If You Leave - Daughter
If You Leave Image
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release for the London-based trio of Remi Aguilella, Igor Haefeli, and Elena Tonra was produced with Rodhaidh McDonald and Jolyon Vaughan Thomas.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Mar 14, 2013
    100
    Heavy it most certainly is, but Daughter succeed simply by creating phenomenally beautiful music and heart-rending songs.
  2. Mar 15, 2013
    90
    An album as beautifully conceived as If You Leave is one you follow from start to finish, riveted by the story it weaves and the emotion it bleeds.
  3. Mar 22, 2013
    80
    The group's debut full-length album picks up where its EP left off. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.91]
  4. Apr 29, 2013
    70
    There are a lot of topic sentences about If You Leave that won’t tell that story--the defiant moment, clearer and less guarded revelation--but it’s captivating to watch Tonra shake off the burden she’s locked herself up with.
  5. May 6, 2013
    70
    What emerges is a fascinating, infinitely bleak break-up album, but one without the scope of Disintegration or the raw, intellectual power of Blood on the Tracks.
  6. Mar 14, 2013
    60
    These songs are atmospheric, but feel calculatedly so, especially set against the overwrought poetry of Tonra's lyrics.
  7. Mar 18, 2013
    40
    Tonra's voice is breathy and sweet and unremarkable, breaking sometimes into a wrenched whisper, that should be heartbreaking but, more often than not, is just a bit grating.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. May 7, 2013
    10
    If You Leave may never be a hit, but is in the shadows where this amazing album must be listened to, or at least that's what I think Tonra wants us to do. The marvelous sounds and poetry of Tonra's lyrics turn Daughter's first album in the best think I have listened to in years. This one comes from the heart, a damaged heart, and a brilliant mind. The ethereal instrumentation makes the perfect match to such a melodic voice. But it is obvious that the most remarkable thing here is the songwriting which, in the words of this mortal, makes everything a sweet mess: It's weird how we love to be so sad. To finish, I just want to say this: Elena, take my soul, I'm on my knees. Expand
  2. May 29, 2013
    9
    Take everything that makes Florence the Machine over the top, add a little Wye Oak, and you've got yourself If You Leave. This eerie, haunting, richly atmospheric collection of songs that might not vary much in mood, but have enough emotion and great songwriting to really hold its own. Expand
  3. Jun 1, 2013
    9
    This debut album by London trio Daughter will draw comparisons to The XX but there is also a trace of Lykke Li and even Mazzy Star. Like The XX Daughter utilise space as much as they do sound resulting in songs rising and falling to great effect and while the music is sparse at times with chiming guitars and rumbling beats the band secret weapon is in Elena Tonra’s haunting vocals. Her voice draws you in closer to the songs like an emotional magnet holding your complete attention as she tells tales of broken hearts. Take the lyrics to Stand out track ‘Youth’ for example ‘And if you're still breathing, you're the lucky ones, 'Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs, Setting fire to our insides for fun, Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong.’ its breathtakingly cutting while being completely genuine at the same time, this girls been hurt before and here’s the story laid bare for all and set to beautiful music. Dark-pop, jaundiced folk whatever you decided to call it this is an assured record for a debut and one you all should actively seek out, this band is going to be big and deservedly so. Expand
  4. May 1, 2013
    8
    Gorgeous instrumentation and arrangements carry this album. The ethereal vocals are haunting and visceral, which seems contradictory considering how sweet her voice appears. While the tempo of the songs rarely picks up too significantly, the emotive power of the instrumentation and contrasting vocals carry most of the songs to a strong cathartic crescendo (Most apparent in 'Youth'). While some reviewers have criticized the lyrics, the songwriting is a strongsuit to me. Absolutely weird and disturbing in some of these songs, the unsettling effect the lyrics have is what makes this such a poignant record. Collapse