Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Uncut
    With Spoils, Alasdair Roberts has delivered his finest work to date. [May 2009, p.95]
  2. There is a clarity of musical and lyrical vision here that is rarely found in modern music.
  3. Part-Incredible String Band, part- Lal Waterson, but mostly magnificently unique.
  4. 80
    A Scottish singer-songwriter with a number of spare and lovely folk albums, Alasdair Roberts goes for the mad prophetic gusto on the strange and visionary Spoils.
  5. Mojo
    Its successor emanates a similarly yeasty authenticity, stretching songs into epic ballads, its acoustic guitars, bass and drums ornamented by a lattice of deftly plucked and strummed things. [May 2009, p.105]
  6. The way Roberts' often high-pitched brogue wraps itself around sentences is pretty as hell; his voice has never sounded better, nor has it been recorded this clearly before.
  7. Not only, then, is Spoils a splendid introduction to Alasdair Roberts’ repertoire, it is also a fine way to get your feet wet in the British Folk kingdom.
  8. Despite the cool harpsichords, glockenspiels, flutes and dulcimers, it’s Roberts’ mournful voice that leads the songs to their rightful resting places.
  9. There are plenty of fine moments in all the songs, whether it's a sudden burst of harmonies, or unexpected instrumental flourishes, from behind the singer.
  10. Though it doesn’t hit the peaks of No Earthly Man, his 2005 foray into the pure history of the ballad, Spoils easily holds its own.
  11. While homegrown folkies such as Laura Marling are happy to lose themselves in twanging bluegrass and Americana, it’s refreshing to hear a Brit ploughing up our own verdant folk history. Scot troubadour Alasdair Roberts does just that.
  12. Spoils contains enough perverse and engaging lyrical quirks to make it worthy of investigation, and who can resist lines like: “And here’s the dowry of the leper/ A walnut shell and a peck of pepper” (from 'Hazel Forks').
  13. Filter
    Spoils delivers a series of eight meandering folktales, which wouldn't be out of place in a pub, and more likely borne from your average drunkard than a drunkard literary giant. [Spring 2009, p.106]
  14. Roberts is then left essentially targeting an audience obsessed with novelty, but his ammunition is weak.

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