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The  Civil Wars Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the duo Joy Williams and John Paul White followed an announced hiatus in November 2012 due to "internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition."
  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Genre(s): Folk, Americana, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. [The songs] are nothing short of radiant, from the perfect vocals to the organic, full-bodied arrangements, from the heart-rending lyrics to the way that producer Charlie Peacock surrounds everything in a smoky ambiance.
  2. 83
    While the result might seem a little like that awkward first post-split Christmas when Dad comes back and crashes on the couch, it turns out that, well, conflict suits them.
  3. 80
    There might not be a “Poison & Wine” here, but taken as a whole, The Civil Wars is a more consistent collection than Barton Hollow.
  4. Aug 6, 2013
    The tension that fills The Civil Wars, giv[es] the songs a sense of weight and purpose that wasn’t apparent on their 2011 debut, “Barton Hollow.”
  5. Aug 5, 2013
    Ultimately, the Civil Wars are impeccable craftsmen, taking weathered elements and repurposing them for something that feels new and never haunted by what came before.
  6. Aug 20, 2013
    It's the same stark template of vocals, acoustic guitars and assorted surprising adornments, but they save themselves from the overworthy trap by those voices. [Sep 2013, p.100]
  7. 30
    Too often their over-earnest delivery is unbearable.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 19, 2013
    This self-titled sophomore set is truly amazing and emotional. "The One That Got Away" got me all excited right off the very second it wasThis self-titled sophomore set is truly amazing and emotional. "The One That Got Away" got me all excited right off the very second it was released and waiting for the album was painful because it was way too intriguing. I got the album the very first day of its release, and it doesn't disappoint at all. My favorite track would be "Same Old Same Old" which offers just the right amount of sadness, happiness, introspective lyrics, and tremendous vocals. The Civil Wars is like a gift for popular music. Collapse