Emerald City - John Vanderslice
Emerald City Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: The producer of Spoon's Gimme Fiction, explore 9/11 and politics again.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Both on a song-for-song basis and as singular cohesive work, Emerald City demonstrates Vanderslice's masterful control of craft at every structural level and his unrivaled ability to make the political personal.
  2. John Vanderslice's sixth full-length, Emerald City, doesn't disappoint.
  3. The entirety of Emerald City seeks to elevate to the personal and the timeless, and top to bottom it is a success.
  4. The air of uncertainty and doubt he creates is what continually makes his music so intriguing.
  5. The album, like most of Vanderslice’s albums, meanders along like a pleasant afternoon: it is all fair weather and blithe breezes, fairly consistent in both tone and tempo.
  6. Emerald City is vividly imagined yet subtle in tone, with conflicted character sketches unfolding around somber synth melodies, creaky electronic effects, and fuzzy acoustic guitar strums.
  7. His sixth album has a political slant, but the message is subtler than his controversial 2000 ditty, 'Bill Gates Must Die.'

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. AllanC.
    Sep 21, 2007
    10
    Great sound and loved it from top to bottom.
  2. 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. 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
  3. 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 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
  4. MarkG
    Sep 18, 2007
    9
    Great record.
  5. 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 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. Expand
  6. 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. 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! Expand
  7. colind.
    Aug 2, 2007
    0
    This guy is such a fraud. Why does he keep trying to make us care? The world is full of great new music from singer songwriters like Newsom, This guy is such a fraud. Why does he keep trying to make us care? The world is full of great new music from singer songwriters like Newsom, Oldham, Sufjan, Devendra, Bird ie. music that matters. And then, you have the minor leagues. JV's the like the local dude you can see every week at the coffee shop...sad. We don't need another record, we get it, you're angry with the government, who isn't? Such a bore. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews