Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. There's a difference between a damn fine song and the brilliance that made up Stevens's previous two releases, Illinois and Seven Swans. Unfortunately, The Avalanche clunks through track after track of damn fine songs while only rarely hitting these moments that make your body tingle in euphoria.
  2. There's very little here that ups the ante (or matches the highlights) of the original Illinois disc.
  3. Ultimately, The Avalanche lacks the lasting impact of Illinois, as its songs don’t quite hold the same sense of gravitas, economy, and focus.
  4. Rolling Stone
    60
    The Avalanche packs enough weirdo magic to make it more than just a gift to his growing cult. [13 Jul 2006, p.104]
  5. Q Magazine
    60
    A notch above an off-cuts collection. [Aug 2006, p.116]
  6. The Avalanche is, perhaps predictably, a middling reconstitution of its legitimate predecessor.
  7. Too often his songs fail to captivate beyond a curiosity factor.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. MattStep
    Aug 31, 2007
    8
    Out-takes!!? OUTTAKES!?! Will Mr Stevens please stop hogging all the tunes! I thought this would be patchy at best but it turns out to Out-takes!!? OUTTAKES!?! Will Mr Stevens please stop hogging all the tunes! I thought this would be patchy at best but it turns out to contain many of the best things Sufjan Stevens has done (The Mistress Witch from McClure, Adlai Stevenson, The Henney Buggy Band etc.). I really don't need three more versions of Chicago though, no matter how good they are. Full Review »
  2. PhilipC
    Sep 21, 2006
    5
    Vastly overrated, even more so than the rest of his catalogue.
  3. ChadM
    Aug 25, 2006
    8
    Great album. Even if he released this as an actual album it would be incredible, but the fact that it is a compilation of outtakes makes this Great album. Even if he released this as an actual album it would be incredible, but the fact that it is a compilation of outtakes makes this all the more remarkable. Full Review »