Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Jun 14, 2011
    90
    Basically, Woods have put it all together on Sun and Shade, matching inspiration with performance and crafting their best record yet, one that will stand with the great folk-psych albums of the past 40 years, from the Notorious Byrd Brothers to the Rain Parade's Emergency Third Rail Power Trip to Either/Or to now.
  2. Jul 21, 2011
    50
    There's little doubt that Sun and Shade could be a satisfying 30-minute indie-folk record with a bit of self-editing. Simply put, Woods would be wise to keep the psych-drone exercises in the live department, where they're more of a treat and less of a chore.
  3. Jun 10, 2011
    79
    Despite their ultra-slack style and prodigious output, nothing about them says "half-assed," so it's another year, another fine Woods album.
  4. Jul 28, 2011
    80
    Jeremy Earl's endearing falsetto and excellent songwriting holds it all together. Aug 2011, p.107]
  5. Jun 9, 2011
    50
    While At Echo Lake was essentially the same sonic blueprint as its predecessor, the mellower mood here is a marked change from those last two efforts, though it's not always the most successful of shifts. [May 2011, p. 82]
  6. Jun 14, 2011
    75
    While Sun And Shade might feel a bit familiar in places, this return trip to a sonic realm so warm and inviting is similarly pleasing.
  7. Jun 21, 2011
    70
    If At Echo Lake hit the jackpot, Sun & Shade is more hit and miss. Still, I wouldn't have it any other way.
  8. Jun 10, 2011
    60
    On the band's sixth album, they're most comfortable in the spot where Guided by Voices ("Any Other Day") bump into 
the Kinks ("What Faces 
the Sheet") -- slightly psychedelic and frequently sticky, breezily charming and pleasantly woozy.
  9. 80
    While there's still a sense of DIY sound on Sun and Shade, the focus of the music has a much more communal feel.
  10. Jun 14, 2011
    60
    The prettier recording wraps up songwriting that seems perfunctory and performances that sound tired by comparison to the psychedelic dervishes Woods first appeared as.
  11. Jun 21, 2011
    68
    There's much to be said for any band that can cover so much sonic territory in 12 tracks and 45 minutes. But next time, Woods should aim for enough sound to fill one dusty, neglected '60s LP-not an entire cratefull.
  12. Jun 14, 2011
    85
    Here they've proved that their success isn't all charm or happenstance. Woods have gotten to this point by following every creative impulse, and they seemingly have a million more possibilities stretching out ahead.
  13. Jun 24, 2011
    80
    At their most stripped-back, Woods have always been arresting – but here they realize some of their most beautiful work yet.
  14. Jun 14, 2011
    82
    Unlike other bands in the Woodsist family, the handmade quality has become less perceptible and more meditative with Sun & Shade, allowing noisier elements to puncture subtly through the foursome's songcraft.
  15. Jul 27, 2011
    50
    Woods should take the cue from Bill Callahan and what he accomplished with Smog: if you are going to delve into the restricting realm of lo-fi, there has to be emotional and appealing substance and quality in the songs themselves. Lowering the production quality does not, as in a double helix, imply that the songwriting quality will improve.
  16. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Sun & Shade, Woods's sixth full-length album, has a spine under its breathable fabrics. It's full of tough, engaging songs, with lyrics that flirt with the uncertain.
  17. In the end, Sun And Shade proves far more complex than the label of psych-folk would indicate, to the point that its small flaws are easily forgivable.

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