Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Sep 17, 2012
    80
    Bend Beyond is the most fully realized set of songs yet from Woods, and continues a lineage of each record surpassing their last.
  2. You'll find records this year of greater agency, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that renders pleasure with such poignant lightness, control, and willful attention to difference.
  3. 80
    Woods hit upon some of their clearest depictions of dark emotions on Bend Beyond, while simultaneously offering an escape in the emotive beauty of their music.
  4. Sep 17, 2012
    60
    It's hard to get excited about a record that rarely moves from its musical comfort blanket. But there are still moments.
  5. Sep 18, 2012
    80
    Rather than make giant artistic leaps every few years or so, Woods are content to push forward incrementally, showering fans with material that nonetheless gets better every record.
  6. Sep 21, 2012
    70
    With Taveniere choosing to feather dust his Rear House recording tendencies for this go-round, Bend Beyond comes off as a bold, bright statement.
  7. Oct 29, 2012
    70
    Much of the LP will be familiar to anyone who caught them on the road last year, but songs that curled into smoky haze onstage come into sharp focus here. [No.92 p.61]
  8. Oct 22, 2012
    60
    In sonic terms, it's considerably more aspirational than even last year's Sun And Shade, allowing Earl's take on various ages of American song-craft to snap into sharper focus. [Nov 2012, p.84]
  9. 70
    The psychedelic outings sound too sharp as a consequence, but it's an effective repositioning overall, even if it's hard not to want to scruff up their hair just a little.
  10. Sep 26, 2012
    80
    While Woods may falter here and there, Bend Beyond stills manages to hold its own and then some. The Brooklyn-based band may have cleaned up their sound since Songs of Shame, but their signature spontaneity and amplitude come through better than ever.
  11. Sep 27, 2012
    80
    With fewer experimental throwaways, the album puts the band's best foot forward: toe-tapping, harmony-laden kernels of pop.
  12. Sep 18, 2012
    82
    It's a brief culmination of practice making perfect, with Earl and his band showing why they make a new album every year--because more and more often they are getting it right.
  13. Sep 18, 2012
    81
    Woods' greatest strength has always been songwriting, and sharpening the focus and cleaning up the production has only enhanced the band's welcoming melodies.
  14. Sep 21, 2012
    70
    Bend Beyond however, peaks with intense bursts of energy, elevating this once stoner-friendly three-piece into a strange new world. Too menacing to be called folk and too precise to anymore be called a jam band, Woods is rolling with a newfound sense of poise and concentration.
  15. Sep 18, 2012
    75
    Besides a cyclical feeling that veers the album into the direction of repetition at several points, Bend Beyond is a solid listen.
  16. Sep 24, 2012
    80
    They deepen their sound past lo-fi into something redolent of actual studio polish.
  17. Nov 20, 2012
    100
    Woods works well to find the right space for each instrument, maintaining the balance between accuracy and capriciousness that continues to define the band.
  18. Sep 21, 2012
    90
    Another near-flawless piece of work.
  19. Oct 2, 2012
    70
    Another solid release.
  20. Oct 26, 2012
    80
    Earl has often been overshadowed by bands on the Woodsist label he runs, but here Woods are allowed to stand out from the trees. [Dec 2012, p.79]
  21. Sep 17, 2012
    70
    It lilts, but it gets by. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.115]
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 25, 2012
    8
    Woods is consistent. If you're a fan they give you what you want, and they give it to you regularly - around the same time every year - aWoods is consistent. If you're a fan they give you what you want, and they give it to you regularly - around the same time every year - a bit like Christmas. While some critics might complain about a lack of "experimentation" or so-called "adventure," I'm happy to hear the band I've come to rely on without Kid-A-like departures or Mirage-Rockish flops. What they lack in adventure they make up for in production and maturity on this one. Good good album. Not mind-blowing, but very good. Full Review »
  2. Oct 20, 2012
    8
    Before starting listening to Bend Beyond, I read a bit about Woods and discovered that, unlike what I thought, this is their seventh album!Before starting listening to Bend Beyond, I read a bit about Woods and discovered that, unlike what I thought, this is their seventh album! However, this album seems so fresh and new! Though it Full Review »
  3. Sep 18, 2012
    9
    Yet another gem from this underrated band. The sound is clearer but the same charm is flowing around as before. One of the best albums of 2012Yet another gem from this underrated band. The sound is clearer but the same charm is flowing around as before. One of the best albums of 2012 so far... Full Review »