Sycamore Meadows

Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Compare 'Here Comes The' with 'Vessels,' a breakup tune that eschews inconsolability for bright key changes and high anthemic vocals, and you get the full spectrum of Walker's songwriting ability, which is as razor-sharp in 2008 as it ever has been.
  2. Alternative Press
    80
    Sycamore has plenty of upbeat rockers to counterbalance its moodier moments. [Jan 2008, p.128]
  3. A new high point for the already accomplished Walker.
  4. Sycamore Meadows is ultimately pretty uplifting, exuding a laid-back, Tom Pettyish tunefulness.
  5. Filter
    66
    I must say, raw musical elements aside, as a songwriter his storytelling ability alone wins the day. [Holiday 2008, p.106]
  6. Mojo
    80
    He's walking away on style, delivering a collection of distinctive songs. [Nov 2009, p.97]
  7. Beneath the radio polish lies a wickedly caustic songwriting wit.
  8. It’s an ideal time to simultaneously start over and glance back, which Walker does on Sycamore Meadows, trading the glammy style of his prior solo work for competent, traditional radio rock....Then again, you’ll need a high threshold for boorishness to enjoy his frequent autobiographical nostalgia for substance abuse, pubescent defloration and venereal disease.
  9. His latest album cannibalizes and spews out influences as diverse as gospel, glitter, metal, and folk, as well as elements of the aforementioned Petty, Springsteen, and Bowie in new and exciting ways.
  10. 60
    Even when he's bumming, though, Walker still finds comfort in a good groove or a tart horn chart.
  11. Sycamore Meadows is an album that was born from heartache, and it’s on its saddest and most visceral numbers that the album truly shines, and perhaps gives some validity to that old lie about art.
  12. For much of the album, Mr. Walker sings about breakups and aftermaths, and songs like 'Here Comes the ...' and 'Vessels' show he can still write pop choruses. Now and then, his instinct for drama makes him sound mawkish. But he’ll probably never be so unguarded again.

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