Last - The Unthanks
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 80
    This is some of the most mature and eloquent music I've heard in quite a while.
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    80
    Last is not the sort of music you'll want to play at a party on a Friday night, but if you're looking for the proper accompaniment as you ponder life's twists and turns on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the Unthanks will give you all the deeply shaded wisdom you could use.
  3. Apr 18, 2011
    80
    The Unthank sisters' voices form the musical core of the album. Whether they are singing together or as soloists, the vocals are richly sung with deep emotion.
  4. 80
    Last retains the intimacy of their previous recordings, but it's augmented with more orchestral flourishes.
  5. Mar 17, 2011
    80
    It's this ability to pare back extraneous matter and to stare unflinchingly into the very soul of a song that makes Last such a spellbinding, if at times unsettling, experience.
  6. Mar 17, 2011
    80
    This is a bleakly beautiful record which unfolds slowly. [Apr 2011, p.87]
  7. Mar 17, 2011
    80
    Bewitching and hugely ambitious. [Apr 2011, p.110]
  8. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    This is a big album in every way, full of ambitious layers, heavy on piano, strings, brass and drums producing vast soundscapes and lavish arrangements which place strong emphasis on the atmospheric undercurrent of some unerringly dramatic material. [Apr 2011, p.99]
  9. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    Apart from a short reprise of the McNally-penned title track this, then, is how the album closes, and the lasting image that it leaves you with. It is a fitting summary of all that is great, and troubling about this unique, uncompromising band.
  10. The fourth album from the award-winning strings-and-sisters folksters is a thing of shivery and spooky charms.
  11. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    There's not the emotional range of the last Unthanks album, Here's the Tender Coming, but it's a bold and highly original set.
  12. Mar 16, 2011
    80
    They take a sombre aspect of their native Northumbrian traditional music, regional accent and dialect intact, and, sprinkling in a few intriguing covers along the way, build something string-laden and luscious but also delicate, wistful and melancholy.
  13. May 27, 2011
    76
    Though it's one of the few songs on Last that isn't sad and bleak, their voices come together just so, and the result is mystifying and devastating.
  14. Mar 29, 2011
    70
    Somehow the group manages, with masterfully restrained piano and strings, to wring joy from bygone heartache.
  15. 60
    But it's Alex Glasgow's lament "Close the Coalhouse Door" that packs the most powerful punch, the cyclical piano like a minimalist murmur behind Becky's poignant delivery.

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