Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. The sympathetic accompaniment of his expansive band--which abandons its on-stage Crazy Horse roar to operate in a spare, desolate gray area between funeral-paced country and bloodshot soul on the quietly breathtaking Josephine--does nothing to make Molina seem any less alone.
  2. 86
    Josephine isn't a drastically different approach for Magnolia Electric Co., but it's a lovely one that bears repeated listening, preferably at night while alone on the open road. [Summer 2009, p.94]
  3. It's at times fragile, at times bolstering, at times bittersweet, at times even triumphant, but it's timeless all the same.
  4. Molina has a consistent--if downcast--view of the world in his songs, and the canvas he uses to express it does so perfectly.
  5. There’s a nocturnal ambience in places, a mythic sensibility throughout, but plenty of light in the dark.
  6. This is the record Evan Farrell wanted to make, it’s the band’s humble attempt to honor their friend, and it must be a small comfort to know that in their loss they have created something this beautiful.
  7. 80
    The constant, keenig purity of Ohiona Molina's vocals save all this from becoming too relentlessly dispiriting. [Aug 2009, p.104
  8. Who knows if Josephine will ultimately have the staying power of Molina’s very best work, but he and his band are back doing what they do best--and, for all the talk of ramblers heading for the horizon, they finally sound at home.
  9. 80
    Molina here opts for a more expansive spproach with reedy harmonies, horns, soulful guitars and gospel piano. [Aug 2009, p.100]
  10. Rather than wallow morosely, he uses death as the focal point for an expressive song cycle that takes in the whole realm of life, with darkness frequently felt but not always the dominant emotion.
  11. Backed by a fine team of multi-instrumentalists, Molina delivers a harrowing set of songs with short running times and minimalist arrangements.
  12. Despite the injection of hope and a denser sound courtesy of Steve Albini, as well as good execution throughout, most of the songs tread familiar territory.
  13. It’s the most countrified record he’s released and, as such, lacks some of the more distinctive and heart-breaking qualities shared by his best work.
  14. Plenty to like, but it's hard to love Jospehine. [Summer 2009, p.61]
  15. With the title character appearing in several songs amid frequent descriptions of desert landscape, Josephine sounds like a concept album, at times tedious or academic....The Co. redeem these songs by creating beautiful scenery for Molina’s long, hard drive.
  16. There are real, new stylistic portents here. But Josephine mostly suggests new directions rather than moving in them, and the traceless ache of its muddy middle-third ('Hope Dies Last,' 'The Handing Down,' 'Map of the Falling Sky') is burdensome.
User Score
8.3

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. LouisW.
    Jul 23, 2009
    7
    There are some great tracks on here, but it's more sparsely populated with these than the last few Magnolia records. Fading Trails is There are some great tracks on here, but it's more sparsely populated with these than the last few Magnolia records. Fading Trails is their best and this unfortunately doesn't match up to it. Still a good record though, just not a 10/10. Full Review »
  2. JackC.
    Jul 22, 2009
    10
    A truly great record. Absolutely timeless. Tracks that initially seem to plod (Knoxville Girl, Map of the Falling Stars) reveal themselves to A truly great record. Absolutely timeless. Tracks that initially seem to plod (Knoxville Girl, Map of the Falling Stars) reveal themselves to be brilliant with subsequent listens, while other tracks are are easy to fall in love with from first listen (O Grace, Josephine, Shenandoah). This is a true album where every song matters. And every song is worth your time. Seriously, this is an amazing record. Full Review »