The Knot

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Jul 21, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Wye Oak isn’t breaking any new ground in the exciting field of drone-exploration, but the band’s tone is striking--like a tuning fork with the blues.
  2. Lost in most of the noise and clutter was Jenn Wasner’s fantastic voice and Andy Stack’s ability as a “wall of sound” creator. On their new album, The Knot, these skills are not only refined but they showcase a wider, more advanced decadence and a band that sounds that much better, because of it.
  3. The Knot turns the cliche about sophomore slumps on its head by being much stronger than If Children.
  4. In their triumph they’ve laid claim to one of the most touching and breathtaking albums of 2009, one with a clear sense of its own power and dynamics that ring true.
  5. The Knot isn’t a happy album by any stretch of the imagination, but optimism can be found within the notion that Wassner and Stack, by some strange alchemy, make sadness beautiful. In so doing, they have made an album that needs to be heard.
  6. Although it falls a few steps shy of wowing unreservedly, The Knot remains a poised and compelling second album.
  7. Uncut
    If you want epic, check out the eight-minute sprawl of 'Mary Is Mary.' For a bit more raw noise terror, try the speed-rush of 'Tattoo.' [Nov 2009, p.117]
  8. The Knot may not be a full-out Great Album, but it does contain a lot of moments that are dangerously close, and taken as a whole it is surprisingly well-developed for a band still getting started.
  9. Under The Radar
    The Knot displays a band more confident of itself and its powers. [Summer 2009, p.63]
  10. Filter
    THe Knot is an iron-willed, albeit reserved, expansion of the duo's sound. [Summer 2009, p.106]
  11. The record isn't a failure by any stretch; there is enough going on to make it at least worth a listen or two if you love the sound of 1990s American indie rock as much as Wye Oak do.
  12. Their distinct blend of shoegaze and Americana sounds more natural than it should, while remaining, at most, vaguely reminiscent of other bands. Once the clarity of their songwriting matches their musical vision, there won’t be any need to keep peppering praise with regret.
  13. It's Wye Oak's arrangements--feedback blasts, tape-loop-like effects, violin and pedal steel sighs--that turn standard indie-rock ballads into unusually evocative mood music.
  14. Songs rarely pick up from a crawl. Sustained guitar chords fan out and crush whatever momentum the band gets going. The bursts of distortion that colored If Children are almost pornographically expanded.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. CarlS
    Oct 17, 2009
    Superb sounding album from start to finish. lush and dense layers, terrific songs all the way through.