Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. The reason Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down works here other "buzz band" albums don't is because theirs just feels natural--NATW aren't trying to buy into any trend. They're just writing great music. [Sep 2008, p.151]
  2. Earnestness is so damningly difficult to nail down, but Fink and his cohorts come as close as anything this year, displaying an aptness for cloying love songs minus the puppy dog eyes.
  3. The vivaciousness and bright energy of the instrumentation offsets the melancholic subject matter perfectly, so that the listener is lost in the composition. [Fall 2008, p.82]
  4. Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down could have been all kinds of terrible but instead turns out to be an album that fans of the bands mentioned earlier, plus fans of intelligent and heart-felt indie pop, should probably investigate.
  5. It's gentle enough to be background music, lively enough to be worth listening to for the sake of it, and certainly an impressive achievement for a 21-year-old's debut.
  6. If soft-hearted London folkies Noah And The Whale aren’t quite as deft with savoury rice, they’ve got the knack of balancing heart-melting, pupil-dilating ditties with words of chill bleakness down pat.
  7. It requires TLC, and some listeners–-and I count myself among them–-are just too heavy-handed to stay in its company long.
  8. 60
    Twenty-one-year-old Charlie Fnk's cracked baritone is brown sugar-sweet, '5 Years Time' is a hit, and the album's Jonathan Richman-esque gawkiness makes it double endearing. [Oct 2008, p.94]
  9. The twinkling acoustic songs, bursting with brass, keyboards and fiddle are economic and brimming with sure-footed confidence but Fink's brittle cynicism ultimately leaves Noah & the Whale stranded
  10. Their foppish indieboy spin on classic folk-rock is, more often than not, perfectly listenable. But you can't help but wonder, between all the gleeful strums and wizened howls, whether they possess the inner torment to carry off such worldly material.
  11. Noah and the Whale try their best to make weighty songs (look no further than the paint-by-numbers description of a funeral on the limp “Death by Numbers”), but they’re better as a pop group that digs ukuleles and acoustic guitars.
  12. Perhaps it's just that the rest of the songs aren't up to scratch, but this album is a simple case of diminishing returns--what appeared carefree and sparkly-eyed to begin with feels more and more calculated as you go on, what first seemed endearing ends up feeling a little irritating.
  13. All in all, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, even with its mortality obsession, is mostly a statement of nothing, but at least it sounds good most of the time.
  14. Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, the debut LP by the London folk-pop quartet, bites its best sensitive-indie forebears and then pukes up all the most superficial chunks.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 6, 2014
    Genre: Alternative
    For me there are a few to many slightly bland tunes on this album for it to be considered a true classic but a number of
    songs, including the joyful '5 Years Time' in particular, make it a worthwhile listen. Its probably safe to say that Noah and the Whale have released better albums since but for a debut this is a pretty good effort and they certainly offer something more interesting than the usual repetitive pop clogging up the radio stations. Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    Though far from the worst album I have ever listened to, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down was an album that I could not force myself to listen to all the way through. The mediocrity of the majority of the albums tracks was just too much. That said, the first three tracks and "Second Lover" are decent enough that this album warrants a "mixed review," but this is all that keeps me from giving it a much worse rating. Full Review »