Rehearsing My Choir - The Fiery Furnaces
Rehearsing My Choir Image
Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

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  • Summary: Siblings Matt and Eleanor Friedberger are joined by their 83-year-old grandmother (!) on their latest eclectic release.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. As exhausting as it is brilliant. [Dec 2005, p.202]
  2. The flickering narrative works to pull ears closer to the band's most wowing musical offering to date.
  3. 80
    As unique and poignant as a family bible. [Nov 2005, p.104]
  4. My feeling is that Rehearsing My Choir is an odd, initially indigestible album that is far more interesting than most people are willing to admit.
  5. There might be a compelling story in there, but when the Furnaces' songs come in to elaborate on her tales... it's all but impossible to figure out what's going on. [6 Nov 2005]
  6. Admittedly, though it’s clunky and overwrought, the real problem isn’t that the story is tedious or that Olga’s voice is awful--it’s actually weirdly thrilling--it’s that the album simply doesn’t feel as well executed as the premise promises.
  7. The first and possibly most damaging problem lies in the music, which lacks the focus, coherence, and development to be rewarding beyond a novelty listen.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 64
  2. Negative: 14 out of 64
  1. strurmundrang
    Oct 25, 2005
    10
    this album makes me hope in music
  2. leek
    Oct 26, 2005
    10
    Once again, the Fieries amaze us with something completely out there. Last time it was Blueberry Boat - notice the equally polarized reviews Once again, the Fieries amaze us with something completely out there. Last time it was Blueberry Boat - notice the equally polarized reviews - now it's Rehearsing My Choir. Blueberry boat received more than it's fair share of critical scorn, but it was an unqualified success, RMC is receiving equally polarized reviews and it is equally amazing. The grandmother is amazing, does anyone else hear how she sounds like Capt. Beefheart? Expand
  3. SpencerM
    Dec 11, 2005
    10
    Critics hated it for not being a pop record; a record they wanted. But it's not supposed to be, you idiots! Who would ever do a pop Critics hated it for not being a pop record; a record they wanted. But it's not supposed to be, you idiots! Who would ever do a pop record with their 83 year-old grandmother?? Nobody has, and nither have the Furnaces. This album is more of a radio show, a theatrically-whimsy and changing-as-is-life collection of sounds that tell the story of Olga Sarantos, the Furnaces' grandma. It's brilliant and if you don't like it not because you don't like Furnaces' style, but because it's too "out there" or "too far", then you're missing out. Expand
  4. EddieT
    Oct 24, 2005
    9
    More than patience it requires repeated listening. Leave it on in the background a few times and I defy you not to find parts that are More than patience it requires repeated listening. Leave it on in the background a few times and I defy you not to find parts that are catchy, funny, artful, and occasionally really gorgeous. The final song, "Does It Remind You of When," is a true culmination of the lessons--both from the stories and the music--in tracks 1-10, and it might be the most heartbreaking song I've heard all year. (To be a culmination requires a context, so it won't do any good to download the song by itself.) For me, art this nuanced and cathartic is often limited to literature, but the Fiery Furnaces gave it to us in the shape of an album. Don't listen to all the nay-saying reviews. This album is difficult but it needs a champion. This album deserves to have people list all the great things about it so you'll hear them, too. Now can we get to it? Expand
  5. PaulV
    Oct 25, 2005
    8
    mad record - really mad. Think I'll need a few weeks to be able to say anything coherent about it.
  6. GlennD
    Jan 11, 2006
    5
    It's all great fun, especially very funny on first listen, but musically it can be pretty trying. It just doesn't leave a lasting It's all great fun, especially very funny on first listen, but musically it can be pretty trying. It just doesn't leave a lasting impression. Expand
  7. AaronS
    Oct 24, 2005
    0
    Not only is this the worst album of the year, but it's the worst of the decade!! Why? Because I like the Fiery Furnaces. Up to their Not only is this the worst album of the year, but it's the worst of the decade!! Why? Because I like the Fiery Furnaces. Up to their latest, they have released one fascinating and adventurous album after another. Blueberry Boat was one of the best records of last year. But 'Rehearsing My Choir' is just too far out. The idea of revisiting their grandmother's life on record is charming in print, but on record the result is murky. The music is unbelievably awful, grandma's asexual voice is hideous and Eleanor's vocals become equally annoying after a while. At first, all I could do was gasp and laugh at how ridiculous the concept was. By the middle of the album I was angry. I really like this group. But this record is a very personal project for the siblings. Too personal in that it's quite esoteric to the music listening public. This record is so bad I would consider it unreleasable. It was more suited to a performance piece for the stage or public radio, than an acutal record. I give the band points for continuing to push the envelope of modern music, but chalk this one up to a musical experiment gone horribly awry. It's simply awful and I would seriously question someone's taste if they were to tell me they like this. Expand

See all 64 User Reviews