To Be Still

To Be Still Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: The California-born, Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter releases her follow-up to her debut album, "The Pirate’s Gospel."

Top Track

Take Us Back
The tops of crags and cliffs, the air is thin So we'll find a mountain path on down the hill Meet me where the snow melt flows It is there, my dear,... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. With this single self-produced masterstroke, Alela Diane has effectively shaken off all the ill-fitting labels of “new weird America” and “freak folk” and given notice that a warmly expressive and unique voice has arrived with stories to tell.
  2. Like "The Pirate's Gospel," her cruelly unheralded 2006 debut, To Be Still is a staggering meditation on the idea of home in its many forms, and shares its predecessor's knowing heart--young, but already familiar with the tugging weights of time, family and love.
  3. Melodically, too, To Be Still is both more sophisticated, more confident, and, above all, more convincing (if encountered in a less than fan-like frame of mind, the previous album could appear more than a little monotonous).
  4. Mojo
    80
    A spectacular step forward. [Mar 2009, p.111]
  5. The poetry on To Be Still is sometimes a bit too delicate for my taste, but the songs show off much more than words alone. They display a quirky vocal talent and songwriting skill.
  6. 70
    It's difficult to sound this vintage without coming off as contrived, but Alela Diane, her guitarist/producer father, and assorted friends tap into folk archetypes that are often opaquely generalized but always disarmingly pure.
  7. Q Magazine
    40
    At her best, on the eerie 'Every Path,' she's mesmeric enough to lure ships onto rocks, but come the inevitable 'Later...With Jools Holland' appearance, older viewers may be forgiven for thinking Dolores O'Riordan has changed dramatically. [Mar 2009, p.96]

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. MaxE.
    Sep 1, 2009
    10
    Sublime.
  2. Evannotimportant
    Mar 18, 2009
    10
    beautiful album! a real natural progression from "Pirates Gospel." It has a much more folksy/bluegrass feel... GENIOUS.. btw she's a way beautiful album! a real natural progression from "Pirates Gospel." It has a much more folksy/bluegrass feel... GENIOUS.. btw she's a way cool to, met her! Expand
  3. KurtC.
    Feb 22, 2009
    9
    An exceptional follow up to her self-released debut from a few years ago. This new one is noticeably higher in recording quality with the An exceptional follow up to her self-released debut from a few years ago. This new one is noticeably higher in recording quality with the addition of a backing-band, all of which help to make Diane's songs more solid, grooving, and overall more accessible (not that her early songs weren't, but who doesn't like a steady beat and bass in the background?). So far, the stand-out album of 2009. Expand