Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Feb 25, 2011
    90
    Best of Gloucester County announces itself as superlative--a high standard to meet for an artist that has already achieved such a distinct identity across so many compelling albums.
  2. Apr 7, 2011
    82
    As strong as his previous records may be, on Gloucester County Smith sounds as if there's nothing left to prove. And so there's no longer any reason to doubt.
  3. Apr 7, 2011
    80
    In the end, it's the restraint, control, and unlikely expansiveness that make The Best of Gloucester County a strong and surreal step forward for Smith and his band.
  4. Apr 6, 2011
    80
    While tracks such as This Day Is A Loaf could be straight out of an album by Stevens himself, it's when the band stretches out, on the gentle but unsettling Hosanna In The Forest, that they really excel. [Apr 2011, p.101]
  5. Feb 28, 2011
    79
    As wild as a Danielson record can get, his compositions are always meticulously recorded and arranged, and his work ethic is palpable on every track--it's not that these songs feel over-labored, exactly (although they certainly don't seem spontaneous), it's that it's easy to hear all the ways in which Smith is consumed by his work.
  6. Jul 14, 2011
    73
    Danielson's past successes may have been the work of a hundred voices gathering 'round to sing the same joyous song, but the most successful parts of The Best of Gloucester County embrace a different kind of communion altogether. Not just the community of Gloucester County, or New Jersey, or the indie rock or Christian communities, but one of all things.
  7. Mar 9, 2011
    70
    While he's always seemed comfortable in his own skin, Smith comes off as particularly self-assured here. [Feb 2011, p.63]
  8. 70
    Thankfully, Danielson's music is interesting enough to look past some of these lyrical drawbacks.
  9. Feb 25, 2011
    70
    How to write authentically about a mundane life? Smith's answer involves screwball hooks, surreal evangelizing, and drunken-troubadour gusto.
  10. Knocking out fun little songs at home with old friends is all well and good, but it isn't hard to imagine a little more effort and sincerity resulting in something a bit more enduring.
  11. Apr 6, 2011
    60
    A band featuring such like-minded oddballs as Sufjan Stevens lend nice textures to the psychedelic swirls of Olympic Portions and Hovering Above That Hill, but simpler fare is more memorable. [Apr 2011, p.101]
  12. Mar 29, 2011
    60
    Smith's squeaky, adenoidal vocal, long a barrier to Danielson's popular acceptance, has softened somewhat, while the band are in fine form. [Apr 2011, p.78]
  13. Mar 9, 2011
    60
    I'm going to give this bonus points for the admirable trait of messing with our heads and not apologizing for it. But in the end, the quirky ideas are found lacking and sheer bizarreness only gets you so far.
  14. Feb 25, 2011
    60
    The only way you can't approach Best of Gloucester County is neutrally. And it takes suspendin' some serious disbelief to buy into the Danielson vision, but I think it's worth it.
  15. Feb 25, 2011
    60
    If anything, Gloucester County proves that Smith is willing to let his unique style mature, which may at some point provide some insight into one of the underground's most elusive personalities.
  16. Feb 25, 2011
    58
    So while chants of "I love my Lord!" were deemed acceptable by listeners not used to listening to such things, Smith has finally offered something that might be a bit too unsettling: straightforward pop songs.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 29, 2011
    9
    Once again, Danielson serves as the house band for wedding feast of Matthew 22:2-14. I think that this album is more consistently enjoyable than Ships. Full Review »