Bows & Arrows - The Walkmen
Bows & Arrows Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Summary: Although lumped in with the New York garage-rock scene, The Walkmen (which includes members of defunct bands Jonathan Fire Eater and The Recoys) stand out by incorporating a wider range of influences and instrumentation. (Plus, they own their own New York recording studio, which puts them about as far from an actual garage as you can get). This is the band's second LP, which follows their acclaimed 2002 debut 'Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone.' Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Bows and Arrows reveals a band that's grown tighter, hungrier, and more varied since last time. [6 Feb 2004]
  2. Bows and Arrows is an album of grandiose pleasures, the sound of a band not just making good on the promise of their debut, but expanding every which way at once, merging distinctive songcraft with decadent theatrics, and tethering themselves to a confidence that they, unlike others, will survive the sea-change of a deflating scene.
  3. Musically, the Walkmen are not only tighter, but also more purposeful.
  4. Even with a couple of missteps, this is a solid album that will likely stay in heavy rotation on your stereo for months to come.
  5. The Walkmen have something the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are lacking: passion.
  6. Many numbers, such as the unbearably meandering No Christmas While I’m Talking, present themselves as merely background music - pleasant enough, sure, but doing little to draw the listener’s attention.
  7. With his gasping vocals serving up warmed-over pleas, Hamilton Leithauser aches but never sounds like he's really hurting.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Oct 9, 2013
    10
    Still the greatest article from the best rock 'n' roll band of my time. There's not a lackluster moment among these 11 songs, and I couldn't recommend it more for all of the fellow sad-bastard, recovering Smiths fans out there. Hamilton Leithauser is a saint. Expand
  2. JehovahJoe
    Aug 12, 2004
    10
    Metacritic has a low value for this album, I think it's the best of the year.
  3. ChrisW
    Feb 4, 2004
    10
    Billboard and Rolling Stone no longer represent the masses.
  4. [Anonymous]
    Jun 21, 2005
    10
    Their first album was good but not neccessairly a "classic". Still, It showed a lot of promise. This album more than delivers that promise. This band has made one of the best rock albums in years with "Bows + Arrows". Expand
  5. wo
    Apr 5, 2004
    9
    This is a great album, but I still like Everyone Who Pretended more. That one gets a 10, this one was just one notch down from there.
  6. SteveH
    Feb 16, 2004
    8
    The lead singer seems more adventerous relative to the first album, which is for the most part (but not for all the songs) a good thing. I also found the album's pacing a bit awkward, in that the tempo of successive songs varied greatly. "The Rat" is a great song, and the rest of the album has really grown on me. Overall, this was a worthwhile purchase. Expand
  7. [anonymous]
    Feb 9, 2004
    7
    his singing gets anoying at times. should scream more like in the rat. Overall worth owning

See all 24 User Reviews