Tournament Of Hearts

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Oct 11, 2005
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. A slow burn may not be quite as exciting as a scorch, but this is a hotter flame than most anything else you'll hear this year.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    They're maximum ragers for minimum wagers. [21 Oct 2005, p.77]
  3. The greatest aspect of Tournament of Hearts is Bry Webb's singing. His voice convinces you of the truth of the emotion and power of his songs.
  4. Classic without being too traditional or contrived, Tournament of Hearts is the sound of the Constantines operating at the peak of their powers.
  5. The most remarkable thing about Tournament of Hearts is that technically, it is the Constantines' slowest, jazziest, most countrified release to date, but it doesn't give an inch of intensity when it's compared to their self-titled debut or the landmark Shine a Light.
  6. Their third full-length is their best ever, a passionate yet cohesive vault into outsized rock sound.
  7. This is a great rock and roll record.
  8. There have been better albums released in 2005 than Tournament Of Hearts, but it's probably the album most ideally suited to be a left-field commercial success.
  9. Like the work of Spoon and some of the Constantines' Canada brethren, the music on Tournament Of Hearts reassembles familiar shards of indie-rock, classic rock, and new wave into original soundscapes that are both dangerous and alluring.
  10. Whether they’re taking names or taking their sweet time, the Constantines pull no punches here.
  11. Uncut
    80
    The world is certainly overdue proper acquaintance with The Constantines. [Nov 2005, p.98]
  12. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    Its tales of fleeting love begin with a swagger... [and] the next seven tracks represent a complete emotional collapse. [8 Oct 2005, p.43]
  13. What makes the Constantines appealing, then, is not that they do something totally new but rather that they do something familiar very well.
  14. Magnet
    80
    On record, the Constantines' contemplative songs have always fared best, and Tournament is an album almost full of them. [#69, p.92]
  15. Filter
    78
    Borrows the Afghan Whigs' ballsy romanticism, Velvet Underground's late-night cool, Peter Gabriel's raw passion and a few post-punk riffs for good measure. [#17, p.100]
  16. It's gentler than its predecessors, relying on sweat and unresolved tension rather than a glorious gutter-poet deluge, though the change is more of subtleties than of substance.
  17. As regrettable as it is to trot out the old “strong first half, weak back half” reviewers’ cliche, the Constantines’ third release, Tournament of Hearts, cruelly forces the issue.
  18. Perhaps what’s most frustrating about these missteps is that their combination with the album’s brief length (at least 10 minutes shorter than their previous efforts) smacks of songwriting torpor.
  19. Rolling Stone
    70
    On Tournament Of Hearts, [Constantines] ratchets up its brand of apocalyptic post-grunge. [3 Nov 2005, p.92]
  20. Under The Radar
    70
    Good stuff. [#11, p.106]
  21. My major complaint with the album is that the songs are far too short to provide an optimal listening experience.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. TomasS
    Dec 31, 2005
    10
    Working class rock'n'roll. Stoical and poignant at the same time. One of the best albums in 2005.
  2. doctorcrunkenstein
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    Not their best, but at the risk of sounding cliche, the Constantines at their worst are still a hell of a lot better than most bands at their Not their best, but at the risk of sounding cliche, the Constantines at their worst are still a hell of a lot better than most bands at their best. "Windy Road" is the closest they've ever come to a bad song, and almost singlehandedly drags the album down a point. It's hard to recommend this over "Shine A Light" and their self-titled album, both of which are modern classics... but at the same time, I can't imagine anyone who picks this up will be disappointed with it. Full Review »
  3. d
    Oct 17, 2005
    9
    These boys rock, pure and simple. And they deserve to be HUGE. On second thought, no - I'd rather have them stay under the radar and These boys rock, pure and simple. And they deserve to be HUGE. On second thought, no - I'd rather have them stay under the radar and keep making brilliant records. If they can pull off using a single chord for the duration of one entire song, and have said song ROCK like mad, they deserve all the best things in the world, and then some. Very, very good stuff. Full Review »