed me with her storytelling and musical ability, and thisStunning album, and the best I have heard this year. Patty Griffin has always amazed me with her storytelling and musical ability, and this album is probably the best collection of focused songs that she has released. Wild old dog, go wherever you wanna go, that kind of lonely, and not a bad man are among immediate standouts, but the album flows wonderfully and is full of excellent lyrics, great music, and diverse production. I think you will struggle to find a more touching and beautiful album this year. Excellent. Full Review »