Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Jan 7, 2011
    Their 11th studio album is 40 minutes of gorgeous nothings, full of intricate curlicues of sparkling Colin Newman guitar and synth given beef by the surging rhythms of Robert Grey aka Gotobed and Graham Lewis
  2. Jan 11, 2011
    On Red Barked Tree, that negative space - a reflection of pop's false warmth, and perhaps of humanity's greater estrangement from itself - is frozen even harder than usual.
  3. Mojo
    Apr 12, 2011
    Red Barked Tree compares favorably with the very best of the definitive Wire. [Feb. 2011, p. 98]
  4. The Wire
    Mar 1, 2011
    The reason it all works is because with repetition and familiarity comes discipline and rigour--and Wire still have a lively and open relationship with both of them. [Feb 2011, p.57]
  5. Jan 26, 2011
    Red Barked Tree captures the sharp and fiery hallmark defined by Colin Newman, Graham Lewis and Robert Grey some thirty-odd years ago to strike a pressure point relevant to younger generations.
  6. Uncut
    Jan 24, 2011
    Red Barked Tree is the most successful product to date of this examination. [Feb 2011, p.86]
  7. Jan 21, 2011
    Potentially most interesting of all is the way parts of Red Barked Tree sound dated in a manner completely unrelated to how some of Wire's records haven't, y'know, aged that well.
  8. Jan 18, 2011
    Recorded, like their last album, without guitarist Bruce Gilbert, it contains many other ingredients that will sound familiar to long-time fans, namely an emphasis on erudite, sometimes snotty lyrics and big, heavy riffs.
  9. 80
    This is in many ways what you'd expect from a new Wire album. It has so many pieces of their signature sound; it has the reinvention, the added textures, and ideas.
  10. 80
    Wire have bizarrely remained a cult concern. This ought to change with the release of their 12th record, 11 clever tracks of unrelenting and witty pop.
  11. Jan 13, 2011
    With this strangely juvenile rush of an album, Wire have simultaneously honored and eroded the legacy of Pink Flag.
  12. Jan 13, 2011
    By the time we reach the slow-burning title-track closer-- a quiet plea for eco-sanity propelled by tense, tightly coiled acoustic strums-- Wire have successfully reinvented themselves once again.
  13. Jan 11, 2011
    The band stays true to their rhythmic minimalism and bouts of art-infused modernity and Red Barked Tree has a consistency that its predecessor lacked to some extent, though 47 seemed more prone to experimentation and risk.
  14. Jan 11, 2011
    The band's third generation began just after the turn of the century and this LP completes a trilogy of new work that is confident yet vulnerable, refined yet earthy, moody yet flippant, representing a highly commendable contribution to the current scene, suggesting they are more relevant today than ever before.
  15. Jan 11, 2011
    Over 11 tracks of fantastically unapproachable guitars and vocals, of deceivingly simple rhythms and unswerving purpose, Wire sound perfectly comfortable in their own skin and sense of history on Red Barked Tree.
  16. Jan 10, 2011
    Red Barked Tree is a proud and unapologetic album; as it shifts between sounds there's conviction in every noise and word. It's the sound of a band still having a lot of fun. And there's not an ounce of nostalgia.
  17. Jan 10, 2011
    As late efforts go, Red Barked Tree sounds alive, vital, and appropriately restless; and as aging rockers go, Wire remains well worth whatever wait comes next.
  18. Jan 7, 2011
    Wire doesn't break ground on Red Barked Tree, but more than three decades into its career, the band's deceptively simple songs still exude subversive allure.
  19. 75
    The late-'70s postpunk legends expand on their famously minimal sound in Red Barked Tree.
  20. Jan 11, 2011
    There's enough good to be found here, as well as in the band's restless exploration of new avenues, that Red Barked Tree can stand on its own in the enduring continuum of the band's progress and not just as a pale imitation of older material.
  21. Under The Radar
    Jan 10, 2011
    Red Barked Tree continues the momentum discovered on this unlikely coup of a second act. [Year End 2010, p.71]
  22. Mar 10, 2011
    With three of four original members, Red Barked Tree evolves like a bell curve – starting cool, building to a boil, and gradually coming back down.
  23. Mar 2, 2011
    Maybe with less to prove, the shapeshifters make some of their prettiest music ever here; apocalyptic vibe notwithstanding.
  24. Q Magazine
    Feb 9, 2011
    Veteran art-punks reinvent themselves 35 years on. [Feb. 2011, p. 125]
  25. 60
    This is just another competent rock record in hock to the band Wire used to be.
  26. Alternative Press
    Jan 11, 2011
    Red Barked Tree is something of a letdown, oddly placid and even soothing. [Feb 2011, p.90]
  27. Jan 10, 2011
    Red Barked Tree is another strong effort, and while Wire is still making music that shatters expectations, after 30 years they're sounding a lot like the mainstream rockers they once despised.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. May 30, 2011
    If you're looking for a trip down Nostalgia Avenue then you'll be sadly disappointed. If you're looking for invigorating, ambitious andIf you're looking for a trip down Nostalgia Avenue then you'll be sadly disappointed. If you're looking for invigorating, ambitious and infectious alternative rock then...BINGO!!! Full Review »
  2. Feb 20, 2011
    Initially I came across Pink Flag after a recommendation from Evan Dando of the Lemonheads (my second personal encounter, but I digress) - IInitially I came across Pink Flag after a recommendation from Evan Dando of the Lemonheads (my second personal encounter, but I digress) - I canâ Full Review »
  3. Jan 24, 2011
    Since the creation of their own record label â