The Tarnished Gold

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Jun 26, 2012
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Jun 26, 2012
    90
    There's a sadness, a backwards-looking air to Tarnished Gold that's new. Once the Sparks' hallucinatory trippery signaled youth's endless possibilities. Now their songs, even the new ones, are filtered through a golden, dust-moted, late afternoon light.
  2. Jun 25, 2012
    90
    The Tarnished Gold sees them return sounding fresh and revitalised, delivering an album that more than matches their earlier output.
  3. Jun 22, 2012
    88
    Cosmically in tune and harmony-rich, they excel in presenting their colorful, kaleidoscopic view of the world.
  4. Jun 26, 2012
    83
    The beauty of the record is a sum of its parts rather than an inventory of its pieces.
  5. Jun 28, 2012
    80
    While all the West Coast blue-skying might seem naive, the laid-back vibe makes you want to focus on the positive, at least for the album's duration.
  6. Jun 27, 2012
    80
    The Tarnished Gold will melt whatever preconceptions you have about the band and leave you basking in the warmth of the summer of Beachwood Sparks' career.
  7. Jun 27, 2012
    80
    'The Tarnished Gold' is a tighter, more familiar album from a band that have always done their own thing, and it's a very well-worked compromise – this is fantastic stuff.
  8. Jun 22, 2012
    80
    Tarnished Gold is of a piece with their first two albums, but never a pale imitation.
  9. 80
    It's a lovely, warm-hearted gem.
  10. Jun 29, 2012
    77
    The Tarnished Gold is an impressively vital showing.
  11. 75
    These 13 songs waft between nostalgia and realism and unfold at a stroll's pace.
  12. Jun 26, 2012
    73
    The stories are brilliantly disconnected but often uninspired, evoking the stunning introspection inspired by sun and sand without ever quite accepting its challenge.
  13. Jul 5, 2012
    70
    The hushed middle tracks make the album sag, but Beachwood Sparks have lost none of their performance or songwriting chops during the long hiatus.
  14. Jun 27, 2012
    70
    The new album jettisons any experimental pretensions to focus on fully inhabiting that good old country rock style. Almost all the songs on the album instantly sound familiar, showcasing the Sparks ability to write classic melodies that truly replicate the modes of the genre.
  15. Uncut
    Jun 22, 2012
    70
    The Tarnished Gold, mature, with a revelatory appreciation for the simple life, might prove to be the true spiritual heir to their auspicious 2000 debut. [Jul 2012, p.81]
  16. Q Magazine
    Oct 12, 2012
    60
    Such a nuanced take on pop's paisley-coloured past won't be to everyone's taste, but devotees will be left dizzy. [Jul 2012, p.95]
  17. Mojo
    Jul 19, 2012
    60
    The stylistic shifts mean The Tarnished Gold doesn't hang together--it lacks the luster of real gold. [Aug 2012, p.85]
  18. 60
    The key word for this album is pretty.
  19. Jun 25, 2012
    60
    The best bits of The Tarnished Gold hark further back to the Byrds for their sense of breezy acceptance.
  20. Jun 25, 2012
    60
    The Tarnished Gold is a consistently lovely, unassuming set. But that same lackadaisical tone plays against Beachwood Sparks: There's nothing on the album that the band hadn't already done a decade ago.
  21. Jun 27, 2012
    50
    The Tarnished Gold is often nebulous and obtuse, trading in atmospherics more than the countrified terra firma of the band's past.
  22. Jul 19, 2012
    40
    On Tarnished Gold, the Beachwood Sparks' reunion drowns in a bog of bad production and lesser material. Even when the Seventies Laurel Canyon sound turns heavier psychedelic ("Sparks Fly Again") nothing catches fire under the LP's soggy sound.

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