Held in Splendor

Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Q Magazine
    Apr 23, 2014
    60
    You leave the record feeling a bit like you've visited a museum. [May 2014, p.116]
  2. Mar 13, 2014
    60
    For now, Held In Splendor is a promising, if limited, stepping stone.
  3. Feb 20, 2014
    60
    It's all lovely, if a bit aimless--the most distinctive element is Anna Fox Rochinski's breathy soprano voice, which should be more of a feature.
  4. Feb 14, 2014
    60
    Out-and-out rockers “A Mirror” and “Tired & Buttered” provide some much-needed lucidity, but as a whole, Held in Splendor may be a bit too tranquil for its own good.
  5. 58
    What would be even more effective is more focus on spanning dynamics and intensity, which can come naturally when shooting for something a bit more personal, but that doesn’t negate Splendor as a successful sophomore step.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 24, 2014
    9
    Every so often, there will be some online survey asking about the ultimate band and its members, kind of like some fantasy football team.Every so often, there will be some online survey asking about the ultimate band and its members, kind of like some fantasy football team. Hendrix on guitar, Moon on drums, Lemmy on bass, etc., much like those games stoners play after school hanging out behind the 7-11 a couple of blocks from campus.

    There would always be that one weirdo in the group who would recite little known albums by superstars and obscure musicians that would always make the rest of the heads say, "Hey man, quit bogardin' the pipe, you're really baked!"

    That one weirdo would say things like this: What if we mixed up pre-Animals Floyd with post-Peter Green but pre-'75 Fleetwood Mac together? And then added like those chicks from the Breeders to sing, but with proggy touches like "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans" from the Pumpkins with some moody sax and produced by some George Martin wanna-be?

    Well Chong (or would it be Cheech?), you got your wish.

    The second album by Quilt, Held in Splendor, is all of these things and a whole lot of other strange juxtapositions. Compared to Iggy Azalea on the radio, this feels like the sorbet that pop music truly needs now: a cleansing of the pallet that feels fresh and ready for the next course.

    The tracks, 13 in 44 minutes, flow into one another, and titles alone magnificent: "Arctic Shark", "Eye of the Pearl", "Secondary Swan", etc. If the album is dying as an art form, then this may very well be its last glorious gasp, because taken as a whole, it is magnificent. It is truly a headphone or 5.1 surround experience, all glowing candles and shimmering tones. Considering that other acts have been toying with psychedelia (the Black Keys) or so immersed in it as to at times become a technicolor blob (Tame Impala), the SONGS are front and center, rocking when needed, folky with angelic singing when needed and just simply moving forward, opening new doors each time.

    Be wary: sitting alone and listening to this album alone will hook you almost immediately. The album's strongest track, "Mary Mountain", is easily the best song Syd Barrett or Bob Welch never wrote. And the track, like the rest of the album, feels like the best moments of each of those men's careers channeled into something special here.
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