Wakin on a Pretty Daze

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Apr 9, 2013

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. There aren't many artists recording today who make songwriting seem more natural and effortless than Kurt Vile.
  2. 90
    Its ambrosial melodies and austere instrumentation edify his canon of work, which has long been rewarding for its risky sensibilities and perseverance. Yet that’s what makes Wakin so curious; it’s Vile’s most derivative record to date.
  3. Apr 4, 2013
    The 11 songs collected here are all among the very best of his career, enlivened with a vividness and warmth that offers something new with every repeated listen.
  4. Uncut
    Apr 3, 2013
    It's a tough, late-night, soul-searching kind of process that Kurt Vile signed up for here. It's a testament to his talent that he takes it so seriously, but makes it all sound effortless. [May 2013, p.61]
  5. With any luck, Wakin On A Pretty Daze will go down as a document to the workman he really is.
  6. Apr 10, 2013
    Wakin on a Pretty Daze breezes past like a Klonopin dream, and radiates an easy confidence that is as rewarding to return to as a melody.
  7. Apr 9, 2013
    On Daze, Vile’s amorphous, ambient drones continue to solidify into sharp shapes with defined edges.
  8. Entertainment Weekly
    Apr 5, 2013
    His fifth one feels light as smoke, with happily strummed melodies that drift past the eight-minute mark. [12 Apr 2013, p.72]
  9. Apr 15, 2013
    Wakin On A Pretty Daze comes into focus with context, though, as does any accomplished record.
  10. May 15, 2013
    Daze demands time in order to fully appreciate it, promising new discoveries with successive listens.
  11. Apr 26, 2013
    Vile’s drawl communicates isolation with a contradictory urgency. Somehow, Pretty’s spiritual resignation sounds like an invitation.
  12. Magnet
    Apr 16, 2013
    It's clear that Vile still has great ambition to make robust, timeless rock--and the songs to back it up. [No. 97, p.60]
  13. Apr 10, 2013
    Despite the length of the album, it’s gratifying to cup your hands over your eyes and squint into Vile’s self-effacing and self-reflexive world. There’s something invigorating about hearing a mind loop back on itself in constant pursuit of a question it never even knew it asked.
  14. Mojo
    Apr 9, 2013
    Even when he's so amiably out-of-focus, Vile's melodies remain vivid, his wanders never self-indulgent. [May 2013, p.86]
  15. Q Magazine
    Apr 9, 2013
    This doesn't veer wildly in style from Vile's previous four--he still sounds like a stoned Springsteen singing from the bottom of a well--but his songwriting reaches a mesmeric peak. [May 2013, p.112]
  16. Apr 9, 2013
    While topping Smoke Ring outright nearly seemed insurmountable, Daze is (at an impossibly neat 70 minutes) a larger, more diverse and heavier experience.
  17. Apr 9, 2013
    Wakin' on a Pretty Daze is one of those rare examples of an artist’s uninhibited self-indulgence resulting in an LP which plays firmly to their strengths.
  18. Apr 9, 2013
    Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze strikes with a gust of pent up emotions, a trailblazing record that openly affirms a personal accountability for self without slipping into heavy-handedness.
  19. Apr 8, 2013
    While Wakin On A Pretty Daze may not be an anthemic leap forward, it is in many ways even stronger for its existence as example of a craft being so finely honed.
  20. Apr 8, 2013
    Taking his time, as much of the album does, is no bad thing when the melodies are this compelling.
  21. There’s also clarity in the lyrics--some of his most direct yet.
  22. Apr 8, 2013
    He certainly has our attention.
  23. 80
    His most assured record to date, this is also the Philadelphia rocker's most purely pleasurable.
  24. Apr 4, 2013
    Hints of Lou Reed (the phrasing) and Neil Young (the guitar solos) pepper songs that Philadelphia-born Vile invests with his slacker drawl, endearing quiet charm and wry self-mockery.
  25. Apr 4, 2013
    Vile’s laconic drawl and laid-back guitar heroics are so addictively blissful that eight or nine minutes don’t feel like enough.
  26. Apr 3, 2013
    Easily his most focused and accessible work, Pretty Daze is the strongest so far in a chain of releases that seem to suggest there are even greater heights to be reached.
  27. Apr 3, 2013
    Despite its length and moments of lyrical self-loathing, Wakin' neither bores nor depresses.
  28. 80
    It may take a little longer to get in to, but it’s entirely possible that once you’re immersed in Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze, you might be happy never to surface.
  29. Jul 3, 2013
    By the time the album closes on the warm, wandering "Goldtone," Vile and the listener remain dazed and confused, but smiling.
  30. 75
    With Wakin On A Pretty Daze, Vile has added another seemingly effortless 70 minutes’ worth of straightforward, easygoing golden tones to his consistent discography.
  31. Apr 10, 2013
    Vile sounds refreshed on some of these songs, made new again, and while that’s invigorating to see in a career that’s harvested so much from alleged indifference, a brighter songwriting style gives Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze a surprisingly conflicted sound.
  32. Apr 9, 2013
    Vile could have chopped most of these songs in half and they would have worked just fine, but the overall effect wouldn't have been so blissfully druggy.
  33. Apr 5, 2013
    Its meandering ways may endear or annoy in equal measure, but it’s hard to argue that there is a consistency or pure quality to see this album rank alongside its illustrious predecessor.
  34. Apr 15, 2013
    Kurt Vile's sweetly slack fifth LP kicks in with a nine-and-a-half-minute song about taking a walk, hits peak stoner wonder in a song called "Air Bud" and fills in the spaces with trank-darted Dinosaur Jr. licks.
  35. Apr 11, 2013
    The lack of immediacy isn't Vile's biggest problem here: it might seem trivial, but Wakin On A Pretty Daze is his first release that doesn't improve upon his last.
  36. Apr 25, 2013
    The songs of his that have stood out most are the ones that at least try to meet the listener halfway, the ones that betray the deep-seeded enthusiasm underlying Vile’s laid-back, stoner(-esque — he’s a family guy, now) cool. While such material can still be found on Wakin on a Pretty Daze, locating it is becoming more and more of a chore.
  37. 40
    Sadly, WOAPD is devoid of the sly wit of Vile's early material, and consists of mid-paced alt rock, reminiscent of the Dandy Warhols in a coma.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Jul 3, 2013
    As well as Kurt Vile's infectious songwriting and vocal delivery that charms you with bucketloads of personality, what is most beautiful aboutAs well as Kurt Vile's infectious songwriting and vocal delivery that charms you with bucketloads of personality, what is most beautiful about this record is the production and the instrumentation. The instrumental section in Goldtone, for example, is heavenly the warm vibraphone and hazy percussion give the track such a nice, summery feel. Over all, this record is a masterpiece of production, and succeeds similarly due to Vile himself, who presents himself as a wonderfully engaging singer-songwriter. Full Review »
  2. Apr 16, 2013
    Wakin on a Pretty Daze is Kurt Vile’s follow up to the critically acclaimed 2011 release, Smoke Ring for My Halo. I remember reading a KurtWakin on a Pretty Daze is Kurt Vile’s follow up to the critically acclaimed 2011 release, Smoke Ring for My Halo. I remember reading a Kurt Vile review on Pitchfork by Jayson Greene that summed up his music perfectly. When you go to listen to a Kurt vile record, it is like reaching for a glass of water. It isn’t going to blow you away with anything overly sweet, but it is going to be satisfying. That is exactly the analogy I would use for the new album as well. There is something about the way it effortlessly flows through the speakers that sounds so natural and just plain cool. This is a man who is confidently making the music that he wants to make and you get the sense that even if no one was listening, he would still be doing it...

    Read more http://www.recomedia.net/music/kurt-vile-wakin-on-a-pretty-daze/
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2015
    The present King of slacker-rock. Vile's pedigree continues with his lazy, hazy, dazy style of delivery. Tuning into this album is far fromThe present King of slacker-rock. Vile's pedigree continues with his lazy, hazy, dazy style of delivery. Tuning into this album is far from difficult, Vile just draws you in providing chunks of cool, slabs of charisma and bask's you in the warmth of the chilled out vibes. Recommended. Full Review »