• Record Label: New West
  • Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Apr 16, 2014
    91
    Like most projects released by Americana singer/songwriter or heritage acts, Tarpaper Sky is best enjoyed like a book, in its entirety as opposed to a chapter here and there.
  2. Apr 11, 2014
    90
    This is just vintage Crowell, which is to say that Tarpaper Sky is an essential record by one of the best.
  3. May 20, 2014
    80
    The Long Journey Home and God, I'm Missing You might look back at the past, but Crowell's best years are right now. [Jun 2014, p.107]
  4. May 15, 2014
    80
    The tunes are a panorama of Crowell's favoured styles. [Jun 2014, p.91]
  5. May 13, 2014
    80
    Crowell continues to stake his claim as one of the genre’s most learned and accomplished performers, and if there is a gripe it’s that, at 11 tracks, the party’s over way too soon.
  6. Apr 15, 2014
    80
    With Tarpaper Sky, he can clearly claim one of the finest albums of a sterling 40-year career.
  7. Apr 14, 2014
    80
    This is Crowell at his best: focused, balanced, clever, at times profound. It's a welcome return to form.
  8. 80
    Tarpaper Sky finds him relaxed and confident in his craft.
  9. Apr 11, 2014
    80
    Throughout, Crowell’s versatile, impassioned voice is in fine fettle, a confident mix of goofiness and longing, anticipation and excitement, sadness and sentimentality, as if he’s just now entering a new prime. He might well be.
  10. Apr 11, 2014
    78
    Tarpaper Sky proves that the Houston Kid in his 60s remains as vital as ever, balancing ballads and bar room stomps, both cut with his characteristic sense of autobiographical detail and precarious mortality.
  11. Apr 15, 2014
    73
    Though these 11 songs aren’t always as sharply drawn as his best material, there’s plenty to love here.
  12. 70
    While it remains to be seen if any of these eleven tracks yields another legendary moment on the order of the ones Crowell has already penned, the organic Tarpaper Sky is a welcome reminder that at 63 he remains capable of releasing beautifully crafted music that can stand toe to toe with his best.
  13. Apr 17, 2014
    60
    There’s a tendency for Crowell’s music to be a tad too literal from time to time and a few tracks suffer from this perspective. The hits outweigh the misses, though.

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