Masts of Manhatta - Tracy Bonham
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. The music straddles that urban/rural divide with tasty jazz-roots arrangements by Beck's ex-guitarist Smokey Hormel. But it's Bonham's wryly literate lyrics that bring you along for the ride.
  2. Masts of Manhatta walks this line [the pull of the two extremes] throughout, sometimes getting quite a bit livelier, sometimes indulging in decidedly moody textures, always twisting just slightly from the expected, making for a record that's quite intriguing upon the first listen and better on repeats, where the songs begin to dig in and all the textures gain resonance.
  3. One or two of the tracks sound a bit forced in their arrangements, and I can only too easliy envisage a studio listing in which individual songs are prefixed by descriptions : (the Polka number, the Dylan number, the BRMC number, the one Tom Waits wrote, etc.) but this doesn't detract from the album, if anything it only enhances it as, with a significant part of the albums production process actually audible, and with the musicianship never less than wholly professional, it's difficult to find actual flaws in the project.
  4. Full of attractive instrumentation and unfalteringly charming lyricism, Bonham's collection brings a sophisticated quirkiness to the femme alt-pop table unseen for quite some time.
  5. There's no adolescent angst on her fourth disc, a gorgeous celebration of adult love.
  6. For a record that, thematically, trades in adaptation to new environments, Masts of Manhatta boasts real structural depth, as Bonham finds an effective balance of contemporary folk and modern rock.
  7. Like all her work, Masts is a grower, a collection that deepens on repeated listenings and is very nearly the equal of Bonham's best work.
  8. She has always been a skilled composer, but while there are some great songs on Masts of Manhatta, it's not a great album.
User Score
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No user score yet- Awaiting 3 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    I am a sucker for Tracy's voice so she could be singing about the nutritional value of a box of cereal and I would like it, While her lyrics are better than that, I would say that is the only weak point of this album, she has and has always had (in my mind at least) some very odd lyrics.Musically it is diverse and for the most part, highly enjoyable,with a real killer of a song in "Big Red Heart" which by itself makes up for any of the lesser songs. Full Review »