• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Jun 3, 2008
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45

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  1. TheCambodianplot
    Jul 20, 2008
    10
    We rarely have a chance to hear music this sublime. Indeed one of the greatest albums in 2008 and I suspect a rare beauty that will be still discussed many years into the future.
  2. ChristopherH
    Mar 10, 2009
    5
    Gotta agree with Charlie Q, except that I mind the vocals - they're a bit too warbling for me. The melodramatic production was layed on a bit too thick - it came off cheesy and emo-ish. If they has kept it more sparse, perhaps, it would have let the songs come out more. (there was a few bon iver moments that I liked...)
  3. MattS.
    Jun 18, 2008
    8
    Yes, as the Tiny Mix Tapes reviewer points out repeatedly in a curiously intense fit of derision, Shearwater is unabashedly influenced by Talk Talk. But since when is the Mark Hollis canon some sacred vessel, from which the drawing of inspiration is tantamount to blasphemy? In any case, although by no means perfect (a couple tracks drag a bit), this is a pretty fantastic LP overall; in Yes, as the Tiny Mix Tapes reviewer points out repeatedly in a curiously intense fit of derision, Shearwater is unabashedly influenced by Talk Talk. But since when is the Mark Hollis canon some sacred vessel, from which the drawing of inspiration is tantamount to blasphemy? In any case, although by no means perfect (a couple tracks drag a bit), this is a pretty fantastic LP overall; in fact, I'd say it's one of the better albums I've heard so far this year. But I only own two Talk Talk albums, so I guess my opinion doesn't really count. Expand
  4. Sheila
    Jun 19, 2008
    10
    Did Shearwater piss in Tiny Mix Tapes' cornflakes or something? I cannot believe anyone would give this album the equivalent of 2 out of 10. This is a gorgeously written, arranged and performed album that gets better each time I listen. My only complaint is that it's too short.
  5. NicholasB.
    Jun 20, 2008
    10
    Fantastic!
  6. MichaelT.
    Jun 24, 2008
    9
    Breathtaking in its beauty, with a haunting melancholy. May be even more fully realized than Palo Santo. Definitely one of the year's best so far.
  7. JeffP
    Jul 9, 2008
    2
    I am very open minded about experimental music. I have many Indie and electonica albums that I have enjoyed and listened to over the past five years. This is not one of them. This is a piece of crap and a waste of ten dollars.
  8. MycroftW.
    Aug 6, 2008
    9
    A dark and brooding grower and a must have.
  9. PranavO.
    Sep 13, 2008
    10
    Such melancholy,such sadness.Its a work of gr8 art.The kind of album that leaves you short of words.It is so poignant & beautiful.Brilliantly poetic.A perfect album which ever one looks at it.
  10. EffE.
    Jun 13, 2008
    8
    This is an excellent Radioheasque album. Great sound, great songs, nice production. Jonathan Meiburg at his best!
  11. CharlieQ.
    Aug 18, 2008
    4
    Okay, I will listen to this album again, because I really don't "get" it yet. I don't mind the voice, but I'm not particularly in love with it. And as for the music, well, one of the critics referred to it as the "calm before the storm". I guess I can agree with that, but when is the storm coming?....because the calm is kind of boring.
  12. StanleyD
    Jan 24, 2009
    10
    Beautiful album, yes melancholy but still enjoyable. Something to listen to when unwinding after a hard day at work or a quiet hike in the wilderness.
  13. DavidA.
    Jun 11, 2008
    3
    I love Okkervil (may be my favourite band), and have liked Shearwater's past efforts, but this just never grabbed me, if anything Meiberg's falsetto was off-putting, in some songs I was just wishing for some normal singing. I don't understand the great reviews.
  14. JoshH
    Jun 13, 2008
    10
    Even greater than "Palo Santo."
  15. BrendanD
    Aug 11, 2008
    9
    Tiny Mix Tapes can complain all they want that this is a rehash of Tlak Talk. To me, this sounds more like David Bowie circa "Station to Station" hooked up with Bishop Allen. What a lovely, melancholic record! Worthy of repeated listens.
  16. DavidR.
    Aug 18, 2008
    9
    We're all impressed that Tiny Mix Tapes is a fan of Talk Talk's fairly obscure final two albums, but he's way off on this review. This is a beautiful record and it really sinks into your soul after repeated listens.
  17. JyotirmayaD.
    Sep 13, 2008
    8
    This beautiful album was more than I expected. I expected something lovely, but it has gone beyond that. It has gone to my heart and it is a very heartfelt album... I never thought I'd ever get this enjoyment from listening to an album based on birds however.
  18. AndyW
    Sep 22, 2008
    10
    This album blew me away. I find it almost too majestic and emotionally powerful to listen too sometimes as it demands my complete attention. It is an incredible listen - powerful, tender, beautiful, smart. The best thing I have heard in a long time. And, live they do not dissapoint.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. This "calm before the storm" aesthetic dominates Rook, and in another testament to its short running time, works beautifully, illuminating the few straightforward pieces like "Century Eyes," "Leviathan, Bound," and the brooding title track like a centuries-old woodcut, and allowing the tension that permeates the entire affair to ebb and flow naturally, resulting in one of the most heady and satisfying albums of the year.
  2. Rook is an epic undertaking that plumbs the depths of the seas ("Leviathan, Bound") to the heavens themselves ("I Was a Cloud," "The Hunter's Star") for the sounds that make the stories sing.
  3. 80
    [Meiburg] applies this Audubon-ish enthusiasm to his songs, too, crafting a rich, occasionally macabre, fantasy world populated by starlings, gulls and solitary falconers.