Urstan - Alasdair Roberts
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Apr 12, 2012
    90
    What comes across most effectively is the ease that both Roberts and Morrison have with one another. Their vocals settle in together comfortably. That feeling adds even more bubbling warmth to this already toasty disc.
  2. Apr 17, 2012
    80
    No museum piece, Urstan energizes the past. [May 2012, p.80]
  3. 80
    The pair dovetail beautifully on the mostly traditional ballads and work-songs.
  4. Apr 12, 2012
    80
    The album is full of superlative performances, and exudes an uncommon level of energy and joy, even at its more melancholic moments, and is a far cry from Roberts' often cold and hermetic (but excellent) solo performances. Despite Morrison and Roberts's being the featured performance, this is clearly a group effort, a fact further underlined by the band-credited arrangements.
  5. Apr 12, 2012
    70
    The lilt of the melodies, the consistent surprises of the production, and of course the poetry of the lyrics are all more than enough in and of themselves to keep listeners fully engaged.
  6. 70
    Urstan is worth a plunge, even for listeners new to the musical genre.
  7. Apr 12, 2012
    70
    Roberts and Morrison have crafted an elegant and vivid love letter to the music and culture of Lewis, and certainly brings to life the storytellings and traditions of this remote outpost.
  8. Apr 12, 2012
    70
    Forget austere, bleak, slavishly traditional renditions – this is Roberts and Morrison we're talking about. These love and 'waulking' songs – one of them originally sung by women weaving tweed – are expansive, joyful, mysterious things.
  9. Apr 20, 2012
    60
    Urstan find Roberts'signature whistling-kettle delivery ... framed with guitars, fiddles, drums and brass. A peaty, heathery authenticity pervades - to compelling effect. [May 2012, p.88]
  10. Apr 12, 2012
    60
    The LP works, but just barely... [Roberts] doesn't always mesh well with Morrison's cheerful singing. [No.86, p.57]
  11. Apr 12, 2012
    60
    Morrison and Roberts aim somewhere in the middle, not immediate, not really elegiac, dealing with the song as a song, ["Never Wed an Old Man"] not as a story, when more story-punch would have given the thing kick. This measured approach works out for them on other tracks, however.
  12. Apr 18, 2012
    50
    Urstan can be seen as a remedial effort. [Apr 2012, p.58]

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