Miracle Temple

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Feb 26, 2013

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
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  1. Feb 27, 2013
    Mount Moriah has certainly found more confidence in their identity, and Miracle Temple will be what defines them moving forward.
  2. 80
    MM flash their heavy roots on ‘Miracle Temple Holiness’. They come close to pop brilliance, however, when they go full hillbilly hustle on 'White Sands.'
  3. Proper, stop-you-in-your-tracks talent with the occasional song to match.
  4. Mar 1, 2013
    Mount Moriah remains committed to a sparse, skeletal vein of Americana that values precision over ambition. That’s not to imply the album isn’t a rich and varied listening experience, but its ambiguities and complexities are shaded in charcoal, not paint.
  5. Mar 1, 2013
    It’s a brilliant new sound from a new band that’s just getting started.
  6. Feb 26, 2013
    Miracle Temple is gorgeous. Its songs contain poignancy, pathos, pain, and desire inside gritty yet artfully played Southern gothic rock & roll.
  7. 80
    There are moments enough to both hoist your beer and shed a lonesome teardrop throughout Miracle Temple, an album that’s overflowing with both emotion and beauty.
  8. Feb 26, 2013
    The rest of the band obviously knows that McEntire is the showpiece--songs like "Those Girls" show that they do, setting up her big moments with subtlety and understatement--reminding us that the real power is in restraint.
  9. Under The Radar
    Mar 22, 2013
    It's a pleasure that continues revealing itself upon subsequent listens. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.90]
  10. 70
    They don’t sensationalize anything sonically or lyrically; one might even argue that Miracle Temple is too restrained.
  11. Feb 27, 2013
    For an album whose most apparent traits are simplicity and broadness, Miracle Temple's best moments are pretty idiosyncratic.
  12. Feb 26, 2013
    With the ambitious Miracle Temple , Mount Moriah puts its own powerful stamp on a music that's faithkeeping in more than one sense.
  13. There’s an impressive amount of sound and instrumentation for a trio. The consequence is that McEntire doesn’t stand out quite as well as last time, and can easily get lost in the tight, economical work from her bandmates.
  14. Feb 26, 2013
    McEntire’s honeyed vocal timbre helps shake the album out of sporadic tempo doldrums when Miracle Temple drags and lacks a palpable spark.
  15. Magnet
    Mar 15, 2013
    What stands out most on the Americana-saturated Miracle Temple is the way the band shuffles and tweaks country music and gospel/folk elements, yet still sounds very traditional, for better or worse. [No. 96, p.53]
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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 26, 2013
    There really isn't a bad song in the bunch here. The band effortlessly straddles the line between straightforward alt-country, the rockierThere really isn't a bad song in the bunch here. The band effortlessly straddles the line between straightforward alt-country, the rockier sensibilities of its members' other projects, and the Muscle Shoals-style r&b that seems to be particularly en vogue right now. McEntire's vocals and judiciously employed keyboard/organ and strings really set Mount Moriah apart from their peers. I've seen a few reviews mention that the vocals sound like a young Dolly Parton, and I think that's pretty spot on. Particular highlights include "Younger Days," "Bright Light," "I Built a Town," and "Swannanoa," the track that best showcases the band's versatility as it builds from a slow burning, countrified dirge into an cathartic centerpiece full of swirling guitar, drums, strings, and keyboard. Long story short, there are a lot of bands that are active right now and sound vaguely like this. Along with a few other acts, Mount Moriah represents the cream of the crop. Full Review »