Emerald City

  • Record Label: Barsuk
  • Release Date: Jul 24, 2007
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 3 out of 22

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. jasonf.
    Aug 3, 2007
    8
    Not his best work, but not his worst. This album has grown on me over the last 10 listens. He will be on tour soon and I highly suggest seeing him play.
  2. christianp.
    Aug 5, 2007
    8
    Concise and solid. The only thing lacking is the immediate accessibility of some of JV's earlier work. It's surprising he doesn't get more attention for his songwriting, let alone his work as a producer.
  3. b'lis
    Sep 1, 2007
    8
    If I had to pick between this & Pixel Revolt, I'd take the latter...this is not quite up to his best, but it's very, very good. F*ck, can this guy write a song!
  4. KevinC.
    Sep 24, 2007
    10
    Pitchfork got it way wrong this time. David Raposa sounds like high school reviewer who just discovered you can look up lyrics on Google. Even if he's right about the lyrical content, it's beside the point. Furthermore, if Vanderslice IS still stuck on 9/11, why is that a fault? If Raposa was not as affected, then just admit that up-front and get a less biased reviewer. All that Pitchfork got it way wrong this time. David Raposa sounds like high school reviewer who just discovered you can look up lyrics on Google. Even if he's right about the lyrical content, it's beside the point. Furthermore, if Vanderslice IS still stuck on 9/11, why is that a fault? If Raposa was not as affected, then just admit that up-front and get a less biased reviewer. All that to say, give this disc a shot. Play it through a few times. Emerald City is easily one of the best albums of the year. Collapse
  5. tayz
    Aug 16, 2007
    9
    Vanderslice a fraud? Part of the indie "minor leagues"? What the heck is Colin talking about? I mean, he's certainly not as adventurous as some artists, but that's not why I listen to his work. There are other people I count on for that part of my musical diet, but JV creates some absolutely beautiful music that certainly belongs in the list Colin put forth, if you ask me. Vanderslice a fraud? Part of the indie "minor leagues"? What the heck is Colin talking about? I mean, he's certainly not as adventurous as some artists, but that's not why I listen to his work. There are other people I count on for that part of my musical diet, but JV creates some absolutely beautiful music that certainly belongs in the list Colin put forth, if you ask me. It's anyone's right not to like this stuff, but to act so portentous as to decide which music "matters" and which does not is simply ridiculous. Vanderslice doesn't get enough credit by my count. Expand
  6. MarvinS
    Aug 17, 2007
    9
    Vanderslice is among the most underated artists working today. Although this is not his best work (check out the life and death of a four tracker for that), it does not disappoint by any means either.
  7. MarkG
    Sep 18, 2007
    9
    Great record.
  8. AllanC.
    Sep 21, 2007
    10
    Great sound and loved it from top to bottom.

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. The production is still huge and full, although audiophiles may be disturbed by the overdriven acoustic guitars on certain songs that give an unnerving sensation of blown speaker cones. It's a forgivable stylistic decision, and doesn't detract much from the overall solidarity of the disc.
  2. The air of uncertainty and doubt he creates is what continually makes his music so intriguing.
  3. The problem is that Vanderslice’s lyrical scope remains too broad to enable a cohesive or definitive conceptual statement, and his music too tightly defined and predictable to be considered a departure.