Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Overall, Hummingbird is a wonderful album. Each song manifests itself in a truly attractive manner and it's a release that's very much focused in the aesthetic.
  2. Jan 28, 2013
    70
    Local Natives' sophomore effort, 2013's Hummingbird, is a more atmospheric and introspective collection of songs in contrast to the band's effusive 2009 breakthrough debut Gorilla Manor.
  3. Jan 17, 2013
    50
    "Black Balloons" is built on a riff exactly like Bon Iver's "Perth" sped up, and hearing the grating lyrical wail of "Columbia" and you're left wondering if so much time away was a result of writer's block. [Feb 2013, p.90]
  4. 90
    As bright and warm a guitar-based indie pop album as that [debut album, Gorilla Manor] was, it left a fair amount of room for expansion and maturity. On second album Hummingbird, that growth is readily apparent from the first track.
  5. Mar 13, 2013
    78
    Hummingbird's layers complement its psychic search.
  6. Jan 17, 2013
    70
    The result is a bolder, brighter record than their debut.
  7. With patience, Hummingbird's panorama comes into full view, and it is one full of arrestingly arranged set pieces and an impressive sense of economy.
  8. May 17, 2013
    80
    Produced by Aaron Dessner of the National, the Brooklyn, N.Y., indie rockers who once took Local Natives on the road as the opening act, the album feels like a pronouncement, as if to highlight how much the quartet has grown since its last outing.
  9. Jan 31, 2013
    80
    They were scratching at the surface of their emotional capabilities on their debut. With Hummingbird, Local Natives show that they can dig deeper.
  10. 90
    Hummingbird proves that these guys are maturing into a sound that's both singular and wrenching with severity.
  11. May 17, 2013
    80
    Hummingbird feels wiser, grander, and more knowing.
  12. 75
    The follow-up sometimes feels like its coasting down a long but not-so-steep hill. [8 Feb 2013, p.75]
  13. Jan 29, 2013
    80
    This isn't the boldest step forward, but it looks like Local Natives are on a steady ascent and Hummingbird is sure to solidify them as one of the best indie-rock bands out there today.
  14. Feb 21, 2013
    72
    From start to finish, Hummingbird is a compelling record that warrants your enduring affections.
  15. Feb 11, 2013
    60
    Unwilling or unable to ascend the vertiginous heights of 2009 debut Gorilla Manor, Hummingbird instead buries its beak in the sand. [No. 95, p.58]
  16. Feb 1, 2013
    80
    Hummingbird may not be as instantly likable as Gorilla Manor, but its seductive beauty and emotional pull is virtually impossible to resist.
  17. 80
    [Mt Washington is] an early contender for song of the year, with Local Natives themselves current frontrunners for unexpectedly brilliant comeback of 2013.
  18. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    Sometimes, the results are heavily wrought and obviously worked over (the muddled instrumentation in the chorus of Breakers comes to mind), and some of the skittering grooves (the spastic tribal pounding of Wooly Mammoth) don't quite fit in the album's overarching arc. Nevertheless, the stately elegance of Hummingbird emphasizes how Local Natives are fit for the role of indie rock saviors.
  19. Jan 29, 2013
    93
    From the first sung note of Hummingbird, Local Natives are frank in their presentation of a serious album, challenging listeners to heal along with them; cognizant that investment is proportional to remuneration.
  20. Jan 28, 2013
    81
    With Hummingbird, Local Natives have made a thoughtful, lovely album with small gestures that provide great rewards.
  21. Jan 28, 2013
    80
    For all its sadness, Hummingbird manages to craft a friscalating, sun-setting, post-adolescence in the rear-view mirror.
  22. 83
    It is this cycle of futility and human effort that makes Hummingbird so compelling, and so much more rewarding the second time around
  23. Feb 8, 2013
    80
    The deeper emotions being stirred this time around fans out to several other highlights. [Mar 2013, p.106]
  24. Feb 13, 2013
    70
    There’s an undercurrent of stormy emotionalism that really comes out on the band’s second album.
  25. Jan 31, 2013
    70
    While there's nothing as immediately engaging on Hummingbird as Gorilla Manor's "Wide Eyes," the album compensates with beauty and seriousness.
  26. Feb 1, 2013
    80
    This ain't perfect, nor is it exactly sui generis, but it still ought to bump up their summer-festival-lineup-poster font size by a solid five points or so.
  27. Jan 29, 2013
    67
    Hummingbird is an album of hidden rewards, a record to pick and choose tracks from in order to purvey a single feeling or contribute to the perfect mixtape. What it's not, though, is a cohesive, compelling whole.
  28. Jan 24, 2013
    60
    It's pretty, yet rarely challenging.
  29. There is no shortage of shimmery songcraft here.
  30. Jan 28, 2013
    80
    Opener You & I setting the tone, all unhurried melancholia topped by Kelcey Ayer's soaring vocal. Elsewhere, they show they're equally adept at the euphoria in which Arcade Fire deal.
  31. Jan 17, 2013
    60
    Only the lovely, finger-picking folk of "Ceilings" and the pulsating "Breakers" approach the perkiness of their breakout single, "Airplanes." [Feb 2012, p.74]
  32. Jan 17, 2013
    80
    Hummingbird plays like a sophisticated and logical forward progression. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.88]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Feb 3, 2013
    9
    If you're looking for another Gorilla Manor, it's likely you will be disappointed. While Gorilla Manor can be argued to be a bit top heavy asIf you're looking for another Gorilla Manor, it's likely you will be disappointed. While Gorilla Manor can be argued to be a bit top heavy as an album, Hummingbird offers a consistency of songs that exuberate chemistry, and together stand tall. Local Natives do not offer any immediate crowd pleasers like "Airplanes" or "World News" here, but rather slow down the tempo and percussive clatter to create a much more expansive and thoughtful sound. Opener, "You I" makes this evident as the laid back wobbly surf guitar strums are interrupted by Kelcey belting out the song's title, letting the listener know that he can't fake a smile anymore and he has some serious thoughts to get off his chest. Darkness shades the edges of this album as a result of Kelcey's mother passing away, and his loss fuels his best performances on the album both lyrically and vocally. Here, he sounds wounded, heartbroken, and lonely. Particularly on his solo take "Three Months", he croons, "I have to go on now, having thought this wasn't your last year." Anxiety haunts each song, especially on "Breakers" where Taylor nervously sings "Breathing out, hoping to breath in, I know nothings wrong, but I'm not convinced...Just let it happen, I can't let it happen. Just don't think so much." Trust has been damaged on "Black Balloons": "Swear you're who you say you are." Those of us who suffer from anxiety or depression can completely understand those unsteady feelings. However, for all the tension, the Local Natives still let cracks of light shine through. but in only in a few subtle ways. The soaring harmonies we have all grown to love are very much in tact, for all the sadness on the chilling rhythm of "Heavy Feet" you can still feel warmth inside. Arena- rocker "Wooly Mammoth" is riddled combatant array of percussion, but then magnificently opens wide to its brilliantly expansive chorus filled with harmony that give a fleeting sense of clarity, but like "Black Spot" there are hints of an imminent collapse.The calm of "Mt. Washington" is disquieting with Taylor singing "I don't have to see you right now" as if he is fighting back tears. All the emotional build leads to the achingly honest words of Hummingbird's calling card, "Colombia": "Every night I ask myself, am I giving enough?/ am I loving enough?" Questions impossible to answer, yet inevitable to ask given such a loss. Overall, the Local Natives show growth on a heavy album that aims to find emotional healing after loss. Their acceptance of life's capacity to cause pain is made explicit with Hummingbird's final words on closer "Bowery": "The fall is so much faster, then You and I can ever climb...." This is as cathartic as it gets. Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    For those who expected Gorilla Manor, prepare to be surprised; however, it can’t be said that you should prepare to be disappointed.For those who expected Gorilla Manor, prepare to be surprised; however, it can’t be said that you should prepare to be disappointed. Hummingbird is far from a disappointment, for Local Natives have proven that they can completely reinvent themselves without sacrificing the elements that make them unique. It’s too early in the game to say that the band has a signature sound, but considering how well they have honed their new sound, going without one might just be alright for now.

    Want to read more? Here's a link to my blog:
    http://maxbryan36.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/review-of-hummingbird-by-local-natives/
    Full Review »
  3. May 5, 2013
    9
    While it's not the juggernaut its predecesor was, Hummingbird holds with the unique charm that Local Natives continue to find in raw emotionWhile it's not the juggernaut its predecesor was, Hummingbird holds with the unique charm that Local Natives continue to find in raw emotion and devastatingly powerful vocals. Expect an album that finds its way into your favor after a second or third active listen. There are less stand-out tracks, but the overall essence of the album is made more succinct and cohesive in the consistency of the tone. Full Review »