Bows & Arrows

Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. I'm not writing the Walkmen off just yet, but this is a genre that you can't afford to stay in one place and hope to keep an edge on the competition.
  2. ‘Bows And Arrows’ isn’t a bad album, merely average, struggling to match the level of excitement generated by the brilliant single ‘The Rat’.
  3. With his gasping vocals serving up warmed-over pleas, Hamilton Leithauser aches but never sounds like he's really hurting.
  4. The carefully constructed sonics, though beautiful, can be so snoozily contemplative.
  5. Mojo
    60
    Bows & Arrows might seem like the ideal rock'n'roll yuletide soundtrack--and it is, but only for those who spend their Christmases in dive bars with nothing but a gold-hearted hooker, bottomless highball glass and volume of Bukowski poetry for company. [May 2004, p.100]
  6. Alternative Press
    60
    Unlike more polished bands with little to say after two releases, the Walkmen sound like they're gradually striding into some big shoes. [Mar 2004, p.106]
  7. Blender
    40
    Unrushed, spacious, and duller than a four-hour hayride. [Mar 2004, p.130]
  8. Yet where the music is hard-hitting, the hoarse, almost drunken vocal style of lead singer Hamilton Leithauser can be grating.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

User 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'tStill 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. Full Review »
  2. Jun 20, 2012
    7
    These guys are a proper indie rock band. Their music just oozes attitude, rebellion and class. They've got a unique style about them thatThese guys are a proper indie rock band. Their music just oozes attitude, rebellion and class. They've got a unique style about them that means you know straight away when your listening to a Walkmen record. This record for me is a bit below their strongest work but has some magnificient moments on it all the same. Of course you have "The Rat", as good an indie rock belter as you'll ever hear. It's got plenty of other nice moments but for me it lacks the consistency of their later records. Full Review »
  3. AshC
    Feb 4, 2007
    10
    I think Brad's got it right. Perhaps it's the sequencing of the tracks, the lyrical content which seeps in subconsciously or the I think Brad's got it right. Perhaps it's the sequencing of the tracks, the lyrical content which seeps in subconsciously or the warmth of the production, there is just that something special about this album which lifts it above the other indie-rock competitors. Bows + Arrows creates a very pronounced late-night/drunken-yet-still-hopeful mood that lingers long after the final track. A genuine classic. Full Review »