Below The Branches

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Feb 7, 2006
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. There's nothing really new or earth-shattering about this album, but that's not a prerequisite for great rock & roll.
  2. It seems particularly odd that for all the time and sweat Stoltz has put into this music, there's no sense of a real person behind these songs, just a tightly wound bundle of ideas borrowed from likely pop sources.
  3. Uncut
    80
    His home-recorded approach reaches imaginatively beyond glossy pastiche. [Mar 2006, p.90]
  4. Q Magazine
    80
    Homebrewed splendour. [Mar 2006, p.110]
  5. Mojo
    90
    2006's album of the year may have arrived early. [Mar 2006, p.104]
  6. Rolling Stone
    70
    It sounds like he had a lot of fun making this record. [9 Feb 2006, p.62]
  7. Below The Branches is, maybe, the first perfect summertime album, absolutely brimming with brightness and charm.
  8. Under The Radar
    70
    Shows terrific restraint and taste in song selection. [#12, p.97]
  9. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    Retro lo-fi pop-rock, dressed in pounded parlor-room piano chords and psych-folk filigree. [10 Feb 2006, p.134]
  10. Rates among the best releases of early 2006.
  11. A record that spits in the eye of assertions that they don’t make records like they used to.
  12. This is a brief, refreshing escape from the trend-channeling that seems to have replaced genuineness.
  13. The New York Times
    70
    In concise, perpetually tuneful songs, his voice echoes the slouchy charm of the Kinks' Ray Davies, while the sun-dazed reverberations of the Beach Boys meet the music-hall bounce of the Beatles. [6 Feb 2006]
  14. I’d suggest that it’s a grower, but that doesn’t seem apt, as there’s very little depth to let grow here. What it is, however, is a winner, an album that seems loathable at first but tenaciously refuses to quit grinning.
  15. Below the Branches is the kind of record true lovers of classic 60s and 70s pop can adore.
  16. It is quite possibly Stoltz's best work ever, and certainly one of the landmark releases of 2006.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. KyleZ
    May 11, 2007
    10
    I saw Stoltz live opening for the Raconteurs last July. I have been listening to this album ever since.
  2. ThidwickBigheartedmoose
    May 9, 2006
    9
    wobbly singing, gorgeous melodies, sloppy production, beautiful harmonies, everything you want in a record!
  3. AllawahF
    Mar 12, 2006
    8
    Although the refrences are obvious, beach boys, velevt underground, john lennon Stoltz has put together an incredible album filled with Although the refrences are obvious, beach boys, velevt underground, john lennon Stoltz has put together an incredible album filled with sunshine humour and killer melodies. I love the guitar playing on this album, especially on my favourite track 'words' another key track is 'summer's easy feeling' which has the best melody of the album. I would recommend this to people who enjoy acid folk, revolver, pet sounds, and white light/white heat. enjoy Full Review »