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. 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...
  3. Steve Earle proves again and again that he is the original alternative to the glossy side of Nashville.
  4. Steve Earle adds yet another masterwork to his disparate collection of classics...
  5. "Transcendental Blues" is a deeply personal album steeped in pain and loneliness.
  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.

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