Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The Portrait Is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty blends influences from two generally antithetical musical subgenres--hippie psych-folk and '80s U.K. art pop--into a languid, low-key whole that's perfect for both lazy, cozy lie-ins and middle-of-the-night headphone listening.
  2. 80
    Sydney Vermont and boyfriend Dan Bejar have spent the past two years quietly assembling their debut album's sublime folk rock. [Mar 2008, p.102]
  3. There are faint notes of Bossa Nova and Kate Bush in Bejar's sunny yet skewed arrangements--femme flights of fancy that brush past '70s and '80s folk-pop without sounding less than organic and original.
  4. While Sydney Vermont's shaky, unusual voice might rub some the wrong way, I found it to be awkwardly beautiful - much like the rest of Hello, Blue Roses' debut album.
  5. Although there are a few ever-so slightly awkward moments, Portrait bears the marks of a perfect collaboration, one in which two very strong (and very different) personal aesthetics merge seamlessly together into one unified vision.
  6. One could dwell on the poetics of Vermont’s lyrics if they were more understandable; despite a high-flying voice, she enunciates with a marble-mouth worthy of Michael Stipe. Even Bejar isn’t invulnerable here, tacking on guitar solos to cover holes in the songwriting walls.
  7. The pair accomplished what they set out to do, but by no means are they causing any whiplash with the results.
  8. What The Portrait Is Finished… evokes is a sense just like that of its inventive title: an ultimately unsatisfying portrait that fails to capture beauty, even though it's clear that true beauty is there to be captured.
  9. This is a solid set of songs that’s mannered and restrained to a fault.
  10. Bejar wanders in and out with backing vocals and extended guitar lines, but the overall feeling is of two artists taking a little time out for themselves.
  11. The romantically intertwined duo make easy listening music that is neither challenging to listeners nor especially objectional. [Spring 2008, p.83]
  12. Fuzztone guitar and the occasional woodwinds dress up the many slow-paced songs, but repetitive, fragmentary compositions such as 'Paquita Reads by Candlelight,' Vancouver-repping 'Skeleton Aim,' and the typically moribund 'Come Darkness' sound more concerned with melisma than memorable melodies or vibrant production.
  13. Together, they craft lilting, light-hearted art-folk that recalls something akin to Joni Mitchell sitting in with '80s British popsters Prefab Sprout at best, or some Renaissance Faire troubadour's best attempt at improv at its most mediocre.
  14. Bejar's warm, odd voice does not jibe well with the voice of the former Toronto Children's Choir singer.
  15. These few songs ['Heron Song' and 'Shadow Falls'] are genuine highlights amidst a sea of generic acoustic balladry, a project that would make a great EP but--as a full-length--runs out of steam at a truly remarkable pace.

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