No Earthly Man - Alasdair Roberts

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. On the quietly electrifying No Earthly Man, Roberts takes on eight classic murder ballads from the British Isles with dizzying results.
  2. While several have done it just as well before him, Alasdair Roberts has few peers when it comes to treating these rather cruel stories with such love and care.
  3. 90
    A near-faultless record. [Apr 2005, p.97]
  4. It's a truly haunting record populated by ghosts. [May 2005, p.116]
  5. 70
    The core remains Roberts' discomfitingly pure way with diction. [May 2005, p.109]
  6. These sparsely arranged folk songs are hauntingly pretty. [19 Mar 2005, p.59]
  7. Lacks the dynamism and subtlety of Farewell Sorrow.
  8. Roberts sounds alienated, but not arrogant, like some of his labelmates often can. His vocal melodies lack warmth and pain, but I find No Earthly Man's blank stare profoundly appropriate.
  9. The only perfect choice here was to make an album full of ballads. It could have been a violent reworking of age-old texts. Unfortunately, there’s not enough violence here to fully rend and flay, just enough to bruise.
  10. These songs are reminders of a time when death wasn't a distant bogeyman but a mundane reality of everyday life. Alasdair Roberts's versions are somewhat modernized, but utterly immediate.
  11. A sombre, sorrowful collection.
  12. No Earthly Man demonstrates that all the glitz and studio production techniques used in making many records aren't really necessary to craft a compelling document.
User Score

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. WayneB
    May 21, 2005
    A spellbinding release from the former frontman of the overlooked Scottish outfit, Appendix Out. All traditional folksongs arranged beautifully by Alasdair and produced by Sir Will Oldham. Light the candles kick, back in the stereo "sweet spot" and enjoy the dreaminess of these songs! Full Review »
  2. adamk
    Apr 15, 2005
    Haunting, murderous and sometimes beautiful, this album remains still in my stereo and, try as i might, i cannot remove it. Incredible.