We the Common - Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Feb 4, 2013
    80
    She's turned in her most mature work and coincidentally some of her most enjoyable.
  2. Feb 4, 2013
    80
    By seeking out a shared experience that everybody they’re reaching out to can hold on to, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down have created an album with We the Common that’s anything but common.
  3. Feb 4, 2013
    75
    We the Common's best songs are its most dynamic.
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    40
    It's the sort of manic outsider funk that succeeds or fails on the basis of how charming you find Nguyen's delivery. [Apr 2013, p.95]
  5. Feb 6, 2013
    60
    A bit shambolic, then, but Thao has enough charisma to sustain hearing it all in one sitting. [Mar 2013, p.98]
  6. 60
    It’s all lovely stuff, but the darkness within my soul says it’s maybe too lovely.
  7. Feb 5, 2013
    70
    Nguyen's rich, harmonic voice is up to the task, carrying with it the weight of more years than she's lived, and effortlessly mumbling and swinging around these compositions. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.89]
  8. Feb 5, 2013
    89
    It’s a rollicking, exciting and inspiring tussle in a corner of Thao’s cheerful quilt of a discography.
  9. Feb 21, 2013
    80
    Even when duetting with harp sprite Joanna Newson, she avoids the trappings of twee.
  10. 70
    It’s certainly a more political-leaning album for the outfit, but one that sweats with fresh optimism.
  11. Apr 12, 2013
    68
    We The Common, the fifth LP offering from San Francisco’s Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, offers us a killer collection of infectious beats, bouncy melodies and smart lyrics that you can’t help but move to.
  12. Oct 4, 2013
    67
    We The Common finally reflects that sense of place, stretching nuance and bringing the only brand of folk that metropolitan California allows: one laden with pop hooks.
  13. Feb 5, 2013
    90
    This is Nguyen's strongest work yet, with the aforementioned songwriting taking a leap forward, while gradually perfecting her melting pot sound of country, folk and pop.
  14. Feb 4, 2013
    70
    Catchy melodies abound in an eclectic, engaging effort.
  15. Feb 7, 2013
    60
    Save for a few tweaks, she doesn’t go to great lengths to expand upon the musical formula that’s served her to date.
  16. 75
    It’s the witty and indirect way Thao and her band approaches the subjects in these songs that makes We The Common a minor delight.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 19, 2013
    9
    Thao Nguyen's blend of musical influences is one-of-a-kind. Her mixture of Oriental 12-tones and 4-chord folk-pop progressions is impressive. Her varied use of instruments, tones, and timbres is intriguing. And her stage presence is something that has to be seen to fully understand the eclectic tunes she puts together. The culmination of these factors--a banjo being distorted to sound like a Chinese zither before breaking out into a half-time electric guitar chorus of 'Holy Roller'--ultimately leaves one's mouth agape, wondering what exactly this is, and why it is so good. While reviewers like DIY might think that Nguyen's album is a mediocre continuation of her sound, to newcomers it is a welcome expansion of their musical mind, and one that prompts a further investigation of Thao Nguyen's extensive repertoire. Full Review »