Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. This moody, recession-themed collection from Bingham--who won an Oscar this year for a song from Crazy Heart--is unlikely to boost anyone's morale during our current downturn, but Junky Star might make some folks feel less alone.
  2. Bingham has delivered a set of songs that mirrors our uncertain times in a musical language that doesn't unduly distort or romanticise them.
  3. Moreover, on Junky Star, Bingham's stripped voice sounds at turns plaintive, scrappy, and hypnotic, with plenty of subtlety and a ringing vibrato.
  4. Bingham made a challenging record, opted to go the Bad Blake route instead of going down in a blaze of ponytails and designer jeans, and that ensures his relevance for years to come.
  5. Bingham's writing is filled with stark images and canny observations, which is evident on such tracks as "Self-Righteous Wall" and album opener "The Poet." Look for this gifted young artist's star to keep rising.
  6. The collaboration works, not least because emphasis is placed on the grounded heave of Mr. Bingham's fine working band, the Dead Horses: Corby Schaub on guitar and mandolin, Elijah Ford on bass and Matt Smith on drums.
  7. Award-winning country from the school of hard knocks. [Oct. 2010, p. 103]
  8. 60
    Bingham made Junky Star with Crazy Heart collaborator T-Bone Burnett, but the A-list producer mostly resists applying his trademark chamber-roots atmosphere.
  9. 60
    T Bone's unfussy production is key, allowing Bingham's rusted voice to take stage centre. [Oct 2010, p.89]
  10. It's an unfortunate reminder that even on an album populated by seedy characters and hard roads, Bingham still struggles with the devil in the details.
  11. On his third disc, his lyrics come off as more cinematic than believable; the title track finds him "sleeping on the Santa Monica pier with the junkies and the stars."

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