Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Mar 5, 2012
    90
    Delicate duets, bluegrass string strumming and some of the most genuinely emotive lyrics you'll hear all year combine to produce an album of rare and beautiful quality.
  2. Apr 25, 2012
    80
    Two gorgeously restless, swarthy voices destined to be together. [May 2012, p.92]
  3. Mar 30, 2012
    80
    A timeless, anachronistic record, Barton Hollow could be from 30 years ago, or it could be from 30 years hence.
  4. Mar 13, 2012
    80
    It's a subtle collection of tracks that is surprisingly both intimate and ambitious at the same time.
  5. It is a glossy thing that entwines her Californian folky yin around his Southern gothic yang.
  6. 80
    Nashville-based duo Joy Williams and John Paul White have crafted a bewitching debut album of sparse, spectral Americana.
  7. Mar 1, 2012
    80
    It's a deliciously understated album, acoustic and largely percussionless.
  8. Dec 20, 2011
    80
    Those who don't like rootsy ballads are in for some slim pickings, since Barton Hollow shines its brightest whenever the tempos slow, the lights dim, and the voices rise up.
  9. Mar 21, 2011
    80
    Sure, Barton Hollow's love-swept core and well-worn conventions might make it a tad limited, but for what it sets outs to accomplish, it succeeds with pitch-perfect elegance.
  10. Jan 31, 2011
    80
    Barton Hollow may be a fictional location, but The Civil Wars' music gives it a voice and identity-one of mystery, mystique and beauty. War has never been so pleasant.
  11. Mar 13, 2012
    70
    There's a passion and naturalism to these songs that make them worthy of the hubbub. [Apr 2012, p.75]
  12. Oct 27, 2011
    60
    Sustained by romantic tension, they walk a strange line between being mesmerizing and washing over you like sonic wallpaper.
  13. May 10, 2011
    60
    Williams and White seem born to sing together. Their natural vocal chemistry makes Barton Hollow a satisfying listen straight through. That said, the album is heavy on made-for-TV dramatic balladry, the sort of thing that features so well on Grey's Anatomy.
  14. Mar 17, 2011
    50
    The Civil Wars display some moments of real promise, though not enough to warrant the crush of attention paid their debut, Barton Hollow.
  15. Apr 13, 2012
    40
    Deeply unengaging. [May 2012, p.94]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Feb 2, 2014
    10
    This is one of my all-time favorite albums. Every song is in my Top 100 playlist. If I was on a deserted island I would take this album withThis is one of my all-time favorite albums. Every song is in my Top 100 playlist. If I was on a deserted island I would take this album with me. This is as real, pure, soulful, and honest as music can get. The partnership of JW & JPW's voices is perfection and their songwriting leaves nothing lacking. The covers are pure icing! Full Review »
  2. Nov 19, 2013
    10
    I couldn't believe it when I first listened to them that this is just their debut album. They sound like they have been making music forI couldn't believe it when I first listened to them that this is just their debut album. They sound like they have been making music for decades now. The tracks are all produced beautifully with Joy's and John's vocals mix in just the right amount of harmonization. Barton Hollow is absolutely one of the best folk releases in years. Full Review »
  3. Nov 17, 2012
    8
    One of the best debuts in years, The Civil Wars are branded as country, but that