Past Life Martyred Saints Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: Erika M. Anderson of Gowns returns with her debut solo full-length album.
  • Record Label: Souterrain Transmissions
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. May 13, 2011
    90
    EMA's work is simultaneously some of the most interesting I've heard in years, and jaggedly alive, the furthest thing from any sort of academic exercise.
  2. From epic opener "The Grey Ship," to the equally epic closing track "Red Star," Past Life Martyred Saints is an album that captivates, provokes, and pleases.
  3. May 10, 2011
    80
    Not easy, but often fascinating, wholly rewarding and genuinely cathartic.
  4. May 13, 2011
    80
    Though Gowns foreshadowed a lot of what Anderson is about (avant-garde noise-folk, elliptical lyrics), going solo has allowed her to make something genuinely personal and almost frighteningly honest.
  5. Aug 8, 2011
    80
    The most intense moments in Past Life Martyred Saints are evocative enough to drag you back through your own most overblown emotional crises, but when the buzz fades, you are plopped back into the halcyon present, strangely empty.
  6. May 16, 2011
    70
    While the ennui is predominantly directed inward-with such lines as "I wish that every time he touched me left a mark" ("Marked") rasped so convincingly it's tough not to feel her emotional wounds--it's impossible to dismiss Past Life Martyred Saints as mere navel-gazing.
  7. 60
    Lyrically, there's a pervasive fascination with California outsider culture that soon palls, though the troubled relationship excavated in "Marked" suggests a deeper vein of inspiration may yet be mined.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Dec 14, 2011
    10
    while others seem more enamored by "milkman" the song that sold me was "greyship" powerful and poignant. I'm not going to pretend I know what the album is about i don't I do know that no matter how earnest an album is the most important element is the strength of the melodies and they are as strong as a viking. Expand
  2. Jan 21, 2012
    9
    EMA's debut album is one of the finest releases of 2011. It has everything to become a sort of classic in the following years. Every single song is crafted with sentiment and depth. Expand
  3. Jul 6, 2011
    9
    This is simply an excellent album, with haunting lyrics, and mostly minimal instrumentation. My only problem with it is that is a little short. But if you are a fan of alternative music, I recommend you pick this up as fast as possible. Expand
  4. Oct 2, 2011
    8
    Whenever I listen to EMA, Anna Calvi comes to my mind. The two singers have a lot in common: they both have released their debut albums this year, each of them touches on dark matters, even the LP covers are somehow similar. Finally, they both rock. EMAâ Expand

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