The Sister

Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. May 30, 2012
    40
    What is meant to sound intimate and sparse only sounds unfinished, and-dare I say it-downright boring.
  2. May 30, 2012
    80
    These songs are like pearls, lustrous, unknowable and happiest next to bare skin.
  3. May 30, 2012
    90
    An impressive concoction of stark minimalism. From its cryptic cover art to its ethereal soundtrack, The Sister is Nadler's journey to self-assurance, in which she paints an intricate portrait of longing and reflection, blurring its sullen edges with shades of hope and prosperity.
  4. May 31, 2012
    60
    Nadler's shortest and sparsest full-length yet. The decision to limit it to little more than a handful of tracks ensures it's succinct and absent of any songs I could comfortably call 'bad' or even 'not good,' but it also means there's no room for any of the risks that made her older work so fresh and adventurous.
  5. May 31, 2012
    60
    The one place where The Sister falters, and where it falls just short of its predecessor, is that it doesn't always take advantage of that layering [of music from her supporting musicians].... With so few songs here, these moments of isolation seem to take up too much time on a short record about building a bridge back to the world of the living.
  6. May 31, 2012
    70
    The Sister ultimately comes across as, at best, a retread done well and, at worst, a retreat into previously approved territory by an artist who has noticeably improved as a tactician.
  7. May 30, 2012
    80
    At just eight tracks, The Sister never outstays its welcome, and by the time it's finished, you're likely to want to go straight back to the start. And if this is your first introduction to Nadler, you'll want to explore her back catalogue straight away.
  8. May 30, 2012
    60
    A few tracks wisp away into nothingness, but on work like "Your Heart is a Twisted Vine," Nadler approaches timelessness as well.
  9. May 30, 2012
    83
    As heart-stopping as The Sister is, though, it feels more like an appendix to her body of work than a fresh, essential sequel.
  10. 60
    It's a bit disappointing to see her regress from the bold moves she made on 2011's Marissa Nadler, but it seems to be the trade-off we've made for The Sister's lyrical clarity.
  11. Jul 25, 2012
    60
    The decision to rein in the forward-thinking, more ambitious, and colorful musical and textural steps she made on her last recording makes this rather monochromatic affair feel somewhat longer than its scant 33 minutes.
  12. The surrounding material is all solid, if not to be ranked as some of her best stuff.
  13. Jun 15, 2012
    74
    The Sister is another fine record in Nadler's growing catalogue, yet one tied more to the well-trodden tropes (lyrically, stylistically) she's built her name on than we've grown accustomed.
  14. Jun 14, 2012
    75
    The Sister is Marissa Nadler looking down and realizing that she has recently written eight good songs.
  15. Jun 1, 2012
    66
    The electronic experiments introduced on Little Hells continue to bloom and her character building is peerless.
  16. Magnet
    May 30, 2012
    75
    This is a singer's album, one that luxuriates in the pure, lovely tones of Nadler's warmly intimate, darkly insistent voice. [No.87 p.57]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 26, 2012
    6
    The problem here isn\'t the beauty and dreamy aura created by Nadler, it is that the listener isn\'t brought in emotionally. I found myselfThe problem here isn\'t the beauty and dreamy aura created by Nadler, it is that the listener isn\'t brought in emotionally. I found myself hypnotized by the swirling acoustic guitar, but the lyrics drifted above my attention. I was faintly aware of Nadlers words, but they were always hers and never a connection to me. A great album to set a mood, a great record for being lost in music soundscapes, but not many are going to walk away from here knowing its content. Full Review »