Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Have One On Me is so enrapturing, so imaginative and so delicate, that it feels safe to say that in five or ten years time, you’ll go back to it and discover brand new things--whether they be the meaning of a song you’d never fathomed before or a simple amuse-bouche of a beautifully constructed oboe phrase.
  2. 100
    Have One on Me is a very mature work indeed, even its resonant, discursive themes are underpinned by Newsom's usual playfulness. [Apr 2010, p.90]
  3. 100
    To devotees, however, it sounds very much like a second masterpiece: a different kind of epic to "Ys," and one with enough hooks and charms to ensnare at least a few Newsom agnostics. [Apr 2010, p.82]
  4. It might take a week, a month, or even a year for it to yield up all its treasures; but after only a week in its company, this reviewer's instincts tell him that Have One On Me is a masterpiece.
  5. She goes deep, as deep as any artist working today, into the loud forest of stories where our ideas about love and the self are born. Her trail of crumbs isn't always obvious, but you can follow her there.
  6. You can feel roots going down and an edifice being built. Her voice has gained depth and she sings with more force and clarity, so that's part of it. And the arrangements are more judicious and draw less attention to themselves (some tracks are just harp, others add horns, strings, and percussion, but with a lighter touch). But the bigger difference seems to be the overall mood, which is expansive and welcoming.
  7. While Newsom remains the most intricate lyricist currently working ?outside of rap, her melodies have become cleaner, her ?arrangements less mannered, and her singing more ?straightforwardly heartfelt.
  8. It may be epic, sprawling and too unwieldy a tool with which to prise open a place in the charts, but it's also nothing short of remarkable.
  9. Stripped for much of the time of the horns and orchestral adornment of the first disc, Newsom turns a celebration into a confessional. Just when it seems Newsom couldn't possibly have any more rabbits in her hat, the third disc contains some gospel flourishes that concentrate her voice in a whole new way, bending down low to grab some bit of soul.
  10. It is a stunning and ambitious piece of work; one for the ages.
  11. I feel like I can whittle away my days listening to this album and only this album for the rest of my life, and never have to feel anything except what this album makes me feel. Which is to say, everything.
  12. Try to label what Newsom does in a sentence or two, and you just tie yourself in knots. Have One On Me will do little to change all that, and so the only clear point of reference is her own previous work. Beyond that, though, it’s enough to say that it’s her, and if you loved "Ys" as much as this writer did, you’re probably going to love Have One On Me also.
  13. There’s good reason for both the length of the album and its occasional lavish moments. Ms. Newsom has discovered how to open up her music: to let it whisper and swell, to be swept into the purely musical pleasures of an ingenious arrangement or to let simplicity and silence speak for her.
  14. Much like a riveting movie keeps you in your seat, you’ll want to pay close attention to Joanna Newsom’s astonishing new album for fear of missing too much of the plot.
  15. Have One on Me isn't at all a ploy for greater likability. It's an affecting, indulgent, and thoroughly fleshed-out monument to Newsom's considerable ambition.
  16. The thing Have One On Me absolutely excels at is the creation of remarkable moments amid its rambling odes.
  17. It’s difficult to imagine another situation in which plinking pixie sounds, recurrent madrigal noises and radiant folk poetry could be categorically described as honking huge, but for all its girth, Have One On Me is packed with magic.
  18. 84
    Have One On Me is Newsom at her best: precious without being cloying, subtle without being indecipherable, beautifully written and sweetly played.
  19. Newsom's wispy singing style may still be too inaccessible for some, but hardcore fans will savor the growing vocal confidence during the two-hour-plus running time. In an era of quick musical fixes, Have One on Me is a spacious artistic statement too original to pass up.
  20. It’s unlikely that you’ll often listen to it in one bout, but whether beguiled one day by its exotic petals and blooms or the next by the less showy trees in the background, Have One On Me is an Elysian record that you’ll return to again and again.
  21. As an album, it is huge, sometimes overwhelming-- but such is the strength and individuality of Newsom’s vision, it seems almost inconceivable she could produce anything unremarkable.
  22. This is a record so richly involving that it promises to throw up fresh delights weeks, or even months, down the line. [Apr 2010, p.113]
  23. 80
    She simply delves deeper and gives what few artists can deliver: a self-contained world of warmth, crystalline detail, and intimacy that lies far beyond a Twitter feed.
  24. Grand, long and bold--Newsom makes it sound like the first word she sings here: easy.
  25. Were brevity the chiefmost virtue of popular music, "Baby Birch" would be a turgid waste of time, rather than the deft and skillful creature it is. The same sentiment goes for the rest of the album; there is a depth to the material here that rewards--nay, demands--repeated scrutiny.
  26. For long-time fans, this three-disc (or vinyl) release won’t disappoint, though it’s not a total departure.
  27. Have One on Me runs about five songs too long, which stands out during a two-hour listen, but largely she invites you in rather than challenges.
  28. It’s a long album, and it plays that way. The second reason is more complicated, and it gets to both the strengths and weaknesses of an album that will take time to process in full.
  29. At its best, these songs have the feel of an intimate live performance; at their worst, they’re lovely, but exhausting. Have One on Me is quite a technical achievement, but since Newsom has proven she can do just about anything, next time she shouldn’t try to do everything.
  30. Her latest firmly establishes her as a singer-songwriter to be reckoned with.
  31. Newsom's brilliant but reckless songwriting resulted in eighteen tracks, each with an EP's worth of creativity and talent. But why stop editing an overlong listening experience there? Treating each song as an independent entity isn't such a bad idea.
  32. As pretty and carefully detailed as many of these tracks are, their tempos are relatively static and the arrangements tend to drift. Over three discs, the lack of variation becomes problematic.
  33. It's clearly her best album, but it's also her most frustrating, because it really drives home her potential and hints at so much greatness without ever truly delivering it.
  34. The end result is a strange, and strangely pretentious mess: an album pitted deep in the psychic world of stories that nonetheless can't figure out when it should begin, when it should end, or which parts are even worth the audience's attention.
  35. It’s too bad really, that Have One on Me is so overdone because there’s a decent album hidden somewhere in there.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Nov 11, 2010
    10
    Maybe the only ''classic'' album released in 2010, each Joanna's album is better than the previous one. Probably she's the best contemporary songwriter. Full Review »
  2. Sep 29, 2010
    10
    If one were to superficially look at Joanna Newsom's 3 LP album, he or she would probably assume that she sacrificed quality over quantity. But instead, every song of this album is gem in its own way. Newsom takes a different approach with this album, as she steps towards a more mainstream style of sound focusing more on the piano rather than the harp. Ys focused on being like a fairytale experience, while Milk Eyed Blender was more childlike. Newsom settles down in this album sitting on the piano, but still brings her beautiful lyrics to the table. Each album is separated into 3 LP records with about 5-6 songs on each of them. Each LP has a separate theme that the audience will found out for themselves. This is an open experience, and the separation of the songs enables this variety. The album starts with Easy, an elaborate song that utilizes percussion and piano beautifully. This sets the pace for the rest of the album as they are equally good or better. But the highlight of the first album is "Good Intentions Paving Company." This is as close Newsom will come close to a rock/pop song as it is unusually fast-paced using brass instruments, piano, and percussion. The second album contains "In California," as song that is much similar to "Does Not Suffice," which is seen in the final album. Both of these songs are connected in a way, which show the much thought Newsom put in the album. But perhaps the best song on Have One On Me is "Soft As Chalk." There are multiple tempo changes, beautiful solos, and abstract lyrics. It is the highlight of the whole album. Joanna Newsom's album is flawless. It is not only an album, but an experience. If you can get over her eccentric vocal style, you will find 2 hours of beauty, thought, and heart. Full Review »
  3. Sep 22, 2010
    10
    The term genius is not often called for in pop music, but in this case it's justified. She's a totally original and unique artist, and one of the best storytellers around. The sheer amount of material on this album is enough to scare a lot of people off, but I think it's only a great thing. The listener can't concentrate on all of it at once, but is forced to pick a few favorites that rotates after a while, and ensures the album a long life. Just fantastic. Album of the year, by a mile! Full Review »