• Record Label: Nonesuch
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Feb 23, 2011
    60
    At heart this is a dustily traditional collection of folk songs, their straightforward rhythms and plain instrumentation intermittently embellished with musical saw and pump organ, their lyrics of loss, redemption and death occasionally startling, with such vivid imagery as that of a Bible in a bath of formaldehyde.
  2. Feb 22, 2011
    60
    The problem here is that all these competing styles result in a bit of a lack in a distinctive voice for the band.
  3. Feb 22, 2011
    60
    As part of a longer discography, Smart Flesh will probably stand as a good, solid point in The Low Anthem's career, a sign of the band developing their sound and their songwriting before delivering something truly special.
  4. Mar 11, 2011
    50
    While it shares many similarities with the quieter side of their first record, it never quite achieves the same heart-rending beauty we know they're capable of.
  5. Set your sights high, by all means, but when each track sounds like an attempt to emulate a specific great (Bruce, Bob, Leonard, the Band etc) the confused listener can't help but be left thinking "Will the real Low Anthem please stand up?"
  6. Feb 22, 2011
    50
    Americana and modern folk are often dismissed for their dour self-seriousness, and Smart Flesh, unfortunately, falls into the worst of those trappings.
  7. Apr 13, 2011
    48
    As long as the Low Anthem discount the idea that this music was once meant to stir the blood, rile the soul, and actually be exciting, it's always going to be historically inaccurate in a way no amount of sepia-toned ambience can overcome.
  8. Mar 23, 2011
    40
    As an album, there's little holding Smart Flesh together. [Feb. 2011, p. 72]

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