Golden Ocean - 50 Foot Wave

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. It's fantastic stuff-- at its best, the innate catchiness of Hersh's writing gets a shot in the arm from her cavalier vocals and musical caterwauling.
  2. Whoa, is it ever tough, but wow, is it ever great.
  3. Hersh's songwriting is as detailed and dynamic as ever, but the intricacies are less apparent when delivered with such heat-seeking power.
  4. She's lyrically sharp as ever, and switches gears and works in nice melodies just enough to soften the edges, luring fans in before she pummels them.
  5. Rarely do records come around that are such a great mix of a physical adrenaline rush combined with intellectualism.
  6. Sure, Hersh could be your mom, but only if your mom routinely blows out big stacks of Marshall amps.
  7. 80
    Her textured roar means even the less melodic songs have traction. [May 2005, p.103]
  8. It's deliciously painful. [Aug/Sep 2005, p.111]
  9. 70
    The loudest record [Hersh] has ever made, and even if few individual compositions leap out of the general roar, it sounds fantastic. [Apr 2005, p.116]
  10. 60
    The songs may work better in short, sudden bursts; over 11 tracks, you can feel bludgeoned by the band's blunt force. [Apr 2005, p.112]
  11. Recalls the riffola of Bleach-era Nirvana, complete with sludgy Led Zeppelin-esque guitars. [May 2005, p.110]
  12. Only the album-ending title track tones down the noise, and even then, it's about as restrained as early Husker Du. [May 2005, p.132]
  13. No matter what vehicle Hersh utilizes as an outlet, it’s obvious her creative wave has yet to crest.
  14. [Hersh's] clamorous return to Electric Ladyland does little, though, except to cover some fair tunes with layers of cathartic thrashing. [11 Mar 2005, p.102]
  15. 80
    Violent, seething and uncompromising. [#67, p.96]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. EthanH
    Apr 19, 2007
    Q: What would have happened if Kurt Cobain had a sex change operation just before making Nevermind? A: Kirstin Hersh with 50 Foot Wave. no? oh, never mind. Full Review »
  2. MarkD
    Jun 1, 2005
    Hersh is THE woman when it comes to musical creativity and energy and this album is no exception. Fans of the Throwing Muses and Hersh's solo work may be shocked on first listen but bear with it as this album is just a reaffirmation that whatever Hersh touches in the musical world turns to gold. Full Review »
  3. RobJ.
    May 19, 2005
    Think of 50 Foot Wave as a louder, more aggressive version of the Throwing Muses. Also, Kristen Hersh has completely lost her voice (long time fans will note that it's been slowly going for years), but she manages to harness what's left into something that's both perfect for this album and strangely beautiful. Golden Ocean is a really tough listen, but it grows on you, and god is it good. Great driving music. Full Review »