Hummingbird - Local Natives

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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 90
    Hummingbird proves that these guys are maturing into a sound that's both singular and wrenching with severity.
  5. Jan 29, 2013
    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.
  6. Jan 28, 2013
    With Hummingbird, Local Natives have made a thoughtful, lovely album with small gestures that provide great rewards.
  7. 83
    It is this cycle of futility and human effort that makes Hummingbird so compelling, and so much more rewarding the second time around
User Score

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
    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 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
    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.

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  3. May 5, 2013
    While 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 »