Hummingbird

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Buy On
  1. Alternative Press
    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]
  2. Magnet
    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]
  3. Jan 24, 2013
    60
    It's pretty, yet rarely challenging.
  4. Uncut
    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]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Apr 25, 2013
    10
    While Gorilla Manor was focused mainly on live performance and texture, Hummingbird shows what happens when the Local Natives let theirWhile Gorilla Manor was focused mainly on live performance and texture, Hummingbird shows what happens when the Local Natives let their emotions override. With the passing of one of lead singers mothers passing away, there are many heartfelt sentiments expressed throughout this record. The most prime example is "Columbia", which is this moving, heartbreaking anthem from a son to his parted mother. rewinding a bit, the album kicks off with Ayer's adventurous vocals on "You & I" which discusses the efforts of a lover within a relationship. While every song is beautiful and composed to near perfection, the subtle yet powerful "Mt.Washington" remains my personal favorite. Although there will most likely never be a way to top Gorilla Manor, the Natives present their sophomore effort with grace and it has been well received. You're missing out if you let this album pass you by. Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. 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 »