Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Harlem River Blues is Justin Townes Earle's crowning moment. It's relaxed without being tiresome, vintage without being gimmicky. Most importantly, it's great. The songs are great, the lyrics are great and there's not a weak song on it.
  2. Jan 27, 2011
    Harlem River Blues (Bloodshot Records) ranks alongside the best American roots music being made at the moment and his concerts should not be missed.
  3. Dec 20, 2010
    Steve's boy finally finds his voice on this third record. [Dec 29010, p.104]
  4. 80
    His previous album Midnight At The Movies was good, perhaps not Americana Music Award-winning good, but I'm not in charge. This one, However is way better, an album I wanted to play again as soon as it was done. [Oct 200, p.101]
  5. 80
    This third album is even better, his voice smoother, more assured, and the tunes equally as confident. [Nov 2010, p.92]
  6. Slippin' And Slidin' on Harlem River Blues, probably the 28-year-old's strongest album yet, hints at that tendency. Slippin' And Slidin' on Harlem River Blues, probably the 28-year-old's strongest album yet, hints at that tendency.
  7. Harlem River Blues is utterly balanced, skillfully crafted, and exquisitely written and produced. Earle proves that he is a force to be reckoned with; in these grooves he embodies the history, mystery, and promise of American roots music.
  8. Earle brings the realization that we all live in the same interconnected world and share matching roots as Americans no matter where we are from. That he does this so eloquently and with such zest; well, that's just like putting red eye gravy on a New York strip steak-mighty tasty!
  9. Given Earle's often morose and sardonic bent as a lyricist, the shift toward blues suits him well, making for his strongest album to date.
  10. Harlem River Blues, though, sounds like the work of a man who can handle pressure. It more than matches--it far exceeds--what had gone before.
  11. The stylistic hopscotch on Harlem River Blues--he flits easily from real-deal rockabilly to soulful power-balladry to roadhouse-ready honky-tonk--points to a restlessness that serves him well.
  12. For all its strengths, Harlem River Blues never comes together thematically. Like his characters, Earle never seems to know where he wants to be.

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