The Woods - Sleater-Kinney

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    [They] have made an evolutionary leap in rock. [Jun 2005, p.108]
  2. [They] clearly sound alive with the possibility of redefining punk song structure by writing 11-minute flamboyant guitar dirges that have as much in common with My Bloody Valentine as they do with '70s arena rock. [May 2005, p.170]
  3. Although the album is definitely loud, it's also raw, with no hint of the symphonic, yet at the same time it's a melodic highlight of an honorably tuneful catalog.
  4. The album is ambitious as it is daring, and it's the most refreshing piece of new music released thus far into 2005.
  5. The Woods is an incredibly intense rock record even by S-K’s lofty standards; it's a call to arms that will hopefully force complacent indie kids to demand more from their rock music.
  6. The fact that a band spawned over ten years ago is so willing to try new things is refreshing, but with The Woods, Sleater-Kinney has surpassed even its most ardent supporter’s expectations as to the artistic heights the trio can attain.
  7. While it's surprising to hear Sleater-Kinney act so traditional, it's more shocking how well such conventions suit them. [27 May 2005, p.135]
  8. Despite the new song structures, guitar solos, and drum fills, Brownstein's guitar still roars wildly, Weiss's drums still thunder, and Tucker still wails with a primal urgency that is one of the most compelling sounds in rock music today.
  9. Although an extreme statement, it is a major stylistic step forward for the band and pays off great dividends to those so inclined to follow them into The Woods.
  10. This may be the band's most self-assured sounding work yet -- their music has never lacked confidence and daring, but now they sound downright swaggering.
  11. Skull-crushingly heavy, but not without a heart, 'The Woods' is definitely Sleater-Kinney’s finest (and loudest) hour to date.
  12. The vicious licks laid down by Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker on "The Fox" are as punchy as anything I've heard them come up with, approaching something like Jack White if Jack White fell in love with The Experience instead of his Johnson. Amazingly, The Woods just picks up from there.
  13. Not only does The Woods jumpstart a moribund genre, it also serves as a wake-up call for the zeitgeist.
  14. A musical tour-de-force, and probably Sleater-Kinney’s best album to date.... If it lacks the immediate appeal and accessibility of One Beat or All Hands on the Bad One, it feels more mature and meaningful than either.
  15. Although hard to digest at first, The Woods ingratiates itself on subsequent listens, making the band's other albums seem half-baked by comparison.
  16. Even when the songs aren't motivated by anger or frustration, they have a drive and a momentum that's breathtaking. [#256, p.52]
  17. Previous albums have never quite captured those onstage moments when the power they generate seems to catch them unawares, but on The Woods you can hear not only the deliberation in Weiss's eyes as she ponders the exact placement of beat and crash, or Brownstein's bedroom-mirror rock-star poses, but also the stunned grin Tucker can never contain after emitting her most gravity-defiant shrieks.
  18. A record that sounds as if it would be very much at home on any AOR radio station in the 1970s.
  19. Fans may have to have The Woods surgically removed from their players. It's just that powerful, demanding to be heard.
  20. It is incensed, dark with disappointment, and shows a startling new side to Sleater-Kinney; while its intensity makes it one of their best albums to date, it isn’t here to make friends or fans.
  21. 84
    The stunning One Beat of 2002 is a tough act to follow, and The Woods pulls it off soundly (though not exceedingly) by slicing together another improbable mash of grace and chaos all in the service of elaborately unhinged melodies. [#15, p.95]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 123
  2. Negative: 18 out of 123
  1. MikeL
    Feb 16, 2008
    Amazing. Still an absolutely amazing record.
  2. Jun 25, 2012
    Finally a real energetic rock album. Its essence's been missing for so many years, now Sleater Kinney push it back with this extraordinary album. Rock from the begining until the end, I assure you Full Review »
  3. Apr 25, 2012
    There are some really great moments here. Sleater-Kinney show great cohesion and some really tight guitar work here at the end of their run. Still, I find the album too slow and too abrasive at points to truly enjoy. Download "Jumpers", "Entertain", and "Steep Air" but do not purchase the entire album. Full Review »