Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. At times, Blueberry Boat sounds like it was made entirely out of the noodly bits that most other bands would junk for being too weird and difficult, but the Fiery Furnaces forge them into an album that's both more pop and more radical than Gallowsbird's Bark.
  2. "Blueberry Boat" will confuse first-timers with its cartoonish feel, but repeated listens start to reveal the subtle complexities that each song brings to the table, regardless of their seemingly short attention spans.
  3. 40
    Save all this stuff for when you're in front of the mirror, kids. [Aug 2004, p.131]
  4. The Friedbergers have made a cogent statement that leaves most other contemporary acts in the dust.
  5. Honestly, there is no precedent for this album.
  6. It’s both an oddly comforting and exhilarating trip.
  7. Listening to 'Blueberry Boat' is a little like careening around an enormous multicoloured funfair - joyous, unpredictable, kaleidoscopic, tacky, and at times scary and sinister, sometimes all in the space of one song. But even if it occasionally makes you sick, it’s a thrilling ride nonetheless.
  8. It’s an ambitious album, but only in the sense that most of the songs are outrageously long and feature approximately eighteen gratuitous time signatures each.
  9. It's always urgent, heartfelt, fearlessly fiery, utterly sincere. [30 Jul 2004, p.70]
  10. The problem with Blueberry Boat is that, while it's a musical marvel, it's not an album that I'll keep listening to.
  11. The album is a bit daunting and demanding. But it's also compelling and rewarding. [22 Aug 2004]
  12. 70
    Only the rambunctious can appreciate the tinny, relentlessly inventive hybridization herein. [#64, p.92]
  13. 90
    If you can stick with its synthetic marionette oompah band designs, become immersed in its whirlwind momentum and flint-eyed wit, the chances are you'll fall in love with the album's deep miined reservoirs of charm and sheer eagerness to impress. [Sep 2004, p.90]
  14. Their inventive, experimental-leaning music dances through history, passing from blues to rock 'n' roll to pop to experimental to something uniquely theirs.
  15. Toe-curlingly unlistenable. [4 Sep 2004, p.73]
  16. The band take their experimental ethos even further without sacrificing the emotional power of their debut.
  17. There’s just so much going on throughout that you can’t stop listening.
  18. The exuberant overload of Blueberry Boat will thrill and transport you with the ineluctable force of a great children's story, one whose execution matches its imagination.
  19. Blueberry Boat is a frustrating, niggling, great idea of a record.
  20. Although the early part of Blueberry Boat is disjointed and difficult to absorb the album is still a triumph.
  21. Despite the rollercoaster ride, there are intense moments of pop wonder and cartoon hilarity. [Sep 2004, p.120]
  22. A stitched-together, underedited collage of half-finished tunes, random guitar blurts and keyboard flotsam that will be loved by its admirers and royally annoy everyone else. [14 Oct 2004, p.98]
  23. While it may not be the orgiastic smorgasbord of pop delicacies The Fiery Furnaces aimed for, it's nonetheless one of the most ambitious pop albums released this year.
  24. 50
    A joyless slog through mossy folk tedium. [Aug 2004, p.108]
  25. This is a big, sprawling, difficult but rewarding album, from a band whose reach exceeds its grasp, but only by a little.
  26. In the end, that's the best gift the Furnaces have to offer, the simple power of their own joyful racket and clatter, the pure holy hell they always seem to raise.
  27. In the end, this suite of suites sounds too inherently disorienting, however thrilling its fragments, and however entertaining it is to hear the Friedbergers' wordy, fantastical non sequiturs.
  28. It's deeply ambitious, but to listen to it you'd think making music like this was as easy for them as falling off a log. [18 Jul 2004]
  29. Very rewarding, although Blueberry Boat is perhaps too heavy a tome, lyrically, to be quite the right starting place for those new to the group. [#249, p.55]
  30. The Fiery Furnaces have made one of the most ambitious and, quite likely, one of the best records of 2004.
  31. This is pop music, filtered through the minds, hands and voices of two artists whose vision reaches beyond the bounds of the form. [#7]
  32. 60
    For those who've wondered what The Who's rock operas would sound like if rerecorded by Captain Beefheart and Stevie Nicks, it's time to break the rules. [Oct 2004, p.103]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 49
  2. Negative: 6 out of 49
  1. Jul 22, 2011
    9
    Brilliantly unpredictable, smart, ever-shifting pop. What could've been post-modern "I'm-so-clever" crap instead becomes one of the best andBrilliantly unpredictable, smart, ever-shifting pop. What could've been post-modern "I'm-so-clever" crap instead becomes one of the best and most successfully ambitious pop albums I've ever heard. The five "operas" are great, and short, charming songs like "My Dog Was Lost But Now He's Found" and "Birdie Brain" make this utterly charming. Full Review »
  2. DavidV
    Jul 21, 2007
    9
    Not an easy album to listen to at first, but very rewarding and very good from start to finish. My personal favorites: Quay Cur, Blueberrry Not an easy album to listen to at first, but very rewarding and very good from start to finish. My personal favorites: Quay Cur, Blueberrry Boat, Chris Michaels, I Lost My Dog and Bird Brain. Full Review »
  3. CameronW
    Dec 9, 2005
    10
    This album gets better with every listen, and if you're able to invest the time I'd say anyone could love this album (I mean, if This album gets better with every listen, and if you're able to invest the time I'd say anyone could love this album (I mean, if you're willing to and you like the general sound of it). Definitely my favourite of 2004! Full Review »