• Record Label: Vagrant
  • Release Date: Sep 7, 2004
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21

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  1. JackI
    Sep 19, 2004
    8
    Some gems, some throw-aways. The gems (Gun Shy, My Dad) are pure & true.
  2. LesHectic
    Sep 22, 2004
    8
    This album is a grower, to some maybe like a wart. But that is its charm, warts & all. One listen, it's a 5, but after a few listens (and skipping '$100 groom') it truly is a heartfelt worthwhile collection of basement taped songs. Those looking for commercial polish go elsewhere. Those looking for an artist geniunely expressing himself see 'now i wonder', This album is a grower, to some maybe like a wart. But that is its charm, warts & all. One listen, it's a 5, but after a few listens (and skipping '$100 groom') it truly is a heartfelt worthwhile collection of basement taped songs. Those looking for commercial polish go elsewhere. Those looking for an artist geniunely expressing himself see 'now i wonder', 'my dad', 'lookin up in heaven', and 'folk star'. Expand
  3. BrianJ
    Sep 9, 2004
    7
    I would give this a 7.5 really. The album continues to grow on me. It's not as rocking as Come Feel Me Tremble or Stereo/Mono but it still has a fresh quality to it. Paul's still playing sloppy and the production is still lo-fi. However, Paul's got some killer songs on this disc. "My Dad" and "As Far As I Know" are both stellar. Highly recommended for fans of PW's last I would give this a 7.5 really. The album continues to grow on me. It's not as rocking as Come Feel Me Tremble or Stereo/Mono but it still has a fresh quality to it. Paul's still playing sloppy and the production is still lo-fi. However, Paul's got some killer songs on this disc. "My Dad" and "As Far As I Know" are both stellar. Highly recommended for fans of PW's last couple of albums. Expand
  4. JohnO
    Apr 7, 2005
    7
    I would give Stereo/Mono and Come Feel Me Tremble each a 10. Having said that, Folker has some gems and some filler, where the previous two records are end-to-end marvels. Gun Shy and My Dad are my favs. If you're just getting to know Paul, I wouldn't suggest this as your first purchase. With regards to the DIY stuff getting old (from a prior post), get used to it - he's I would give Stereo/Mono and Come Feel Me Tremble each a 10. Having said that, Folker has some gems and some filler, where the previous two records are end-to-end marvels. Gun Shy and My Dad are my favs. If you're just getting to know Paul, I wouldn't suggest this as your first purchase. With regards to the DIY stuff getting old (from a prior post), get used to it - he's not going back to the old way. Expand
  5. SteveT.
    Oct 28, 2004
    7
    First of all, I'm a Mats/Westerberg fanatic, so it's a given that I'd buy this album. That being said, this "do it yourself" ethos is really starting to wear thin. A lot of the melodies on this record sound quite a bit like the ones on Stereo/Mono. And they're getting old. However, what redeems the record for me is the same thing that always brings me back. The lyrics. First of all, I'm a Mats/Westerberg fanatic, so it's a given that I'd buy this album. That being said, this "do it yourself" ethos is really starting to wear thin. A lot of the melodies on this record sound quite a bit like the ones on Stereo/Mono. And they're getting old. However, what redeems the record for me is the same thing that always brings me back. The lyrics. Westerberg, like Dylan is a poet who sets his verse to music. The commentary is always pithy, humorous and often heartbreaking. That's why I bought this and why I'll buy the next one. Expand
  6. DavidL
    Oct 4, 2004
    9
    The lowfi approach is not for everyone, but if you accept, you are in for a meaningful experience.
  7. JeffB
    Sep 14, 2004
    9
    A terrific album, but a slow burner. Let it grow on you.
  8. MaureenO
    Sep 14, 2004
    10
    Once again, Paul Westerberg has created a masterpiece. He has given the music world what it has lacked for too long; honest-to-goodness music. Westerberg's whimsical and thought-provoking lyrics never let up on this album.
  9. BrandonS
    Sep 7, 2004
    9
    Man, is this guy on a roll.
  10. MikaelB
    Sep 7, 2004
    4
    Wanted this to be good. First track is enough for to abandon one of my favorite rockers of all time.... trying to be tongue and cheek? how about a refund?
  11. Mark
    Jan 25, 2006
    8
    It's amazing how much this album grew on me over the course of a year or so. It feels so natural and uncalculated, (forget self-consciously ramshackle!), and over time the vocals seem to become clearer, the guitars more purposeful, the melodies more memorable (the drums just as off!). As Far As I Know and What About Mine? are beautifully-conceived songs, but for me it's How Can It's amazing how much this album grew on me over the course of a year or so. It feels so natural and uncalculated, (forget self-consciously ramshackle!), and over time the vocals seem to become clearer, the guitars more purposeful, the melodies more memorable (the drums just as off!). As Far As I Know and What About Mine? are beautifully-conceived songs, but for me it's How Can You Like Him? and Gun Shy that bring about tears of joy that a human being can create and communicate such startling emotion through music. The man is frighteningly good. Expand
  12. dudeflym
    Nov 3, 2004
    9
    how sweet would it be to get to hang out in your basement and put out great records. i knew studying too much would never get me anywhere.
  13. StevenC
    Sep 11, 2004
    7
    A solid album; 2 classics on it -- they keep trying to bury the guy -- but he's still good.
  14. NeilD
    Sep 16, 2004
    5
    How could you follow up Stereo/Mono with this? Very disappointing but there are still few worthwhile songs.
  15. RobertB
    Nov 16, 2005
    8
    This one is a grower.
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Rough-and-tumble folk rock with a winning--if self-conscious--DIY approach. [17 Sep 2004, p.76]
  2. 10
    A poorly-recorded collection of lazily-written songs recorded by an artist whose muse deserted him long ago. [Oct 2004, p.131]
  3. The album is Westerberg at his extremes. [#7]