Muchacho - Phosphorescent
Muchacho Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth release for Matthew Houck as Phosphorescent was written in Brooklyn and Mexico after his 18-month tour for 2010's Here's To Taking It Easy.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Mar 19, 2013
    93
    Powerfully, the evolution of the songcraft on Muchacho doesn’t arrive as a random left turn but instead progresses directly out of Phosphorescent’s own canon.
  2. Mar 13, 2013
    89
    ["Song for Zula" is] brutal, beautiful, and like the rest of Muchacho, masterfully executed.
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    80
    A beautiful outing in hauntingly pastoral heartbreak. Impressive.
  4. Mar 8, 2013
    80
    A hell of a production. [Apr 2013, p.87]
  5. 80
    This atmospheric, rewarding gem that, despite its decidedly downbeat subject material, hops effortlessly over various woe-is-me traps is certainly worth the trouble its author’s had to go through to produce it.
  6. 80
    Muchacho is a well balanced listen, one that finds Houck adding new hues to old canvases and striking gold at every turn.
  7. Mar 18, 2013
    60
    It is an album about the ways in which we recover, the ways in which we find ourselves after feeling loss. It’s also an album that, musically, full of fitful and exciting exploration.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    While the influences of Fleetfoxes, MMJ and Bon Iver are clearly present, Matthew Houck has enough imagination to take the listener beyondWhile the influences of Fleetfoxes, MMJ and Bon Iver are clearly present, Matthew Houck has enough imagination to take the listener beyond into some truly original and sweet territory. This is a fantastic set and an early candidate for album of the year.. Expand
  2. Apr 17, 2013
    9
    Everything I expected and wanted in the newest Phosphorescent album. The more I listen to this, the more it blows me away. Deep yet exciting,Everything I expected and wanted in the newest Phosphorescent album. The more I listen to this, the more it blows me away. Deep yet exciting, his best work in my opinion. Expand
  3. Jan 30, 2014
    9
    Grammies missed this album. A perfect melding of country, electronica and great melodies. A mellow classic. Will look for more from thisGrammies missed this album. A perfect melding of country, electronica and great melodies. A mellow classic. Will look for more from this artist in the future. Expand
  4. Apr 4, 2013
    7
    This album took a few listens to grow on me. It's a strange combination of many genres, but overall, it is a worthwhile album to listen to.This album took a few listens to grow on me. It's a strange combination of many genres, but overall, it is a worthwhile album to listen to. It's quite different from anything else I've heard over the past few years, so I say kudos to the band for their unique sound. The highlights are: "Song for Zula" and "Ride On, Right On". Collapse
  5. Jun 1, 2013
    7
    It’s been a few years since ‘Here’s to Taking it Easy’ but now Phosphorescent the working moniker of Matthew Houck returns with probably hisIt’s been a few years since ‘Here’s to Taking it Easy’ but now Phosphorescent the working moniker of Matthew Houck returns with probably his most accessible album to date. The short but sweet ‘Muchacho’ is a vibrant mix of styles bookended by the mellow intro/outro of ‘Sun, Arise!’ and ‘Sun's Arising’. ‘Song For Zula’ veers dangerously close to U2 but somehow manages to end up more in the Bon Iver camp, this is followed by the catchy acoustic Bolen rumble of ‘Ride On Right On’ with its meandering tune and jubilant woos. ‘Terror In The Canyons (The Wounded Master)’ sounds a lot like Wilco, beautiful Americana with a drop of experimentation. ‘A Charm A Blade’ bursts into life at the chorus with a brass section that recalls The Polyphonic Spree at their most joyous. ‘Muchacho's Tune’ is based around a gorgeous slide guitar that underpins the song and compliments Houck’s vocals whereas the atmospheric piano in ‘A New Anhedonia’ shows a more melancholy side, as does ‘Down To Go’ which is like early Bonnie Prince Billy. I really like ‘The Quotidian Beasts’ but then I also like ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaak which it does resemble slightly, others might not be so forgiving. Lyrically and musically Houck is on top form and it’s hard not to fall for this record despite its short running time and if nothing else it’s a good starting place for new fans to discover his understated talent. Expand

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