Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Apr 26, 2011
    91
    Earle has always forged armor out of his scars, and by that token, I'll Never Get Out is impregnable, yet achingly vulnerable.
  2. Apr 26, 2011
    90
    Steve Earle's stellar new album, produced by T Bone Burnett, takes its name from the final Hank Williams single (as does the multitalented Earle's debut novel, out next month).
  3. Apr 26, 2011
    88
    Producer T Bone Burnett and his ace crew of musicians help Earle with masterful skill and deft subtlety.
  4. 83
    His death-obsessed ditties feel plenty writerly on their own. Vintage production by T. Bone Burnett adds eerie atmosphere. [6 May 2011, p.74]
  5. Apr 27, 2011
    80
    I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive's lone downer is Burnett's unnecessarily heavy-handed production. That said, Earle's vocals front and center in a brilliant song cycle transcend it.
  6. Apr 27, 2011
    80
    Earle is a busy man, writing novels, acting and recording but he has found time to make his 14th album full of wonderful moments.
  7. 80
    With T Bone Burnett's production and Burnett's usual cast of top-notch players (including Sara Watkins on fiddle and vocals), Earle's got another winner. Grammy or not.
  8. Apr 25, 2011
    80
    Small quibbles aside, I'll Never Get Out Of this World Alive is a solid addition to Steve Earle's impressive body of work that should satisfy both faithful and new listeners alike.
  9. 80
    As a songwriter, Steve Earle is blessed with two apparently contradictory gifts: the ability to animate fictional lives, and a streak of cussed, lefty sincerity that gives bite to his truth-telling.
  10. Apr 27, 2011
    75
    T Bone Burnett's trademark production has the rhythm section thumping as if you were listening to the whole thing from a booth at your favorite pub. Which suits Earle fine.
  11. May 9, 2011
    70
    The disc reveals a few hard edges but offers optimism even as it explores the thornier corners of human behavior.
  12. Apr 26, 2011
    70
    Produced by T Bone Burnett, this may be the shaggy outlaw's most polished set.
  13. As befits a novelist, the songs are narratives concerned with the big issues. Life, death, that sort of thing. Good record.
  14. Apr 25, 2011
    70
    If not at his absolute peak, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is still easily the best album he's recorded since Bill Clinton left office.
  15. Apr 22, 2011
    70
    If this T-Bone Burnett-produced album isn't a standout, it still has plenty going for it.
  16. Apr 22, 2011
    70
    T-Bone Burnett's understated production suggests an aqueous atmosphere, with a few actual sea shanties.
  17. Apr 28, 2011
    67
    T Bone Burnett's production provides a certain dusky character to these songs that lends them a weight beyond their unadorned sentiments. He's added actor, novelist, radio show host, and playwright to his resume, but Earle proves he's still capable of getting to the heart of the matter with charisma and skill.
  18. May 27, 2011
    60
    While Molly O oozes foreboding, Meet Me In the Alleyway is eerily reminiscent of The The and the Grammy-nominated This City is a genuine gem. [Jun 2011, p.114]
  19. May 18, 2011
    60
    The record is starting to sound worn. [May 2011, p.105]
  20. Apr 25, 2011
    60
    [It] doesn't mean there's anything bad here, just an absence of anything new. To evoke another obvious comparison (and obvious Earle reference point), there's something of the late Springsteen syndrome.
  21. Apr 21, 2011
    60
    It moves somewhat uneasily through Celtic folk and rural string music. [May 2011, p.92]
  22. May 11, 2011
    58
    Earle's albums have been extremely uneven for some time now. Certainly that indicates he's put out a sizable amount of dross, but it also means he's recorded a bunch of great songs that have gotten lost in the shuffle.
  23. Apr 22, 2011
    50
    Maybe working on a novel distracted Earle, but the feisty dust-kicker of old appears to have taken this one off.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. May 5, 2011
    10
    Steve Earle's I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, has to be one of the most important CD's of 2011. "Ghosts sing sad western songs for the whole broken world." Steve Earle is about healing, recovery, being honest, open and willing to try an sort this mess out. He is a visionary not a Springsteen clone. This guy is stepping out of the box and I would say he has more of The Clash where Springsteen was U2. A guy who draws his art work, produces and makes sense out of the confusion. "Waitin' on the Sky" undid everything "Lucy in the Sky" did for me. Get this CD, this is a CD about grief and an artist trying to make sense of loss and his Dad's passing. OMG this one is why I love music and grateful for someone to take it to another level. Last thought from The Clash's song Clampdown... "What are we going to do now?" well I think this is the "what we are doing". Wake us up Steve, everyone is being awoken and it is the art of a man with a guitar. The only CD I bought in 2011. Full Review »
  2. May 3, 2011
    10
    Steve Earle is in great form as a player and songwriter on this new album, and T-Bone Burnett may well have been born to be his producer. Spare and at times haunting, this is Earle at his most insightful. Highlights include Waitin' On the Sky, God is God, Every Part of Me and This City, which go straight to the Greatest Hits playlist. Full Review »