City Of Refuge - Castanets
City Of Refuge Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The fourth album for the indie rock band features guest appearances by Jana Hunter, Sufjan Stevens, Dawn Smithson, Scot Tuma, and Ero Gray.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. City Of Refuge’s 15 tracks are uneven in both length and musical depth--one track, 'High Plain 3,' is just a minute and 31 seconds of quiet, droning ambient static--yet the record plays out like the cohesive score to a postmodern, post-apocalyptic western.
  2. The resulting record plays like a soundtrack to a non-existent film, skeleton-framed and dramatic.
  3. City of Refuge never succumbs to the silence that so obviously surrounds it. Even appearances (overdubbed after the initial field recordings) from Sufjan Stevens, Jana Hunter, Scott Tuma, Dawn Smithson, and Ero Gray feel unobtrusive, resulting in a strange, sad, but ultimately compelling collection of hopeless Western indie folk.
  4. The fine-tuned spaces let you hear every rough callous scrape across the acoustic strings, every quick intake of breath before a verse.
  5. While the album is perhaps not as wholly satisfying as 2007's "In The Vines" and could benefit from a tighter structure, City Of Refuge, aided by contributions from Jana Hunter, Scott Tuma, and Sufjan Stevens, among others, sees Castanets craft passages of evocative, dusty beauty. [Fall 2008, p.74]
  6. 60
    It's not the conceptul masterpiece he was clearly hoping for, but there are moments of transcendence just the same. [Nov 2008, p.89]
  7. Three weeks spent writing and recording alone has resulted in a cathartic outpouring that's both half-baked and hauntingly memorable.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of