Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. If Richard Swift isn't on your radar yet, time to adjust the antenna.
  2. 86
    His lyrics are alternately introspective and celebratory, melancholy, and the most hopeful words you'll hear in the place--sometimes all in the same song. [#24, p.102]
  3. 80
    Vividly of-the-moment, rich in melody and wry optimism. [Mar 2007, p.104]
  4. 80
    In his own way, Swift is as vivid a newcomer as Joanna Newsom or early Rufus Wainwright. [Mar 2007, p.84]
  5. He might be a man out of time, but his music's timeless. [Mar 2007, p.114]
  6. Although his rough-around-the-edges production and label affiliation suggest he is a folkie or New Weird American, his songwriting harkens back more to Tin Pan Alley than The Incredible String Band.
  7. Swift makes good on his promise with 10 soulful new songs loaded with heart and smarts.
  8. Swift's merry melodies and uninhibited sensitivity draw equally on the immaculate piano pop of Carole King's Tapestry and the strummy self-awareness of Jackson Browne's early Asylum Records releases, but it's his noticeable theatricality that sets him apart.
  9. While "Dressed Up For The Letdown" is a classy, clever record, it is not one you can imagine yourself revisiting that often.
  10. Coming across as the alt-rock Randy Newman has its perils, but Swift justifies and even makes palatable such a classification. [#16, p.94]
  11. 70
    Swift is likely to turn some more heads with this one. [Mar 2007, p.101]
  12. 70
    Hypnotic and strangely thrilling. [Feb 2007, p.86]
  13. Thankfully, another character sidles between the layers of these songs, and even shuffles into the limelight elsewhere - someone more shady and strange, who loves circus rhythms and giddy trumpet riffs, the glimmer of broken glass and crackle of static. If only this odd chap dominated proceedings.
  14. At root, the gritty, back-to-the-garage drive of these pop tunes adds a layer of grease that makes them stick. [Apr 2007, p.58]
  15. Swift’s clever and insightful lyrics immediately grab those who pay attention.

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