Heaven - The Walkmen

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. May 29, 2012
    After 10 years and seven albums, Heaven finds The Walkmen in a better place.
  2. Jun 5, 2012
    There may well be no such thing as a ten out of ten album, a level of perfection and flawlessness that is by all likelihood totally unobtainable; but it's hard to imagine anyone coming closer than these five men from New York.
  3. Jun 4, 2012
    There's a depth to these tunes, one that comes not out of fast nights and wrecked relationships but the hindsight and experience of age; it's a well that, thankfully, seems to be getting deeper and deeper.
  4. Jun 1, 2012
    Heaven takes another firm and measured stride forward in what is rapidly becoming a celebratory jog towards brilliance: a re-affirmation of what heart, skill, craft and guile can birth given time and experience.
  5. May 25, 2012
    This disc proves that their ascension to lofty heights is complete and something heavenly indeed.
  6. Jun 6, 2012
    Well-worn, well-defined, Heaven is the work of band with nothing left to prove.
  7. May 30, 2012
    Heaven is a testament to The Walkmen's triumph.
  8. May 29, 2012
    It's simply one of the best rock records of our so-far shallow year.
  9. 83
    The lovely brooders are at their most joyous and effervescent on their seventh album. [15 Jun 2012, p.82]
  10. May 25, 2012
    With Heaven, they've turned out a record that finds a thousand affecting variations on contented hum.
  11. Oct 12, 2012
    The Walkmen are inching closer to the mainstream, while remaining utterly distinctive. [Jul 2012, p.112]
  12. Jun 29, 2012
    A gentle collection, evocative of a transitional time.
  13. Jun 19, 2012
    That this LP is less summit than plateau says more about the level of past work than anything lacking from this one. [No.88 p.61]
  14. Jun 14, 2012
    Personal, moving, poetic, humorous, and engaging.
  15. Jun 7, 2012
    It's thrilling to feel all the hooks in this thing; one gets to feeling all Hellraisery, exploding with joy everywhichway.
  16. Jun 5, 2012
    Twelve years after their formation, the East Coast five-piece have created their finest album to date.
  17. Jun 4, 2012
    It's good to hear a group continue to challenge themselves without kicking their strengths to the curb.
  18. Jun 1, 2012
    The Walkmen are weathering the iPhone age with panache. [Jul 2012, p.85]
  19. 80
    On any other Walkmen album, just the hooky brilliance of the title track could be enough to declare this set a success, but there's never been one quite like this before.
  20. Thoroughly enjoyable from front to back, Heaven oozes confidence and polish.
  21. May 29, 2012
    Heaven comes across as a more or less triumphant culmination of the Walkmen's first decade, and the fact that happiness fits the band better than anyone could have expected is just a welcome bonus.
  22. May 25, 2012
    Heaven is a record with the power to grab your heart, like an ex-lover you just can't shake off--no matter how many years you've been without them.
  23. May 25, 2012
    A couple of lifeless slower numbers bring the album to a crawl midway through, but they ultimately add balance to all the smart, uptempo rockers.
  24. Jun 15, 2012
    Heaven is more like a classic Sunday morning album: a modest, extremely laid back paean to the comforts of domesticity in which every song sounds like it was recorded from a rocking chair.
  25. Jun 6, 2012
    Heaven may be one of the Walkmen's more detached efforts thus far. For a band that's been exercising their rollicking sway with a deft ear, it's a shame that there's only space for one real heart tugger, like in No One Ever Sleeps
  26. 70
    Fleet Foxes producer/engineer/mixer Phil Ek warms up the band's previously chilly sound to yield arguably their best, and certainly most accomplished album yet.
  27. May 29, 2012
    [A] sunburst of a record.
  28. May 29, 2012
    That palpable sense of urgency on display throughout their catalogue is on display far too little. That said, the album is still a top-notch collection of songs.
  29. May 29, 2012
    Their most expansive LP [to date].
  30. Their most consistent and accomplished album to date.
  31. Jun 5, 2012
    Heaven isn't 100% bliss, but the Walkmen have taken themselves and their fans one step closer.
  32. Jun 25, 2012
    No One Ever Sleeps, even with harmonies from Robin Pecknold, feels not magical, but hollow and sluggish. At the rockier end, Heartbreaker adds Arcade Fire urgency and may score alt-radio love. The rest, however, is lukewarm. [Jul 2012, p.83]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 29, 2012
    With the last two albums that the Walkmen have put out (including this one) they have become one of the best - not only indie - bands out in the industry. There are a few things that set them apart, and one of the major things being lead vocalist Hamilton Leithauser's very distinctive voice. Over time, Hamilton's voice has changed from an extremely raspy and unpredictable yell, to a more controlled, still raspy, croon which team up so well with the re-verb guitars in this album. Tracks like "Heartbreaker" and the title track "Heaven" exemplify this the best. The Walkmen have always been at their best when they were playing and screaming as loud as they can, and this album has a few songs that show that. However, the opening track "We Can't Be Beat" with Leithauser's croon, and incredible harmonies, and a shift in tempo's in the song really open up a new door for this band. The Walkmen have become better as they mature, not running out of ideas and not afraid to try out a few new things. This album is incredibly beautiful, and will most likely be soundtrack to many summers. Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2013
    The best band in the world gets better with age, something I never would have predicted a decade ago when I lovingly clutched that copy of Bows & Arrows to my chest. It's a long way from "The Rat" to "Heaven" but it's a distance I've travelled myself it's been the soundtrack of my life, and to have connected so resonantly with another band (after The Smiths in my early teens) feels like a blessing I do not deserve in such richness. Full Review »
  3. Jul 13, 2012
    Yet another solid, utterly satisfying record from the Walkmen, dominated once more (in the best sense of the word) by Leithauser's vocals. The singer's voice is more tender here than on earlier records, which works especially well on slower songs, such as "Southern Heart" and "Line by Line". Of course, the album still features its fair share of belted-out vocal lines ("We Can't Be Beat", "Heaven"). This is an enjoyable album from start to finish, mixing the band's trademark retro vibe with enough variety to retain the interest of new listeners and Walkmen veterans alike. This album doesn't experiment as much as it capitalizes on a successful formula, which is completely fine by me. Full Review »