Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    With Father, Son, Holy Ghost, the band has vaulted the equivalent of three albums ahead, taking the conciseness of the EP and confounding expectations.
  2. Sep 12, 2011
    This lyrical simplicity shouldn't obscure the fact that these are sharply constructed songs that take unusual turns. One of Girls' specialities is their willingness to go completely over the top but somehow keep us right there with them.
  3. Sep 13, 2011
    The pair has picked up a supporting cast and loads of confidence for Girls' second album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost.
  4. Dec 15, 2011
    a record that is both this good and a display of a band with so much more to show us does not come along often.
  5. Nov 29, 2011
    They sound like they'll probably end up being one of the most enduring bands of our era.
  6. Sep 23, 2011
    The simple truth is, you won't find a sadder yet more uplifting album all year.
  7. Sep 20, 2011
    With Father, Son, Holy Ghost's exquisite, beyond-indie melodies, arrangements, and musicianship (the playful "Magic," the elegant "Just a Song," the fiery "Die"), he [Christopher Owens] and bassist-producer JR White flirt with perfection.
  8. Sep 20, 2011
    This latest disc really seems to cement the notion that the collective combination of the songsmiths Owens and White simply cannot do no wrong, that all of that time spent kept away from the pleasures of modern music, at least in one member's case, has simply fostered an entity that is bemused and bedazzled with the charms of the past's reflective prism.
  9. Sep 13, 2011
    This album not only surpasses its predecessor but raises the bar for any band, indie or otherwise, mining the past for inspiration.
  10. Nov 3, 2011
    FSHG continues this wheelhouse effect, drifting from Smile session bounce on opener "Honey Bunny" into the heavy-psych wind tunnel of "Die" and sprawling anchor "Vomit."
  11. Sep 12, 2011
    Album is an astoundingly good record in its own right, but the omni-directional growth showcased on Father, Son, Holy Ghost is nearly overwhelming.
  12. Sep 12, 2011
    We have Father, Son, Holy Ghost: honest, occasionally crushing, often stunning, and all the better for the fact that Owens seems to be incapable of being anyone but himself.
  13. Sep 21, 2011
    Father, Son, Holy Ghost contains some of the deftest songwriting of 2011, and is more than a worthy successor to the group's debut.
  14. 80
    Because there's an awkward squirm at Girls' core, a deviant devolution of classic mores, and that makes Holy Ghost something of a maladroit masterpiece.
  15. Sep 20, 2011
    The deadbeat look befits an album that travels from slacker pop to a kind of desolate, beautiful blues in a series of quite astonishing songs. [Oct 2011, p.104]
  16. 80
    Father, Son, Holy Ghost succeeds thoroughly at nearly everything it does, expanding Owens and JR White's palette beyond the scope of the duo's debut without going too far out on a limb.
  17. Sep 8, 2011
    Girls' have traded their early work's immediacy for something that requires more patience but goes much deeper if you've got the time.
  18. 75
    It's a quietly compelling follow-up to their more adventurous 2009 debut. [23 Sep 2011, p.79]
  19. Sep 13, 2011
    The reason Father, Son, Holy Ghost is so uniquely, imperfectly swell is because the band plainly give fuck-all about convention or stylistic uniformity.
  20. Sep 28, 2011
    The lyrics are self-consciously ­gloppy, but from the Beach Boys pop of "Honey Bunny" to the textured, churning rocker "Alex" to the soul ballad "Love Like a River," Girls find the right sonic twist to give clichéd romantic self-pity a fresh, forlorn sting.
  21. 70
    The album's middle section yields the record's most comprehensive songwriting.
  22. Sep 20, 2011
    Altogether, Father, Son, Holy Ghost is a complex record, one that doesn't quite fully realise Girls potential as great recording artists, yet equally suggests that bona fide masterpiece may not be too far around the corner.
  23. Sep 14, 2011
    The good news is that this album proves they are top-level purveyors of pop. The bad is that the eccentricity that once flowed freely feels forced.
  24. Remember, Girls are only on their second full-length album and certain missteps should be expected. What we do know is that an album that misses the mark for Girls is far better than the majority of music we come across on a daily basis, and that Father, Son, Holy Ghost is, above all, a fascinating listen.
  25. Sep 6, 2011
    It's lengthy, but the sensitivity of every guitar tickle and percussive touch, as well as main man Christopher Owens' spellbinding voice, means that it is rarely boring.
  26. Sep 6, 2011
    A quiet, understated triumph.
  27. Sep 27, 2011
    Wahile Girls have returned brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, this record seems to overstretch them.
  28. Sep 23, 2011
    In the end, the try-everything approach works out: if only because Girls' scatterbrained classic rock patchwork is so idiosyncratically odd. [Oct 2011, p.124]
  29. Sep 13, 2011
    While there are some real successes here, Father, Son, Holy Ghost is extremely inconsistent.
  30. Sep 9, 2011
    "Die" is generic glam riffage, and "Magic" is a tedious Britpop stomp, but there are many successes. [Oct 2011, p.86]
  31. Sep 9, 2011
    The lo-fi arrangements are messy, too. Gospel choirs? Stadium rock riffs? Six minute folk songs in no hurry to find the nearest chorus? All feature here--not always seemlessly, but always with a certain charm.
  32. Sep 28, 2011
    The album is nothing like a career-killer, but it is a career-worrier.
  33. Sep 20, 2011
    On the whole, the album feels like a parody of music's tropes, limping along with no real soul.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    Perhaps the most highly anticipated indie album of 2011, Father, Son, Holy Ghost was touted as a classic even before its release. These are weighty expectations for any band to endure, let alone a young band from San Francisco poised to release only its second full-length album... read the rest of the review at Full Review »
  2. Aug 1, 2012
    Girls have made the greatest album of the 2010s so far. Father, Son, Holy Ghost is an amazing masterpiece. I can't believe that its only a 79 on Metacritic. Full Review »
  3. j30
    Apr 23, 2012
    Father, Son, Holy Ghost is one of the best album of 2011. The music, while trying to be sort of nostalgic rock, sounds surprisingly fresh. Christopher Owens' singing is hard to get used to at first, but worth the first couple listens. Full Review »