Bows & Arrows

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 48
  2. Negative: 1 out of 48

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  1. Liebs
    Feb 10, 2004
    8
    Everyone... is tough to beat, but I'm happy they're taking a slightly different direction. Their sound is pretty unique, if not slightly formulaic. But, I can't get enough of the "rockers" on this LP and I love the meditative two-chord composition that slowly build and barrel to novas.
  2. RockwellC
    Feb 5, 2004
    10
    A Cathedral.
  3. gppatten
    Feb 7, 2004
    9
    Expands on debut and "The Rat" is the best pure rock song in years
  4. JustinH
    Feb 9, 2004
    9
    This CD is more consistent than their last, with better production.
  5. VinceH.
    May 18, 2005
    10
    Unbelievaly great music. I was a fan of their first album, but not blown away. I loved the first 8 tracks, but felt that the end of that album just wasn't memorable or as interesting as the rest. This one completely blew my mind. The songwriting is 100 times better, the musicanship more confident and focused, and the tunes themselves just plain rock. Not a bad one on the whole thing. Unbelievaly great music. I was a fan of their first album, but not blown away. I loved the first 8 tracks, but felt that the end of that album just wasn't memorable or as interesting as the rest. This one completely blew my mind. The songwriting is 100 times better, the musicanship more confident and focused, and the tunes themselves just plain rock. Not a bad one on the whole thing. This is an album from a band that KNOWS what they want to do and how to do it. I can't wait for the next one. Expand
  6. AramisG
    Feb 4, 2004
    8
    Because a few of my friends got a promo copy of this ablum early and didn't like it, I was expecting the worst. Fortunately, it turned out to be a pretty cool album. Bows & Arrows is an especially beautiful song in itself. However, BAA isn't exactly what you would expect after EOWPTLMIG. If I were speaking with The Walkmen right now I would ask them: what happened to your bass Because a few of my friends got a promo copy of this ablum early and didn't like it, I was expecting the worst. Fortunately, it turned out to be a pretty cool album. Bows & Arrows is an especially beautiful song in itself. However, BAA isn't exactly what you would expect after EOWPTLMIG. If I were speaking with The Walkmen right now I would ask them: what happened to your bass and piano players? The thing that made EOWPTLMIG great was that everyone in the band had their own unique yet fractured sound. Through good song writing they managed weave thier talents into an orginal sound. On BAA everyone still has their own sound but because the bass is often inaudible and the piano has been replaced by a Paul Shaffer sounding organ (to mixed results) the other elements often grate against each other. This makes me think that BAA isn't a sophmore album afterall, but an addendum of the EOWPTLMIG live experience (something I wanted afterall). Hopefully, this will be more fully realized on their Junior album. I would also tell them to drop the "Rod Stewart /Caucasians letting loose at a pub" direction and reconsider their shoegazer roots. Expand
  7. ChrisW
    Feb 4, 2004
    10
    Billboard and Rolling Stone no longer represent the masses.
  8. EliC
    Feb 4, 2004
    10
    Love the Walkmen
  9. [anonymous]
    Feb 9, 2004
    7
    his singing gets anoying at times. should scream more like in the rat. Overall worth owning
  10. ToreF
    Oct 5, 2006
    10
    Best CD ever made
  11. 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 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 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. Expand
  12. 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.
  13. steveg
    Feb 25, 2004
    10
    this record gives me hope for music. thank you walkmen
  14. JayO
    Feb 3, 2004
    10
    Don't listen to the Rollingstone or Billboard reviews this album is definately near perfect sophomore album. Kind of a big shame to see both of the negative reviews but who wouldnt expect that stuff coming from a decrepit old critique rag like RS(which gave Britney 4 stars i fuckin believe!!) and a pop-loving outfit at Billboard.
  15. LizzieM
    Feb 9, 2004
    10
    Good stuff. I rock out to this daily.
  16. 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.
  17. jodyn
    Jul 20, 2004
    10
    This album is absolutely amazing. From the very first note, you know that you are listening to something special. Their sound is flawless and refreshing.
  18. JehovahJoe
    Aug 12, 2004
    10
    Metacritic has a low value for this album, I think it's the best of the year.
  19. GaboS
    May 31, 2006
    7
    I bought the album after hearing so much good from my friends and some reviewers, and I think that it's one of those albums that really grows on you from multiple listens, but wasn't as solid as I would have liked it. "The Rat" has to be the most stand-out song in the album, mainly cause' it's the most intense and fast song on it. Most songs are good, but what turned I bought the album after hearing so much good from my friends and some reviewers, and I think that it's one of those albums that really grows on you from multiple listens, but wasn't as solid as I would have liked it. "The Rat" has to be the most stand-out song in the album, mainly cause' it's the most intense and fast song on it. Most songs are good, but what turned me off were the slow/low instrumentation songs like "No Christmas While I'm Talking" or "Hang On Siobhan" which I found boring and now I just skip them. Put that aside, the rest of the album is good, just wished they got rid of the slow songs and made more songs as engaging as "The Rat." If you like their overall sound (from the first album too) you should like this album. But if you want a solid album with more hooks and intensity (The Rat), try Franz. Expand
  20. TikiMan
    Feb 11, 2004
    10
    This is an AMAZING album. The first time I heard it, only the first two tracks stood out but I was compelled to listen again and again and now every track has imprinted itself on my brain. Truly an exceptional piece of work.
  21. [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".
  22. Brad
    Dec 19, 2004
    10
    There's a great tired sadness/drunkeness in this band's sound. But the sadness isn't depressing because there's always a spark behind it all. People don't often mention lyrics when discussing this band but there's some great lines. Such as: "I see you with your new boyfriend. It's funny how you look at him. I know we won't be seeing him again." There's a great tired sadness/drunkeness in this band's sound. But the sadness isn't depressing because there's always a spark behind it all. People don't often mention lyrics when discussing this band but there's some great lines. Such as: "I see you with your new boyfriend. It's funny how you look at him. I know we won't be seeing him again." That's definately a keeper. Although alot of reviewers don't seem to "get" this album I also think it's Album of the Year. Fantastic. Expand
  23. 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 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 everThese 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. Collapse
  24. 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.
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. Overwhelmingly, it all adds up to an album that will never make a fuss in your collection, but every now and then you'll remember how much you love it.
  2. Though sonically similar to its predecessor, the new album sets aside whimsical wandering to make room for more straight-for-the-heart (by way of the throat) conviction; simply put, it rocks harder.
  3. Each of these songs displays a mastery of craft rarely heard.