The First Days Of Spring - Noah and the Whale
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. They have done a hell of a lot of growing up. An immense album.
  2. However maudlin Noah & The Whale begin, then, there's a wonderful narrative here that sees them move from first-love blues, through resentment to healing and finally to acceptance.
  3. The quiet simplicity of these songs is better suited to Fink’s lone voice, clear without a jumble of voices and complex harmonies, strengthening the continuity of the storytelling.
  4. 80
    "This is a song for anyone with a broken heart," Fink sings on 'Blue Skies' and the break-up album of the year is complete. [Sep 2009, p.98]
  5. Heartbreak can tear a songwriter to shreds, but it serves the opposite purpose here, lending a sense of vulnerability to Fink's baritone and adding some much-needed drama to the band's music, which previously concerned itself with twee-styled progressions and summery melodies.
  6. This is a beautiful album. Moving rather than maudlin, uplifting rather than depressing.
  7. 76
    The First Days of Spring falls in the gentle, folky space between Belle & Sebastian and It’s Jo and Danny, but manages to carve out a singular place for itself with thoughtful lyricism and artful songwriting.
  8. It’s an intriguing record brimming with solid songs that only loses step by keeping to a narrow path.
  9. The First Days Of Spring has a wonderful orchestral bent, with many tracks graced by symphonic backing that brings welcome grandeur without succumbing to cloying melodrama. [Fall 2009, p.59]
  10. 60
    Ambitious, orchestral and accompanied by a 45-minute film, it candidly documents singer Charlie Fink’s recovery from a badly broken heart.
  11. Despite its shortcomings, The First Days of Spring marks a welcome escape from such labels as "quirky" and "twee", with a musical maturity that requires only an equivalent lyrical magic to amount to something truly special.
  12. As a lyricist, Fink's too reliant on indistinct yearn, and while you might relate to some of Spring's bummed-out bromide, Fink's moping seems too scopic to hit anyone very deep for very long. Sometimes you just put it in a letter.
  13. There’s just enough mediocre material that slips through to make The First Days of Spring more of a curiosity, an almost-successful experiment, rather than something truly remarkable.
  14. As a document to a breakup, it's all a bit middling and lifeless. Sadness is one thing, but it's spring for Noah and the Whale. Where's the color?
  15. At the moment, though, it appears as though this is one twee-pop album that simply doesn't pop.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 10, 2014
    10
    After a lackluster debut with Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down, Noah and the Whale returns with what might be the ultimate break-up album. Going from total sadness and longing in the brilliant title-track to the eventual "moving on" phase in "Blue Skies" and "My Door is Always Open," The Last Days of Spring is the perfect diagram of the emotional turmoil following heartbreak. Every song adds to this overall feeling of the process of getting over love, with massive amounts of drama pumped into every song. One warning: if you enjoyed their debut album, this album is vastly different, and at times even leaves the realm of folk music in the depiction of emotional turmoil, something that may not be a welcome change for you. However, I still recommend you try this album, as you might be surprised and find something even better. Full Review »