• Record Label: Vagrant
  • Release Date: Sep 30, 2013

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
Buy On
  1. Mojo
    Dec 18, 2013
    At once as snug as a velvet quilt in a log cabin, yet as challenging and testing as modern architecture, VII is a signpost to a whole new direction for Americana. [Jan 2014, p.100]
  2. Magnet
    Oct 18, 2013
    One-third of VII has the quintet living up to the folk/country billing with upbeat, chaw-spittin', porch-sittin' classics-in-waiting and depressive ballads presented in Eric Earley's stark, storytelling style. The other two-thirds have skittering keyboards and soulful backing vocals. [No. 103, p.52]
  3. Oct 2, 2013
    VII is Blitzen Trapper’s strongest album to date, with years of musical experimentation having come together in the band’s own mad-scientist brand of cosmic Americana.
  4. Oct 2, 2013
    A sort of cosmic, high-def honky tonk that for the most part proves tasty, injecting some much needed brevity into windy frontman Eric Earley's colorful yet often perfunctory tales of sin and redemption.
  5. Oct 3, 2013
    The most interesting ideas aren’t developed into anything more than ear-pricking novelty, which used to be almost all they did.
  6. Uncut
    Dec 6, 2013
    Some delectable details pop up early on, like the swirling organ that shape-shifts "Thirsty Man," but the nearly unrelieved combination of Early's tang and the Cripple Creek cadences grows wearisome by the LP's second half. [Jan 2014, p.71]
  7. 60
    Blitzen Trapper are unabashed traditionalists, and they’re not shy about letting you know it.
  8. Oct 4, 2013
    The band sounds more polished than ever, especially when they shed their folk roots, but the funky riffs (“Feel the Chill,” “Drive On Up”) owe more to Songs in the Key of Life than Highway 61 Revisited.
  9. Oct 7, 2013
    While the band’s penchant for steadying, shimmering guitars and unexpected use of instruments certainly appears on VII, it’s not enough to overshadow this album’s lack of originality.
  10. Q Magazine
    Nov 22, 2013
    At its worst, it comes across as parody of one of Primal Scream's cod-Stones missteps. Only once do they drop the Southern shtick. [Dec 2013, p.102]
  11. Oct 3, 2013
    To be sure, Blitzen Trapper can be commended for breaking down the boundaries between roots and rhythm, even though they may alienate those more accustomed to the tried and true.
  12. Oct 2, 2013
    The area in which the album most falls short is the lyrics. Earley’s writing has always had a slightly hokey nature to it, but, for much of VII, it veers into truly hackneyed territory.

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