Secret South - 16 Horsepower
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. The objective was to make a fucking brilliant album where the mood is king, the delivery is queen and studied modern coolness is a jester that's one misplaced quip away from being the lion's breakfast. And, of course, they've succeeded.
  2. Seldom have banjos, violins, organ, and bandoneon (an old accordion that helps define the band's unique sound), let alone guitar, piano and, stand-up bass, seemed quite as intimidating and brooding as in the hands of this band.
  3. 80
    Secret South may be an even stronger work than its predecessor, 1998's exceptional Low Estate
  4. The sounds that pour forth from the teamwork of David Eugene Edwards, Jean-Yves Tola and co. echo another time so completely, that at times you might think these sounds were recovered, rather than newly created.
  5. Melodies howl along before being ground down under the weight of distorted guitar. Strings float songs along, then scrabble against the flow.
  6. Secret South is a characteristically strong showing, but ultimately, it pales in comparison to its predecessors. The self-produced album retains the band's unique sound, but fails to measure up to the perfect match they found in guitarist John Parish for Low Estate's crisply rustic atmosphere. Even without any of the droning squeezebox ballads that accounted for Low Estate's few weak spots, it somehow lacks the momentum and fury that made that album such an engaging listen.

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