Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 80
    A primer on British folk-revival icon Shirley Collins is the disc's most sparkling moment. [May 2008, p.103]
  2. Live! is essential listening for Decemberists obsessives--and an excellent primer for those who aren't fans just yet. [May 2008, p.135]
  3. But in clearing away the ear-candy clutter that's increasingly come to define his band's records (for better or for worse), Meloy enables even observers less convinced than those caught on tape to admire the tidy architecture of his material.
  4. Without a full band around him, Meloy projects his voice and lets his guitar sparkle and chime, doing greater justice to his ear for folk-y essentials.
  5. Fortunately, Colin Meloy Sings Live! proves that The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy's songs are as solidly built as the seagoing vessels he so readily references. [Spring 2008, p.78]
  6. The whole collection is bound together with such charming confidence and good humour that you’ll easily forget any of the limitations--real or potential--of the unaccompanied unplugged concept that could have been Colin Meloy’s undoing.
  7. Albums like this are tailor-made for devoted fans, but in this case, Colin Meloy Sings Live! gives you a glimpse of what makes the Decemberists frontman tick.
  8. It's as if a bunch of people have gotten together to try and create a communal experience they don't quite believe in. It's a little depressing here, but elsewhere, the sense of irony serves the album well.
  9. Sings Live! is clearly an offering from Colin Meloy to his devoted fans who have either especially enjoyed his shows or have never had the opportunity to attend them. In that respect, this live collection achieves its (hardly lofty) goals, and for that Meloy should be applauded, perhaps not as raucously as at his shows, but, y’know, a golf clap would be appropriate.
  10. Sings Live! is not a landmark album, nor even a superb "live" album, but the sound quality is decent enough (though the "acoustic guitar through the board" is a bit disappointing), and Meloy is a jovial host with his adoring fans, who ultimately this collection of songs was released for.
  11. Until the follow-up to 2006's excellent "The Crane Wife," this makes for an adequate stopgap. [May 2008, p.136]
  12. This album is a must for Decemberists’ fans and even a fairly pleasant diversion for casuals, but Colin Meloy Sings Live! is exactly that and nothing more: a few interesting veers among a bunch of Decemberists songs stripped of their playful pretentiousness.
  13. Now the kid’s a toddler and his pop is widely known as Stephen Colbert’s hyper-literate, prog-rocking green-screen nemesis, but Sings Live! calls to mind a simpler time.
  14. Fans of him and the band will love the intimacy and relish the chance to hear him without all the trimmings, but for everyone else, it would be wise to take him with the excess before going without.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. VerenceD.
    Apr 16, 2008
    For any fan of solo acoustic folk rock this is a must buy. For those who are already fans of Colin Meloy this goes double.
  2. MattA.
    Apr 13, 2008
    Made by Colin Meloy Fans...for Colin Meloy Fans. Not recommended to start out with. I suggest that you buy The Decemberist's other albums first before buying. Still, it's a personal experience in disc form. Full Review »
  3. [Anonymous]
    Apr 12, 2008
    As a big fan of the Decemberists, it's great to hear solo versions of their songs and the new ones are nice too, but Colin is definitely better with the whole band behind him. Full Review »