II

Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The main attraction is still Baird's and Weeks's haunting voices, which turn a risky experiment into a genre-defining classic.
  2. It’s an album that leaves you both soothed and disturbed, lulled and shaken by the group’s masterful blend of the comforting and the uncanny, slightly dazed as if returning from time travel or a knock on the head.
  3. Espers II is both wondrous and troubling.
  4. Blender
    80
    Artfully arranged songs about planets and beasts and bittersweet harmonies recall British folk-rock combos like Fairport Convention and Pentangle without coming off as retro or twee. [Jun 2006, p.137]
  5. Alternative Press
    80
    Though parts of the album veer a bit too close to the synthetic hippie pabulum you hear upon entering the Nature Store, there's enough dark charm on Espers II to make it essential listeing for those of us who prefer our CDs caked with actual resin. [Jul 2006, p.208]
  6. Paste Magazine
    80
    It's part Fairport Convention and part Led Zeppelin at the band's most druidic. [Jun/Jul 2006, p.121]
  7. Uncut
    80
    This is a terrific, sustained album. [Aug 2006, p.93]
  8. Mojo
    80
    A bewitching record. [Aug 2006, p.96]
  9. It all meanders a little, but getting lost in these songs proves to be an unexpected adventure.
  10. This is woeful, otherworldly - and wonderful.
  11. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    A series of back-to-the-futurescapes that are both lush and subtly unnerving. [29 Jul 2006, p.29]
  12. Q Magazine
    80
    Music that sounds completely out of time, made by an often incredible string band. [Sep 2006, p.108]
  13. II is a perfectly balanced record, and its arrangements are so exact and delicate that it almost feels like one buzz of a doorbell or ring of a telephone could send the whole thing toppling over, splattering into useless bits.
  14. The New York Times
    70
    It's a handsome downer of a record. [15 May 2006]
  15. "II" conjures a creepy but very real neo-psychedelia that is alternately paranoid, somber and reflective.
  16. It’s the core songwriting beneath the band’s rich sonic layering that needs the greatest sharpening.
  17. Under The Radar
    70
    A dense and intense descent into moodiness with absolutely stunning engineering and clarity. [Summer 2006, p.100]
  18. II is a lovely little record, but many of its charms are scripted; even charming people get old when you are forced to spend too much time with them.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. TonyF
    Jul 13, 2006
    10
    epic record in my opinion. huge step forward from their self titled debut, probably because they doubled the members from 3 to 6 and gave it epic record in my opinion. huge step forward from their self titled debut, probably because they doubled the members from 3 to 6 and gave it themselves a much fuller sound with stronger tracks. standouts are tracks 1,2,5 and 7. get this if you like folk or psychedelic. Full Review »
  2. SteveL.
    Jun 15, 2006
    10
    Definitely my favorite of 2006 so for. Absolutely, mind-numbingly, stunning. I love this album and cannot speak too highly of it. This is Definitely my favorite of 2006 so for. Absolutely, mind-numbingly, stunning. I love this album and cannot speak too highly of it. This is perfect, in every sense of the word. You can't tell the songs apart? Seriously? You aren't listening. This isn't "background" music, this is "stop everything you're doing and absorb the beautiful folk" music. This album is gorgeous; psychadelic folk done right. Full Review »
  3. BenH
    Jun 6, 2006
    5
    Starts off with a great sound, singer has a nice voice, musicians definitely have the chops, but it just never seems to go anywhere. This is Starts off with a great sound, singer has a nice voice, musicians definitely have the chops, but it just never seems to go anywhere. This is the kind of CD you can put on an endless loop and never know one end from the other. I seriously doubt most people will find themselves trying to find some quiet time to give this one another listen - its background music. Yes Dave A. - it is boring. Full Review »