Washington Square Serenade

  • Record Label: New West
  • Release Date: Sep 25, 2007
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. All things considered, Washington Square Serenade is a bit nonchalant by Earle's standards.
  2. 80
    It's all invigorating, wonderful stuff.
  3. Accompanying his gruff voice with a bleary-eyed strum, he's probably more potent and alive on Serenade than many would expect.
  4. This album proves that when Earle reconnects to the sheer joy of making music the results can be powerful.
  5. Washington Square Serenade ultimately sounds a bit less focused than its immediate predecessors.
  6. Serenade is most compelling when Earle snarls in his irrefutable way at Middle East warmakers ('Jericho Road') and rural drug pushers ('Oxycontin Blues').
  7. While the raw, raging blues of 'Red Is the Color' ranks with Earle's most powerful music, 'Satellite Radio' could well be the slightest (as well as perhaps a plug for Earle's own radio show), but the artist's willingness to take chances attests to a restless creativity that refuses to be corralled.
  8. The prettiest moments here come on less characteristic musings, such as the shifting perspective of 'Down Here Below.'
  9. Even though there are moments in this outing heavy on tried-and-true folk trappings--lots of mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar--in which Earle sounds more as if he's echoing his role models than joining them as an equal, for the most part he succeeds in moving the dialogue forward.
  10. There’s an urban-informed edge to much of the disc.
  11. An angry Steve Earle is something to behold, but watch out for the man when he's in love.
  12. Washington Square Serenade is another substantial chapter in what looks like becoming an epic songbook.
  13. Blender
    80
    Movement and change remain his inspiration. [Oct 2007, p.107]
  14. Q Magazine
    80
    Washington Square Serenade is prime Americana. [Nov 2007, p.137]
  15. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    This is a love letter to his new home. [28 Sep 2007, p.105]
  16. Magnet
    80
    For all his anger, the most convincing songs on Washington Square Serenade are about love, devotion, messing up and simply wanting to be heard. [Fall 2007, p.93]
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. BrandonS.
    Sep 28, 2007
    7
    Much better on the third listen than the first. He's definitely not at the peak we saw him at from Train A Comin' through Jerusalem Much better on the third listen than the first. He's definitely not at the peak we saw him at from Train A Comin' through Jerusalem (Transcendental blues is a masterpiece among masterpieces), but Steve's an incredible songwriter, and this set is pretty solid. His sense of melody isn't quite as sharp here as on previous albums, but it definitely delivers the goods in a number of ways. Full Review »
  2. GeorgeB.
    Sep 28, 2007
    8
    Another fine recording from one of the most underated songwriters out there. Steve's biggest sin is is consistency, another fine Another fine recording from one of the most underated songwriters out there. Steve's biggest sin is is consistency, another fine recording with heartfelt lyrics underpinned with folk, rock, and beats. Full Review »
  3. RichR.
    Sep 27, 2007
    9
    I love Steve Earle and his music, and nobody out there, for me, comes close to his ability to convey his emotions in such a literate, I love Steve Earle and his music, and nobody out there, for me, comes close to his ability to convey his emotions in such a literate, lyrical, and melodic manner. This album is full of great songs; all of his albums are full of great songs. He's one of America's most intelligent and soulful performers. He reminds me a little of Keith: with all the s*** he's put himself through, he probably should have been dead a long time ago, but he just gets better as he gets older. So, last but not least, I think he needs to do something with his hair, but I love him anyway. Full Review »