Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    It's music that slips between the generic niches favoured by broadcasters; but isn't that exactly where the most interesting music comes from?
  2. Aug 30, 2013
    90
    Pushin' Against The Stone is a rare case when a young artist's natural instincts are spot-on. As both a singer and songwriter, June is a major talent with unlimited potential.
  3. Oct 4, 2013
    89
    Pushin' Against a Stone showcases a stunning and unique new voice.
  4. Oct 17, 2013
    80
    Pushin’ Against A Stone is an impressive calling card to the rest of the world that this, until now, under heralded artist is both an adept student of American folk music traditions and a modern day practitioner with perhaps preternatural talents.
  5. Aug 27, 2013
    80
    With exceptional production work courtesy of Dan Auerbach, Kevin Augunas, and Peter Sabak combined with June’s great gifts, Pushin’ Against a Stone is easily one of the year’s better albums.
  6. Aug 13, 2013
    80
    As debuts go, this is a marvel by a singer and songwriter who has no desire to fit snugly into one category. Her talent isn’t that easily contained.
  7. Aug 12, 2013
    80
    Combined with June's remarkably careworn vocals--they suggest that the young Tennessean has been around the block more than once. [Jul 2013, p.77]
  8. Aug 12, 2013
    80
    Valerie call this "organic moonshine roots music"--it's the perfect phrase to sum up her glorious sound. [Jul 2013, p.88]
  9. Aug 12, 2013
    80
    The album has a studied looseness that's never contrived, and it shows a poise and clarity of vision which her earlier efforts barely suggested
  10. Sep 3, 2013
    76
    Most of the album was recorded at The Black Keys’ studio in Nashville and favors bluesy twangs, folksy fiddles and country slide guitars.
  11. Oct 18, 2013
    70
    Credit June's vinegary, slightly oddball vocals, equal parts Diana Ross and Dolly Parton, which guide each song like an old tractor retrofit with LED high beams: luminous, ancient, unstoppable.
  12. “Organic moonshine music” she calls it, and no one could argue with that.
  13. Aug 12, 2013
    70
    Despite being a shade too long, this is a solid endeavor that asks many questions even as spins its tales.
  14. Aug 12, 2013
    60
    If there's a fault, the self-consciously retro production doesn't push her far enough. [Jul 2013, p.106]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 13, 2014
    10
    A mix of traveling Appalachian folk and vintage blues soul, Valerie June's Pushin' Against a Stone is a stunning debut.
    BEST TRACKS: Somebody
    to Love, Twined and Twisted Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2014
    8
    Good luck trying to fit this album in a specific genre. There's blues, folk, some country, and other things too. And they all sound wonderful. But more than the music, her voice is truly enchanting. It feels like out of this world. The lyrics are beautiful as well.

    I wish more people would hear this. The best tracks: Somebody to Love, and the title track (it has a kick-ass guitar solo).
    Full Review »