Denali - Denali
Denali Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This debut album from the Richmond, Virginia band (featuring Maura Davis and members of Engine Down) was produced in part by Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. On their stunning debut, the Richmond, VA, foursome can sound as crisp and ethereal as Portishead, as otherworldly as Tom Waits, and as atmospheric as Radiohead.
  2. While Davis's performance draws from a broad and intriguing range of influences, she has the makings of a singer in a class of her own. And rather than allowing Davis's uniqueness to carry them, the other members of Denali clearly favor a similarly eclectic aesthetic, riddling their music with pleasant musical surprises.
  3. While Denali have a definite comfort zone -- there are few surprises on the ten-song collection -- the beauty of the album is how easily songs melt into one another, rising and falling where they should, each one ending with a gentle dismount.
  4. Amidst an arresting collision of angular melodies, fractured rhythms and Davis' overpowering voice, Denali's self-titled debut is awash in the tortured melancholy of a woman whose relationship demons have driven her to the edge.
  5. It's a diverse album in terms of textures, and those extra layers help give the band a developed sound beyond most debut releases.
  6. They focus too little on well-made songs and too much on creating an angst-ridden atmosphere. [Jul 2002, p.78]
  7. All of Denali consists solely of minor-key electric angst, with languid orchestration and predictable compositions. No crescendos, barely discernable choruses, a dearth of interesting dynamics. The result is stagnancy, kids, and it kills the album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2