Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Happily, this third album contains some of her best songs yet.
  2. 90
    She's advanced from before and turned in a mirror translation of music from her personal life. The swagger comes in the form of knowing your strengths and for Stern, she's put all of them on display with Marnie Stern.
  3. Each of the the album's ten tracks is naked, open, and bleeding, yet rousing at the same time. The lyrics don't hide behind Stern's infectious, blast-and-burn 21st century rock; they are buoyed by them.
  4. It all adds up to Stern's most fully realised, most rounded album yet, and a huge step in her evolution as an artist.
  5. With this album, Marnie Stern has proved once again that there are several effective ways to emotionally recontextualize her craft. Or, to put it simply, she's managed to produce one of the most fun albums of the year.
  6. Soaring hooks wax and wane in an intentional emotional flow, and even at her most energetic, she remains poignant and personal. She still occasionally shows off, and there's plenty of epic bombast, but a cleaner production showcases the music's most interesting complexities without letting them get swallowed in the chaos.
  7. 82
    Precise dissonance has long been Stern's strong point, and when paired with a super-human stamina she careens through a 10-track album without any sense of relief until it's all over; every note is climatic, every vocal a yelp.
  8. Dec 13, 2010
    80
    Marnie Stern is the sound of Marnie Stern breaking her own mold and growing into herself, be it personally or musically.
  9. It's undeniable that for her self-titled third album, Marnie Stern has made some canny decisions. This time round, several of the tracks are built around huge, stomping riffs, with the speedier guitar lines mixed further back to create more space, without sacrificing that-which-is-Marnie.
  10. The swagger comes in the form of knowing your strengths and for Stern, she's put all of them on display with Marnie Stern.
  11. She writes amazing, heartfelt songs, interesting in tone and composition.
  12. She's at her most compelling when she loosens that clench, as on "Cinco de Mayo," another opus conceived out of funereal sadness.
  13. There's plenty here for musicians to analyze and dissect with envy, but first and foremost, this is an album for the body and the soul.
  14. One of Stern's greatest strengths is that she never relies on any tried and true shorthand when it comes to self-expression.
  15. 70
    We worry on your {Marnie's] behalf about carpal tunnel syndrome, in fact. Until then, permit us to bug out to the controlled chaos.
  16. Those time signature-obsessed math rockers will delight in her phrasings, while those with a taste for the intimate will no doubt grimace at the hyper energy. What both of those groups are missing, however, is that one hand feeds the other. More and more, Stern seems to be getting it, too.
  17. Dec 20, 2010
    60
    Marnie Stern is a strong statement from a musician whose confidence is soaring. [Dec 2010, p.97]
  18. The third outing turns out to be one of her more diverse records yet, but that shrill voice is still a sticking point for some listeners. [Fall 2010, p. 62]
  19. 60
    Presumably bucketloads of fun live, the novelty wear thin on record. [Nov 2010, p.101]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jun 11, 2011
    10
    Marnie Stern is amazing at everything she attempts. There can be none greater in this day and age. She receives a lot of criticism, whichMarnie Stern is amazing at everything she attempts. There can be none greater in this day and age. She receives a lot of criticism, which comes with the territory, but she can shred the guitar and sing like no one else I've heard in a long time. Full Review »