Transcendental Blues

  • Record Label: Artemis
  • Release Date: Jun 6, 2000
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Winding through the psychedelic title track, the ''Rubber Soul''-ish pop, the garage rock, and the lovely ''Eire meets Tennessee'' ''The Galway Girl,'' ''Blues'' is his musical road map.
  2. Steve Earle adds yet another masterwork to his disparate collection of classics...
  3. "Transcendental Blues" is a deeply personal album steeped in pain and loneliness.
  4. Checkout.com
    90
    Transcendental Blues epitomizes musical craftsmanship; it simmers instead of sizzles, meaning it's solid throughout and has no shortage of good songs... [w]hat is missing in the mix here is Earle at his angriest...
  5. Steve Earle proves again and again that he is the original alternative to the glossy side of Nashville.
  6. It's not precisely rock and roll, more a summary of the stylistic fusion that has evolved over his last five albums: unequal parts rock, bluegrass, folk, Irish, and punk.
  7. Earle's music doesn't simply mirror the transcendence of its creator; it lends transcendence to the listener as well, as all excellent music will. But what truly makes this one of Earle's best records is that he refuses to be pulled down by musical decisions. It's as if he never faced a problem of whether or not to add this or that instrument, or to veer off in this or that direction. He simply had the idea and went with it.
  8. 80
    Transcendental Blues measures up to the tough artistic standards Earle has set for himself since 1986's Guitar Town.
  9. Extending his winning streak to five albums, he's become a paragon of quality and musical honesty.
  10. This may be the Steve Earle album for people who've never been Steve Earle fans before.
  11. Some of the best music he's created since his release from prison on drug charges nearly six years ago.
  12. The writing shines throughout... Steve Earle seems able to do anything he cares to.
  13. 80
    Earle has let the spook out of the closet, so he can bare his spiritual chest (as it were) with a Lennonesque honesty and a vocal delivery that increasingly resembles Tom Petty's sub-Dylan sneer.
  14. There is no doubt that his songwriting chops just keep on getting better.
  15. Transcendental Blues is an intermittently twangy, often trippy and, yes, generally transcendent outing.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 6, 2015
    10
    The best Steve Earl album, in my opinion. Every song is a keeper. He has never sounded better, and his band if so tight. Highly recommended.The best Steve Earl album, in my opinion. Every song is a keeper. He has never sounded better, and his band if so tight. Highly recommended. This the comeback album. Full Review »
  2. RobertS
    Jun 13, 2006
    9
    This should embarass Nashville. A great record.
  3. BrianMcC
    Mar 5, 2006
    9
    Great stuff! Gripping melodies, intelligent writing, strong theme....it's all here! You can't lose on this one, even if you are a Great stuff! Gripping melodies, intelligent writing, strong theme....it's all here! You can't lose on this one, even if you are a conservative and not politically left as Earl is. Full Review »