Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Beware is sloppy in a back porch way. Which can be very appealing, but there's something missing here. [Winter 2009, p.70]
  2. The bleaker sounds on this album suit Oldham better, with 'Heart's Arms'' sad, ghostly drone showing how less can say more.
  3. Ultimately Beware’s designation as a "big" record feels arbitrary--it is polished and competent, but at the same time disappointingly bland.
  4. Beware displays enough of Oldham's lyrical and musical guile to ensure that if Beware does become wallpaer, it's lead-laced anaglypa. [Apr 2009, p.100]
  5. Ultimately, it’s the combination of thwarted ambition and lack of proper recognition, which is apparent, that prevents Beware from ever fully taking flight as a listening experience.
  6. While this means that all is not lost (or perhaps more accurately, saved), it does leave the listener with a sense that he's not sure whether he wants to embrace a new direction or not, resulting in an album that is somewhat disjointed and ultimately unfulfilling.
  7. An obvious problem of the arrangements is that "big" often means cluttered, and most of the songs feel like they should have finished a verse and a chorus sooner.
  8. Beware only sounds like loose, organic country, when really it proves just another contrived piece to the Bonnie “Prince” Billy brand.
  9. The unspecific lyrics are flatly whined in the manner of a depressed old codger falling asleep. Tempos stay sluggish and melodies meander, often parodying bygone rural music — funeral hymn here, waltz there.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. clayh
    Apr 4, 2009
    9
    Solid effort by Billy. This album is not as uneven as "Lie Down in the Light". It seems more grounded, more real and yes it's good.
  2. shawnw
    Mar 19, 2009
    10
    At last heartfelt, direct lyrics that have understandable meaning and depth. i can't imagine he will ever make another record, perhaps At last heartfelt, direct lyrics that have understandable meaning and depth. i can't imagine he will ever make another record, perhaps an instrumental one. Full Review »
  3. christianp
    Mar 19, 2009
    9
    Everything this man touches is aching and lovely.