Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 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.
  2. Insofar as she pretends her willful pose is the holy truth, she's annoying. What saves that pose is the willful power of a presentation less Courtney Love or Chan Marshall than PJ Harvey.
  3. May 10, 2011
    Past Life Martyred Saints is an album that leaves a mark.
  4. May 10, 2011
    Past Life Martyred Saints is a fiercely individual record, made by a musician with a fearless and courageous approach to her art. Crucially, the desire to let such raw emotion out in song never feels forced.
  5. May 13, 2011
    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.
  6. 88
    Past Life Martyred Saints is more focused and confident than the work of many of Andersen's peers. It's likely we've not even heard her best yet. And even if not, this is pretty sweet as is.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 2, 2011
    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 Full Review »
  2. Jul 6, 2011
    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. Full Review »
  3. Jan 21, 2012
    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. Full Review »