Hands of Glory - Andrew Bird
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Oct 29, 2012
    89
    Companion piece Hands of Glory restructures the old and new alike in dusty-trail cowboy swag.
  2. Hands Of Glory is yet another right step in a discography which is yet to falter or fail. This is as essential as a bits and bobs album comes.
  3. Jan 18, 2013
    80
    Hands Of Glory is a flamboyant country cousin [to 2012's Break it Yourself]. [Feb 2013, p.92]
  4. For all Bird's reverence for American rural music of the past, Hands is startlingly contemporary.
  5. Oct 29, 2012
    80
    Hands of Glory might not stand alone as a release without the context provided by Break It Yourself, but it nevertheless serves as a testament to how capable and creative Bird can be when he's dialed in.
  6. Nov 1, 2012
    78
    Bird stays true to his whimsical and intricate style while embracing the limitations of recording an acoustic set circled around a single microphone.
  7. Oct 30, 2012
    78
    The whole EP feels familiar, either from the carryover from Bird's previous albums (most notably Break It Yourself) or from things you've heard before but can't quite put your finger on-it doesn't shock or change the course of rivers, but it does invite, and welcome, and maybe pour you a cup of tea and ask about your day.
  8. Nov 1, 2012
    73
    Hands of Glory possesses an almost academic quality, as though Bird and his cohorts were presenting a musical essay about endtimes imagery in country music.
  9. Dec 4, 2012
    70
    This sidecar is neither evolution nor revolution, though its eight tracks contain a fair share of intrigue and insight into Bird's feverish 2011, as well as a contemporary rearrangement so sweet it should comer rimmed in sugar. [No. 93, p.58]
  10. Oct 31, 2012
    70
    Produced in the same Luddite fashion as Break it Yourself, Hands of Glory takes that austerity one step further by recording all of the proceedings on a single microphone, resulting in a set that sounds both out of time and incredibly immediate.
  11. Oct 29, 2012
    70
    While it's still a triumph of moody, Appalachia-drenched indie pop, Hands of Glory exists as merely a portion of a divided project that should have remained whole.
  12. The majority of Hands of Glory is devoted to covers, though, and while Bird already has plenty of fine covers in his catalogue ("Don't Be Scared", "Trimmed + Burning", "The Giant of Illinois"), his efforts here are something near enough lacklustre and uninspiring.
  13. Oct 29, 2012
    65
    While lacking the meat of Break It Yourself's full band version, Bird's solo take shows off both his soulful violin lines and enticingly languorous vocals.
  14. Dec 11, 2012
    60
    Maybe he's not the kind of artist you need to hear stripped down. [Jan 2013, p.101]
  15. Nov 29, 2012
    60
    Moments of quality do intersperse these drags.
  16. 60
    Hands of Glory is a smaller, more intimate work than Andrew Bird's recent albums.
  17. 60
    Bird is too much of a seasoned professional to release anything less than listenable, so although none of this is particularly compelling, it's all well performed in a relatively stripped down, acoustic setting.
  18. 50
    His palate of sepia tones coupled with essentially contemporary lyrical twitches loses much of what makes Bird special, instead relegating Hands of Glory, to a heartwarming and honest tribute--and little else.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 8, 2012
    7
    An excellent companion to this year's "Break it Yourself". It managed to capture the spirit of the "Old timey" sets during this year's tour. As someone who managed to make it out to two stops, this album was a nice little "thank you hat tip" from Mr. Bird. Lots of good memories evoked. Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2012
    8
    With Andrew Bird