The Calcination Of Scout Niblett


Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Calcination is a harrowing, emotionally draining 51 minutes; it can’t be judged on anything but its essences lyrically and musically, making it an abundantly successful endeavor.
  2. The Calcination Of Scout Niblett is less a record to be heard, and more a spectacle to be gawked at, one from which it’s difficult to turn away.
  3. It takes an incredibly steady hand and a reservoir of patience to pull off this tone, but delightfully, still below the surface is that tension. There are these competing moments in her music then, and it is the way they compete that makes her aesthetic unique and beautiful.
  4. 80
    Her minimal songs--just one guitar and sporadic drums--unfold laboriously, as though forcing themselves from Niblett's clenched mouth and hands.
  5. Here she sounds more focused, and her delivery more triumphant.
  6. Scout Niblett is an acquired taste, but so many of the best things - olives, anchovies, nipple clamping - are. And if you have ever been tempted to acquire a taste for Niblett, The Calcination..., along with This Fool..., would be a good place to start.
  7. She's not displaying much in the way of stylistic evolution, but it's not exactly certain whether this is a negative factor. As ever, raging raw emotion shouts out of Niblett's gullet, whilst sludge-chords resound from her low-hung axe, following the Nirvana (and thence PJ Harvey) school of quiet-then-loud, loud-then-quiet, but nevertheless imposing her own unpredictabilities on this dynamic.
  8. Uncut
    Steve Albini is admirably restrained here, preserving the raw power of Niblett's guitar, allowing it to throb and hum beneath--and sometimes above--her bell-like voice. [Apr 2010, p.95]
  9. Niblett's music is very much an acquired taste, and there are few ways to enjoy this other than on her terms. She's not oblivious to this, and she has a sense of humor about it.
  10. A disquieting atmosphere is conjured by both the constant shifts in tempo and Niblett’s emotionally naked lyrics, while ’s naturalistic production deepens the album’s near-menacing intimacy.
  11. Despite the lack of hooks and the relative monotony of the music, this album is compelling. Niblett’s earnestness transcends the criticisms usually levied at similar music.
  12. Calcination does not lack sincerity or focus, but that doesn't make it any easier to digest.
  13. Q Magazine
    This time around, though, she's more introspective, less shouty and the result is her most absorbing album since 2005's "Kidnapped By Neptune." [Mar 2010, p.106]
  14. Under The Radar
    The Calcination Of Scout Niblett is the Portland songwriter's most challenging album to date. [Winter 2010, p.69]

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