The Drift

  • Record Label: 4AD
  • Release Date: May 23, 2006
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. This is out in the margins, removed from 'pop' and 'alternative' genres by the scale of its reach, its bloody and bold ambition. It is complex, multilayered, densely plotted, wordy. It's also scary, harsh and bruised.
  2. Despite its complexity, every twist and turn of The Drift is absolutely compelling.
  3. The Drift is a record that demands a lot of work and repays tenfold.
  4. Alternative Press
    100
    Walker has gone as far into the atmosphere as one can travel while still being earthbound. [Jul 2006, p.210]
  5. It's unlikely that any other album will sound much like The Drift this year, and even less likely that it could be forgotten if heard even once.
  6. Even at its most dissonant and abstract, this record is human to the core, and if you're ready to face a few demons, it's as inspiring as music gets.
  7. The Drift--in all its nightmarish, bloody glory--is as bold and profound a comment on our times as has emerged so far this century.
  8. 'The Drift' is an extraordinary piece of work, even more challenging and expansive than Scott Walker's startling last album.
  9. No easy listening feat by any stretch of the imagination, Scott Walker's The Drift will provide critics and general music fans with talking points for the next 10 years. It is, simply, a work of staggering emotional sentiment and complexity that few will be able to match.
  10. The Drift isn't an equally severe leap from Tilt [as Tilt was from Climate of Hunter], but it is darker, less arranged, alternately more and less dense, and ultimately more frightening.
  11. The Wire
    90
    Most of these songs will startle you at some point. [#268, p.50]
  12. The lengths of hiss and silence can be unnerving, especially when his ethereal prose floats into a void. Yet when the swells come and Walker breaks the waves, it's a thing of absolute beauty, and the black turns neon.
  13. Quite simply, "The Drift" is unlike any other record on Earth.
  14. Blender
    80
    The Drift is like a nightmare you look forward to repeating. [Jun 2006, p.148]
  15. Uncut
    80
    This is a record that genuinely sounds like nothing you have heard before. If you can rise to its portentous challenge... The Drift will prove to be a frightening, bewitching and rewarding experience. [Jun 2006, p.96]
  16. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    Every bit as stark, foreboding, but utterly singular as 'Tilt'. [6 May 2006, p.33]
  17. The album is powerful stuff, and though it's unlikely to be heard by many, it's even more unlikely to be forgotten by those who do hear it.
  18. Mojo
    80
    A record that makes the tortured beauty of Tilt appear like a mildly resigned shrug. [Jun 2006, p.102]
  19. The most elaborately impenetrable album we're likely to hear this decade.
  20. [An] uneasy listening masterwork.
  21. Paste Magazine
    80
    This is a beautiful nightmare with no referent in pop and few in recorded-music history. [Jun/Jul 2006, p.131]
  22. Spin
    80
    More avant-opera than pop. [Jul 2006, p.90]
  23. Ultimately, those enamored with Walker's infrequent but peculiarly expressive post-'70s work (from Climate of Hunter on) will find much to enjoy here.
  24. Those who lovingly caress their copies of Tilt have probably already jumped in its trenches, liking what there is to like, and there is much to like about this album, even if it doesn’t maintain the consistency of that masterpiece; those who find his voice annoying have already set up sniper posts across the field; everybody else is standing in the middle wondering what the fuss is about. The Drift won’t change that.
  25. "The Drift" sets out only to follow its own obsessions; it's both lush and austere, utterly personal and often Delphic in its impenetrability.
  26. Under The Radar
    70
    It's a lot to digest. [#14]
  27. His effort to make the most tense, uncomfortable record in the world has resulted in something that actually feels pretty straightforward, uncomplicated, and digestible.
  28. This new album is relentlessly dark, disjointed, and disturbing. While there exist elements of his pop past -- gorgeous string sections, delicate guitars, bombastic drums -- there's nothing like a song here.
  29. By so clearly rejecting the terms and expectations of rock and pop, The Drift asks fairly explicitly to be taken as a serious work of art. However, for all its highbrow aspirations, it seems to fall between two realms, lacking the innovative reach that would make it a credible presence among contemporary avant-garde compositions.
  30. Q Magazine
    40
    It could be high art. It could be utter bollocks. Either way, it's lovely when it's over. [Jun 2006, p.119]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 50
  2. Negative: 17 out of 50
  1. Oct 24, 2014
    8
    it's dark, its wonderful, and quite frankly its creepy as hell. Yes, this is Scott Walker at a pretty extravagant working rate, except maybe ait's dark, its wonderful, and quite frankly its creepy as hell. Yes, this is Scott Walker at a pretty extravagant working rate, except maybe a smaller rate than Bisch Bosch or Soused, but still, fair to say, pretty bloody extravagant.
    The album in its entirety is there to challenge you, to scare you, but at the same time to entertain you and pull you in. Which it does brilliantly.
    Full Review »
  2. emilyc.
    Jun 29, 2007
    0
    How about if I just moan while shoving a crooked stick in my pussy and record it. It would be far more interesting than this shit, and would How about if I just moan while shoving a crooked stick in my pussy and record it. It would be far more interesting than this shit, and would probably sound about the same. Full Review »
  3. ErikH
    Jun 17, 2007
    8
    This is an extremely difficult album that a lot of people will hate. You can tell just by reading the user reviews which of these people This is an extremely difficult album that a lot of people will hate. You can tell just by reading the user reviews which of these people actually know what to expect from a Walker album and those who just listened based on a Metacritic score or Pitchfork review. It took me about two months (and dozens of listens) to penetrate this album. When I finally did, I found it terrifying, deep, and breath-taking. There's as much to be found in its moments of tape-hiss and silence as there is when it reaches it's most decadent moments. Worth listening, but only if you're willing to invest time in it. Full Review »