The Confessions of St. Ace - John Wesley Harding
The Confessions of St. Ace Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Without a doubt the best Elvis Costello record that Costello never recorded.... wistfully irresistible pop confections filled with effervescent melodies and clever lyrical wordplay.
  2. The lyricism is, as always, witty, wry, and full of cleverly deployed twists, along with literary and cultural allusions and smart metaphors...
  3. His latest release pops to life with the Beatlesque piano beat of "Humble Bee" and maintains a buoyant atmosphere throughout.
  4. St. Ace is as quotable as it is catchy, with production that stays just on the safe side of lush and a sound that's eager to win the audience Harding has never quite found.
  5. Harding has streamlined his lyrics and placed them in taut, soulful settings à la John Hiatt...
  6. 70
    Through the first three songs, Confessions sounds for all the world like the masterpiece John Wesley Harding has seemed unwilling to make throughout the detours and bypasses his career has taken since his magnificent 1990 debut.... Unfortunately, he has a difficult time reaching those heights again. [#47, p.97]
  7. Unfortunately, Harding misses more than he hits.... musically most of the tracks sound forced and untrue.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JeffreyH.
    Nov 28, 2001
    Catchy melodies, and rhythyms... clever, ultimately open-ended lyrics invite many listenings. Bravo!
  2. RobbyM.
    Aug 23, 2001
    Possibly Harding's best effort yet! Full of great hooks, and wry song writing. Harding's songwrinting has matured without becoming dull or pretensious. Expand
  3. Maribelle
    Oct 26, 2001
    This reminds me a lot of here comes the groom and the name above the title. I am more partial to his acoustic leanings, yet the more produced sound does not detract from his witty and clever revelations-(and anywayhis eloquent lyricist's side always was my favorite slice of Wes) Expand
  4. JoshB.
    Apr 23, 2001
    Same songs live were much more enticing--studio and these arrangements don't capture the charm.