Life On Earth

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Jul 7, 2009
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. There’s rarely a song here that isn’t beautiful: Fortino’s sense for gorgeous melodies, both instrumentally and vocally, simply shines throughout.
  2. For as spare as her pallet is (many of the songs consist only of Fortino’s single or multi-tracked vocals accompanied by her own acoustic guitar), there is a staggering diversity in tone and feeling throughout the album.
  3. Fortino has created an album that is easily one of the year’s most moving reflections. It’s that life is all but lost and Fortino’s take on things are spectacularly delivered.
  4. While it won’t be for everyone, and won’t be an album for all occasions, Life on Earth is a stark, devastating achievement.
  5. Taken as a whole, Life doesn't really depart from "Hands Across the Void" (itself not exactly a cheery record), but rather refines and builds upon it, besting the previous album's runtime by a factor of 1.5 and boasting, as a bonus, a number of melodies that stick like tar in spite of their spareness.
  6. It’s not easy listening; it may in fact be a case in which one needs to add hundred-degree heat before there’s even a chance of excavating something.
  7. She moves slowly, but she’s a good musician and singer; this is the surprise, because in her line of work you expect more dishevelment.
  8. These vipers may be tiny, but there’s a bite to Fortino’s harrowing vocal that’s sure to leave its mark.
  9. This kind of deliberate quiet may not be for everyone. But if you’re willing to live with Life on Earth for a while, you might be surprised how comforting its vast isolation can feel.
  10. 70
    While the similarly mystical/mewling Joanna Newsom seems adrift in fantasy, Tiny Vipers finds wonder in being rooted firmly to the terra.
  11. Fortino's considerable talent for trance-inducing musical honesty could probably use a little bit of editing. It's better in the end for listeners to feel like they're being driven, not just along for the ride.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. JeremyF
    Jul 15, 2009
    9
    As close to perfect as it gets. The only track that isn't as breathtaking as the others is Slow Motion, because it is just that, slow. As close to perfect as it gets. The only track that isn't as breathtaking as the others is Slow Motion, because it is just that, slow. Too slow, and spaced. This effect works better on Tiger Mountain, and the following track Twilight Property is an enthralling experiment. Dreamer is still one fo the best of the year, as is CM, and Young God is interesting, unique, and bewilderingly beautiful. Easier openers Eyes like Ours and Development are amazing, and the closer Outside is amazing in its emotive delivery. This record is awesome. Full Review »
  2. EricC
    Jul 13, 2009
    9
    Bound to be a love-it or hate-it album, but unfortunately it lacks the grandiose vision and instrumentation of Joanna Newsom or the Bound to be a love-it or hate-it album, but unfortunately it lacks the grandiose vision and instrumentation of Joanna Newsom or the heart-on-sleeve emoting of Bon Iver, so Tiny Vipers may never get the exposure she deserves. Yes, the songs are long and repetive. But they are still musically elegant and powerful, and as a song writer, she is clearly a huge talent. One of those albums you should hear and make up your own mind about. Full Review »