Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Buy On
  1. Feb 25, 2011
    It's exciting in its pacing, invigorated in its writing, and illustrious in its instrumentation. It's not mad - nor, indeed, prairie-mad - to think that this is an early contender for album of the year lists.
  2. May 4, 2011
    These are simple, almost campfire songs, drummer Paul Banwatt occasionally catching your attention with a stuttering rhythm, the focus on Edenloff's plaintive voice and his exorcism of the past.
  3. Alternative Press
    Mar 11, 2011
    Blistering brittle and beautiful, this is a cold, winter wind of a record, perfect for shutting yourself away from the outside world as you mourn the passing of friends, loved ones and better days. [Apr 2011, p.118]
  4. Mar 9, 2011
    On Departing, there's no lack of that rawness or emotion, and the crippling nostalgia still reverberates throughout.
  5. Mar 3, 2011
    Departing is a forlorn record, one that practically oozes ache and pain, and is all the more compulsive for sounding so deserted in places.
  6. 80
    There's no denying that Departing is miles ahead of where the band was a year ago and while die-hards will love Hometowns for a long time to come, Departing is absolutely the band's strongest work to date.
  7. Mar 1, 2011
    Upon first listen, it sounds like all of the rest-cutesy vocals, romantic lyrics, peppy poppy guitars. But on Departing, the guitars are massive, the lyrics are gorgeous and the vocals are astonishingly expressive.
  8. Mar 1, 2011
    RAA's secret weapon has always been the expert drumming of Paul Banwatt, and here he's given more of a chance to shine.
  9. Mar 9, 2011
    Sparsely lit lover's folk is by no means a fresh development, but The Rural Alberta Advantage continue to take the sound in new, interesting ways.
  10. Mar 1, 2011
    On Departing, its second long-player, The Rural Alberta Advantage stays true to the bare-bones, Neutral Milk-spiked folk-pop formula with which it began.
  11. Most often, it delivers what you get on Departing: an enjoyable but still not entirely satisfying collection of songs that don't really work as well together as they do apart.
  12. Mar 2, 2011
    The Rural Alberta Advantage's capital-E Emotions are rarely comforting, but they serve as a reminder that life, stark - and wintry - as it is, is worth feeling hurt over, that our petty, mortal passions are justified.
  13. Mar 1, 2011
    More confident, explosive, and produced than their lovable but ultimately flat-sounding debut, the aptly named Departing finds the trio ditching the living room scene for the road, carving out a solid collection of fiery, understated, nostalgia-laced indie pop gems that fly by like mile-markers.
  14. Mar 1, 2011
    The songwriting is another matter. Where debut album Hometowns was saturated with specific references to Alberta, with little cinematic details that helped to flesh out the songs, Departing relies too frequently on stock winter imagery and generic love laments.
  15. Mar 2, 2011
    The relatively sparse and chilly tone of Departing ultimately feels less like a slump than a conscious decision to present itself as the wintertime counterpart to Hometowns' prairie summer.
  16. May 3, 2011
    The album never fully soars either imaginatively or musically, and for all the virtues of its crisp, bold path through the blood and ice of wherever Edenloff is in flight from – or towards – this means that it's a disappointment.
  17. 60
    Departing loses a great deal of what made its predecessor so rewarding. It's got the music down pat, but a skeleton doesn't make a person. While a surface-level listen to these songs is satisfying, they won't hold up for too long. Not with Mangum back in town, either.
  18. Mar 23, 2011
    Of all the possible directions the band could have taken, they decided on generic coffeehouse folk pop, with predictably pleasant-yet-dull results.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Sep 30, 2011
    This album is intended to follow in the same path as Hometowns, it does, but its just not quite as good. North Star, Stamp, and a few otherThis album is intended to follow in the same path as Hometowns, it does, but its just not quite as good. North Star, Stamp, and a few other tunes are just as great as anything they've done before, the album as a whole just sort of feels like a slightly more mellow and cold version of this band. Definitely worth checking out though. Full Review »
  2. Jul 10, 2011
    One of the best albums I've heard in a very long time. It's nice to hear an album in which every song far exceeds your standards. I wouldOne of the best albums I've heard in a very long time. It's nice to hear an album in which every song far exceeds your standards. I would recommend this album to anybody who has a fancy for good old school feeling indie rock. Full Review »