One True Vine - Mavis Staples
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Jul 17, 2013
    100
    You Are Not Alone, her 2010 collaboration with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, won Staples her first Grammy. The follow up is even better.
  2. Jun 25, 2013
    91
    Not every song on One True Vine is quite as compelling [as Low cover "Holy Ghost"]--the Funkadelic cover "Can You Get To That" is a little uneven—but Staples sings with such grace and dignity that it remains a moving listen.
  3. 91
    [Producer Jeff Tweedy] provides many nicely spare showcases for her silken vocals. [28 Jun 2013]
  4. Jun 25, 2013
    86
    Staples makes redemption a matter of small things, tiny actions and incremental leaps of believing. Accessible to the fallen and faltering, on One True Vine grace is a funky thing.
  5. Jul 23, 2013
    80
    The overall mood, however, is thoughtful and somber: unlike You Are Not Alone, this is a contemplative late-night album rather than a celebratory Sunday morning one. It’s wonderful.
  6. Jul 10, 2013
    80
    Like a fine wine continuing to mature, Mavis's One True Vine should be allowed to breathe. [Aug 2013, p.87]
  7. There isn’t a shadow of doubt expressed here about where Mavis is going, but there is plenty of feeling that the journey, like all journeys, is bordered with darkness.
  8. Jun 24, 2013
    80
    As a whole, One True Vine is as introspective and diffident as a gospel album can be.
  9. Jun 24, 2013
    80
    The record does what gospel should--lift you up.
  10. Jun 24, 2013
    80
    Throughout, Tweedy and company give Mavis even more room than on You Are Not Alone. While this isn't as exciting, the grip is instant, hard to break.
  11. 80
    [Producer Jeff Tweedy's] his raw production lending itself to the Staples powerful presence.
  12. 80
    Throughout, Tweedy’s arrangements are the soul of discretion, employing the merest suggestions of rhythm and texture to show Staples’ iconic voice to best advantage.
  13. Jun 24, 2013
    75
    Staples is reaffirming her place as one of the great voices of the last half-century.
  14. Jun 21, 2013
    75
    As on previous record You Are Not Alone, his production is light and crisp, allowing Staples' voice to take center stage. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.91]
  15. Jun 26, 2013
    74
    One True Vine tarries too long in doubt before finally breaking that dour spell and inviting the listener in on the celebration.
  16. Jul 17, 2013
    70
    There's a lot of worthwhile material for her to perform here. [No. 100, p.59]
  17. Jul 10, 2013
    70
    One True Vine is a seamless sequel. [Aug 2013, p.70]
  18. Jul 8, 2013
    70
    So while there are a few moments of blandness, a few moments where tradition sits a little too comfortably for a little too long and where some of us may be a little lost lyrically, there is never any question of the inherent power of Staples’ voice.
  19. Jun 27, 2013
    70
    It’s a rich, beautifully crafted and moving experience, and further evidence that the Mavis Staples/Jeff Tweedy partnership is the musical equivalent of a marriage made in heaven.
  20. Jun 25, 2013
    70
    One True Vine shows there isn't much the ex-Staple Singer can't make gorgeous and lived-in.
  21. Jun 24, 2013
    70
    Tweedy has become a master of subtlety in the studio and the blending of instruments and voices is seamless. Above it all is Staples' unassailable conviction.
  22. 60
    It may not always live up to its title, but it’s certainly an interesting branch of what will hopefully continue to be a long and fruitful partnership.
  23. Jun 21, 2013
    60
    The mood is sombre, the pace slow-to-mid and Staples means every word she sings.

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