Roots & Crowns

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 0 out of 22

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  1. matt
    Oct 12, 2006
    9
    While many of the "taste-maker" bloggers drooled all over Grizzly Bear's Yellow House, they seem to have forgotten about this record. While they are stylistically somewhat similiar, this one is not only a much better album, it is surely among the top 5 or so of the year.
  2. tl
    Dec 10, 2006
    10
    Where does Alternative Press get off giving Roots & Crowns a 4/10? Then, they go and give the most recent Ben Kweller CD a 10/10 (nothing personal, Ben). Jesus! What a bunch of idiots! How mainstream do you have to be before you're not allowed to use "Alternative" in your title?
  3. ReubenF
    Dec 18, 2006
    7
    The stand out track of this LP 'Orchids' is a cover of a Psychic TV song of the same name, which is a little disappointing to discover. However, songs like 'Spider's House' and 'A Chinese Actor' are good without being brilliant, the whole album is consistent and their sound has a lot of promise.
  4. BrianS
    Oct 20, 2006
    9
    This album is awesome, but you MUST see this band live at some point.
  5. JackPot
    Oct 10, 2006
    9
    Freakin' superb.
  6. FrankTheTank
    Dec 6, 2006
    9
    I'm bias. Califone is one of my favorite bands and i think this album is incredible. Alternative Press better take their ritalin.
  7. GuyH
    Jan 11, 2007
    7
    This seems to upset people but here goes... this album does have a similar sound to the more restrained songs on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This is not a bad thing. The album is pretty solid - the vocals are merely functional at times though.
  8. HighHat
    Oct 11, 2006
    9
    Probably their best yet.
  9. chiefn
    Oct 11, 2006
    8
    Pretty darn good, but I like Heron King Blues a tad better.
  10. ToddW
    Oct 12, 2006
    9
    I empathize with bands like Califone. They play my favorite genre of music; they're incredibly talented; their songs are a cornucopia of sound and substance, and the music the play is like sunshine after a storm - all bright and welcome. Unfortunately, for all of these reasons their latest album will languish in the folk rock sections of your dying independent record stores, selling I empathize with bands like Califone. They play my favorite genre of music; they're incredibly talented; their songs are a cornucopia of sound and substance, and the music the play is like sunshine after a storm - all bright and welcome. Unfortunately, for all of these reasons their latest album will languish in the folk rock sections of your dying independent record stores, selling about as well as the hoary retreads in the used bins. FYE? Are you Coconuts? There is simply no place in the Sewerstream for bands like Califone. There's no visions of sweaty T&A in their songs and they don't advocate beating up women with (c)rap lyrics. Their sound is of the Earth, not the glossy pseudo-country pop being foisted upon us by the likes of no-wits Alan Jackson or Toby Keith, both of whom have never met a crisis they couldn't exploit. Expand
  11. jonnyk
    Nov 20, 2006
    9
    Absolutely hypnotic, multi-layered, gorgeous, modern, handmade with acoustic, electric and digital sounds...warm and comfortable and instantly familiar Deja vu for the soul.
  12. paul
    Nov 27, 2006
    9
    i whole heartedly agree with tristram - this band is taking americana to places wilco only wishes it could. i think the main thing missed by critics is that this record isn't a "pop" record - it's a collage of the future of american music. gets better with every listen. within my top 3 easily.
  13. owlbear
    Oct 11, 2006
    10
    Excellent, excellent work.
  14. Fisherman'sWife
    Nov 27, 2006
    9
    Truly a beautiful and richly layered album. Califone is like no other band I know of, and comparisons are difficult. Tim Rutili's rich voice keeps the soaring sounds of god-knows-what instruments grounded. Each song seems to have thousands of unique sounds, but the combination creates melodies that catch you so much that you can't shake them from your head. Califone has been Truly a beautiful and richly layered album. Califone is like no other band I know of, and comparisons are difficult. Tim Rutili's rich voice keeps the soaring sounds of god-knows-what instruments grounded. Each song seems to have thousands of unique sounds, but the combination creates melodies that catch you so much that you can't shake them from your head. Califone has been compared to Wilco for their efforts to deconstruct and reconstruct folk songs using technology to futher the sonic experience. This is probably the best comparison, but I find Califone to be a much richer, more rewarding sonic experience. If you are looking for Jeff Tweedy's accessible lyrics to go with that, you may be disappointed. Califone's lyrics are as impressionistic as its comes. And live, this band is amazing. Expand
  15. TristramC
    Oct 17, 2006
    9
    If this disc simply said Wilco on the sleeve the Metascore would be in the high 90s. The truth is Roots & Crowns is full of songs Jeff Tweedy is currently kicking himself for not writing. Thats because Califone has surpassed him at doing what Wilco had done best - making roots based music that utililizes todays technology while remaining true to the music's history. The way Dylan If this disc simply said Wilco on the sleeve the Metascore would be in the high 90s. The truth is Roots & Crowns is full of songs Jeff Tweedy is currently kicking himself for not writing. Thats because Califone has surpassed him at doing what Wilco had done best - making roots based music that utililizes todays technology while remaining true to the music's history. The way Dylan updated folk using electric guitar in the 60s Tweedy did the same thing in 2001 with synths on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - and now he's been bested. While the songs themselves are barely stronger on YHF that mixture of past and current isn't even close and Califone pile on adding tribal drums an on the opener "Pink & Sour" suggesting world music and a wider array of roots music like the bluegrass accents on "Alice Crawley". Its remarkable and as the critics catch up to it, expect to see Califone's next release get some of the extra consideration that was due to this one. Expand
  16. Conchsound
    Oct 18, 2006
    6
    Kind of a snooze. I still enjoy the fact that musicians like this are still out there with heart and attention in their music. I just don't understand why their melodies and inflections are everywhere but in their voices. Call me jaded. I'm just bored with boring singers. I'm guilty though, I have a short attention span.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Paste Magazine
    80
    The band's best collage of cross-bred eras yet. [Oct 2006, p.75]
  2. Urb
    70
    The studio noodling on Roots & Crowns sounds fittingly organic and effortless. [Oct 2006, p.117]
  3. Califone are continuing the progressive refinement of their roots, giving an assured argument for the possibilities ignored by folk musicians enslaved to tradition and a smart recall to all the forward-thinking others who have moved too completely and arrogantly on.