Virgins - Tim Hecker
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Oct 18, 2013
    95
    All of it bears his precise touch, but the spectrum of moods he's able to conjure just got a lot wider. [No. 103, p.56]
  2. Its a testament to the fact that Tim Hecker is one of the best artists making music today, constantly pushing his sound to new heights while keep his signature style at the core of it all.
  3. Oct 22, 2013
    91
    Although never quite retreating from Hecker’s signature techniques, Virgins still finds angular ways to stun.
  4. Oct 24, 2013
    90
    This album has all the presence that you should expect it to have.
  5. Oct 21, 2013
    90
    While the album is unmistakably Hecker’s vision, it’s the listener’s experience.
  6. Oct 15, 2013
    90
    There's an exhilarating bleakness at the center of Virgins--the hollow at the heart of all things, nibbling inexorably away.
  7. Oct 15, 2013
    90
    Excavation is entirely capable of conjuring up all sorts of images in your mind while the music plays, but Virgins keeps you focused instead on what’s happening inside of it; for music with so few conventional entry points, Hecker has again managed to make his work structurally and viscerally gripping.
  8. Oct 15, 2013
    85
    In the end, Virgins only adds to the artist's growing legacy; it's another triumph for Hecker that once again strikes a resounding chord that not many ambient records can.
  9. Oct 15, 2013
    83
    This is music that benefits from being heard loud and/or on headphones in the same way couches are best experienced by actually sitting down in them instead of just brushing your fingers against the upholstery as you leave the room.
  10. Dec 10, 2013
    80
    Another nuance of Virgins is the pacing. With the exception of a few slightly predictable orchestral driftscapes, Hecker's editing instincts have rarely sounded this restless and razor-sharp. [Oct 2013, p.45]
  11. Nov 22, 2013
    80
    A record tremblingly alert to the darkness, it flickers like a candle in the gloom, a victory for the forces of good against all odds. [Dec 2013, p.107]
  12. Oct 31, 2013
    80
    Virgins is not a particularly pleasant listening experience, but it is undeniably emotionally powerful, and a worthy addition to his impressively unique catalogue.
  13. 80
    Throughout Virgins, Hecker organizes things just a little bit off, pokes at it just enough to be unsettling, and then pushes things away just when they start to make sense. Music has so clearly affected him, and now he’s making sure it’s doing the same for you.
  14. Oct 14, 2013
    80
    Hecker's sound signature may still be instantly recognizable, but there is no denying that he has moved significantly farther down the path toward something else with Virgins.
  15. 80
    He’s mastered this stylistic skittishness and you’ll do well to find much dispute about his talent.
  16. Oct 14, 2013
    80
    Virgins is Tim Hecker at his most thought-provoking and enigmatic.
  17. Oct 14, 2013
    80
    There is a kind of pure, cathartic rage in Virgins and it leaves moments of intense peace in its wake.
  18. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    An engaging, rewarding whole [that] speaks volumes about the breadth of both of his imagination and compositional agility. [Nov 2013, p.86]
  19. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    A daringly deconstructed soundtrack of the spheres.
  20. Oct 10, 2013
    80
    While "Incense At Abu Ghraib" has a horror auteur's knack for intimidation, a shrill whistle barely masking the sound of feet on metal stairs. It's masterful, though it'll leave you feeling like a speck of gravel in self-destructing world. [Nov 2013, p.72]
  21. Oct 10, 2013
    80
    Another essential release then, but a step towards theory-over-content that Hecker never really needed.
  22. Oct 10, 2013
    80
    The result, unexpectedly, is his most ambitious record yet.
  23. 80
    The layers of noise, which at first may seem intimidating, are so harmonically rich they immerse the listener as the sounds interact creating new and unexpectedly mellifluous sounds.
  24. Nov 15, 2013
    70
    It marks a natural progression--a little more defined, a little less of a homogeneous whole, but still a sound world that's unmistakably Hecker's own.
  25. Oct 29, 2013
    70
    What it does manage to do, however, is function as an engagingly visceral work of provocation, on balance interspersing his trademark beauty with enough challenging moments to reward repeated visits, even if listening to it never exactly feels like a pleasurable experience, and maybe that’s enough.
  26. Oct 15, 2013
    70
    This is an intense, unsettling work from the Canadian musician and if it doesn't quite reach the heights of Ravedeath, it's mostly down to Virgins lacking the fluid album arc of the former and not because the tracks are any less powerful.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Oct 16, 2013
    10
    Listening to Tim Hecker's "Virgins" is amazing. After a few listens, slowly memorizing the position and elements of each song, it begins toListening to Tim Hecker's "Virgins" is amazing. After a few listens, slowly memorizing the position and elements of each song, it begins to unfold like an epic, or perhaps, like the shadow of one.

    It's as wide as a cathedral, haunting as the Catacombs of Paris, ominous as an approaching hurricane, cold as Siberia, glitchy as Windows 95, fractured as a broken spine, scary as a horror film, invasive as a parasite, intelligent as a skyscraper's blueprint, instrumentally varied as Texan geography, glowing as moonlight through stained glass windows, melancholic as peacetime after the war, disquieting as a necropolis... and yet, it remains beautiful throughout.

    I enjoyed Tim Hecker's "Ravedeath, 1972" well enough, but "Virgins" speaks to me far more. Stigmata I and II are wonderful together and are perhaps my favorite songs, aside from Virginal I and Virginal II. It's wonderful throughout. Glad I bought it.

    Also, just for kicks: compare Rachel's' "Systems Layers" to the song "Black Refractions." It's interesting how similar they are.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2013
    9
    Tim hecker creates art with this fantastic music the soundscapes are beautiful, dark tense. It's a perfect comeback to being one of the bestTim hecker creates art with this fantastic music the soundscapes are beautiful, dark tense. It's a perfect comeback to being one of the best experimental artists out there, as Ravedeath 1972, Hecker can bring the shadows of a obscure world to transformate to light, sadness never sounded so good. Excellent! Full Review »
  3. Dec 8, 2013
    0
    I find this to be totally unlistenable and hard to really quantify as "music". It's more like a bunch of annoying noises layered over eachI find this to be totally unlistenable and hard to really quantify as "music". It's more like a bunch of annoying noises layered over each other in random ways. There are many who will bend over backward to convince themselves that they "get" this album, and try to seem "sophisticated" by liking it. I will not be one of those hipsters. Full Review »