Held in Splendor Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the 1960s-influenced Boston trio was produced by the Woods' Jarvis Taveniere.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Mar 12, 2014
    80
    For a moment or two here, Quilt sounds like a lost Pretty Things track, but as mentioned earlier, this is really their own unique creation. And it needs to be heard right now.
  2. Feb 3, 2014
    80
    A happy music that isn't bland; Held In Splendor makes that toughest of tricks sound easy. [Mar 2014, p.82]
  3. Feb 10, 2014
    80
    With Held in Splendor, this group discovers their influences, then surrounds and deconstructs them. At its best, the album achieves bliss and demands attention.
  4. Jan 30, 2014
    70
    Held in Splendor is a good example of a record that successfully executes the tropes of psych--it sounds like it could’ve been recorded in 1967 without directly ripping off any artist in particular--without every truly transcending them.
  5. Feb 5, 2014
    70
    Whether intentional or not, Quilt does a great job of appropriating those warped, vintage tones.
  6. Apr 23, 2014
    60
    You leave the record feeling a bit like you've visited a museum. [May 2014, p.116]
  7. 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.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

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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