Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Admittedly, This Is It... takes a bit of work to get through the first time, but it gets easier, resulting in a compulsive, even obsessive desire to it play again and again, ultimately leading to the assertion that "there is nothing else on the planet remotely like this!"
  2. Mathy, but hyper melodic, it packs more ideas into forty minutes than most releases that are much longer. Stern has clearly side-stepped the sophomore slump.
  3. 80
    Her music is exhilarating, enigma-packed and, despite the unceasing noise barrage, winningly sweet.
  4. This Is It... is an incredible leap forward as a result. She was already good. Now she's awesome.
  5. There is nothing but the interlocking parts that together combine to become something new, something wholly different than merely the additive sum of their individual atoms: the “It.”
  6. 80
    It boasts stronger songs than Stern's 2007 debut "In Advance Of The Broken Arm," without losing the fretboard fireworks that made its predecessor an underground smash. [Feb 2009, p.106]
  7. This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That, down to its mouthful of a title, is a fearless album, brought to fruition by a desire to push boundaries and explore sound.
  8. It's obsessive and choppy. It's playful. It's gleefully oblivious of when to shut up.
  9. As This Is It etc. is only just over 40 minutes, that’s a bit odd, but if anything it speaks to the potency of Stern’s music.
  10. The conviction in Stern's direct, bare voice is what turns the album into the kicking, clawing, emotional frenzy that we get.
  11. It's taut, aggressive, accomplished and is "it" in every way the title suggests. And that is that.
  12. 60
    The vocals can still dilate your pupils, but her melodies (on "Ruler," "The Package Is Wrapped") deserve equal attention, as Stern bids to become one of the few finger-tappers who's also a songwriter.
  13. Her songs always at least suggest pop, and the sense of tune at their core adds an inviting thrill to Stern's fitful guitar and Zach Hill's ridiculously, miraculously agitated drums.
  14. That she is able to incorporate these technical talents into solid songwriting is what makes This Is It the success that it is.
  15. 60
    Pleasingly, the most difficult thing about the album is its name. [Dec 2008, p.116]
  16. With her Kill Rock Stars backing, this would-be guilty pleasure gets indie cred, and she deserves kudos for having the chops to come off as a one-woman Yeah Yeah Yeahs if Eddie Van Halen were manning the frets. [Winter 2008]

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