Spelled In Bones - Fruit Bats

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Saying that the man knows his way around a hook is an understatement: he throws hooks around like an incandescent bulb does photons.
  2. A bewitching collection of low-key pop.
  3. 80
    Lovely. [Oct 2005, p.114]
  4. It may be a remarkably summery album, but it has enough charm and depth for year-round listening.
  5. Spelled in Bones digs further into Johnson's fondness for '70s songsmiths and production. Gone are Mouthfuls producer Brian Deck's glassy casements and miles of space, replaced here by a sound more rooted and wood-grained.
  6. With its elegant simplicity, Spelled in Bones may not be concerned with being an epic, but it unwittingly becomes one; it is an album capable of stirring something greater within its audience.
  7. [It has] a woozy Beulah-plays-Beach Boys vibe.
  8. 70
    Tighter and woodier-sounding than 2003's Mouthfuls. [Oct 2005, p.102]
  9. If you're willing to forgive a little lack of innovation and the subtle feeling that Spelled In Bones might be a little more mellow than it ought to be, there's one hell of a nice listen in this record.
  10. While Bones isn't as instantly accessible as its predecessor, it certainly provides more to mull over.
  11. Mellow and breezy, Spelled in Bones has “summer record” written all over it, with its warm, gentle pop melodies that would make Paul McCartney proud.
  12. With [Johnson's] infectious melodies set to some seriously nonsensical lyrics, you'll wonder if there's a deeper point you're missing while your toes involuntarily groove in your shoes. [29 Jul 2005, p.68]
  13. Spelled in Bones, their most polished effort, teeters near soporific. And that's a shame, because it houses some of the band's best songs.
  14. Lead bat Eric Johnson is a talented songwriter but his '60s lite-psych melodies and scruffy acoustic backdrop are not just tired, they're nearly dead.
  15. It’s not groundbreaking. It’s not a huge stylistic forward leap or a studio-stunt. It’s simply another of Eric Johnson and his band’s records of simple grandiosity.
  16. 50
    Songs that actually shoot for happy tend to slide into saccharine. [#69, p.96]
  17. Second-rate Shins. [Aug 2005, p.164]

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