Open - Cowboy Junkies
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Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first album of new material in three years for the ever-consistent Cowboy Junkies.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. A work that retains their signature sound while embracing a more mature and cautiously positive outlook on matters of the heart.
  2. Cowboy Junkies have made a 'growing older' record - there's a greater preoccupation with loss and death, reflected in a heavier, darker musical cast.
  3. Long time fans will undoubtedly be delighted, but it's tough to predict if this record will inspire converts.
  4. A surprisingly substantial collection of lyric-heavy, humbly grandiose barroom-rock storytelling... [Jul 2001, p.63]
  5. The whole gang sounds as good as ever.
  6. Dark and knotty, Open takes a while to win you over but when it does, it hangs around in your head like an unpaid debt.
  7. While the continued drive to mix up its sound remains admirable, the weak spots are downright deadly, making Open feel sort of like a between-albums goof, an experiment strictly for the fan club.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. JimF
    Dec 10, 2004
    10
    The junkies really take a leap here, mixing jazz harmonies with grinding guitar, lyrical bass lines, and angelic (sometimes darlkly) vocals. If you haven't heard this band before, this isn't the best introduction, but to those of us who appeciate their very instinctive sound, it is a masterpiece. If you haven't heard the albums "Rarities, B Sides and Slow, Sad Waltzes" and "Lay it Down" listen in. They unlock the keys to this album. A masterpiece among my +1000 record collection. Expand
  2. AramC.
    Dec 25, 2001
    9
    DAMN GOOD, I have over 50,000 records and cd's and this cd is one of the best!
  3. brent
    Feb 28, 2006
    8
    You wouldn't even be reading this if you weren't a fan, and I wouldn't be writing this if this wasn't secret.The days of "Sweet Jane" and "Anniversary Song" and the other upbeat, attention-getting pop they used to intersperse their albums with is LONG gone... much more accesible than One Soul Now, the Open album recitates a lot of debates. Like, do you personally grow with the artists over time or do you wait fruitlessly for the next thing that satisfies a bunch of people? (Google "dylan fan" or "lou reed fan" ) The Junkies, bless 'em, had their accidental modest successes but always went their own way. They write awesome originals and do great covers. They also do lousy covers. And lousy originals. Open is neither of these. It's just a patient, dark, collection of originals with a theme. (Remember theme records?) In this case its death, rebirth, joy, heartbreak complete with into, outro and periodic Michael Timmins black spooky feedback guitar. Not to take away from Michael Timmins, a really great poet. Long story short: When you hear Margo (finally?) turn her soul inside out from her cool exterior and shred up "I'm So Open," to a heartshredding piece of time, you will have a Junkie Ephiphany. The rest of this recording is that way. It's the Junkies at peak: moving writing, the band creating psychodramas as if one, Michael the Poet and Margo the interpreter. You won't play this with friends or at a party, you'll play something like this alone. Expand

See all 5 User Reviews