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Civilians Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: Joe Henry releases his 10th album after producing records for other artists.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Civilians matches Henry's rough croon with a rich, warm sound that instantly draws you into its sonic world. You won't want to leave.
  2. Even in its rare maudlin and melodramatic moments, the album is saved its many precise, stainless sounds: Henry's compassionate, reverb-shaken voice, Bill Frisell's excellent fretwork, a bewitched pump organ, a snare hit that always echoes a bit too long.
  3. Civilians has as many stories attached as any record Henry's written, but they're so finely crafted now that the singer almost disappears in their flickering appearances on the wall of the mind of the listener.
  4. 80
    Over the course of 10 albums, Joe Henry’s music has grown increasingly rich, complex and difficult.
  5. The 12 songs are rhythmically warm and appealing thanks to Jay Bellirose’s spare-cymballed drumming and the beautifully knotty guitars of Henry, Bill Frisell, and Greg Leisz.
  6. Spin
    While his unapologetically Dylan-esque vocals grate on weaker tunes, gems like the softly rollicking 'Time is a Lion' allow Henry to step out with a quiet roar. [Oct 2007, p.104]
  7. Henry, fresh from co-producing the Knocked Up soundtrack, doesn't have an exceptional voice. It's croaky, with little range, and the piano- and acoustic-based music on Civilians (out Sept 11) is kept unobtrusive, serving his writerly lyrics well.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

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