We'll Never Turn Back - Mavis Staples

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Her great success is making these protest songs personal, and she does it in a most profoundly moving way.
  2. [It] seems like the album the 66-year-old singer was born to make
  3. Staples' voice outshines all: rich, weathered, and full of fire, sometimes resolving in a cracked tone or a dark, knowing chuckle, her eyes still on the prize.
  4. 80
    An album that can only add to her legend. [May 2007, p.112]
  5. Although rooted in history, this album’s themes and passion are timeless.
  6. Cooder’s playing is sometime perfectly suited for the project, but other times seems horribly out of step with Mavis’ intention.
  7. 70
    A successful fusion of tradition and modernism.
  8. We'll Never Turn Back is the kind of album we need at the moment, one that doesn't flinch from the tradition but doesn't present it as a museum piece either.
  9. While the overall arc is inspirational, the album takes an unflinchingly dark view of the civil rights struggle.
  10. Because this album’s music is so strong, ironically, it risks being tuned out.
  11. Who would want another version of We Shall Not Be Moved is, surely, debatable, but elsewhere the results are more persuasive. [May 2007, p.129]
  12. The angry funk of 'Down in Mississippi' proves too good to last, but only 'We Shall Not Be Moved' is (predictably) dull.
  13. If her album is musically uneven at times, her artistry and strength continue to shine as undimmed beacons.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. StefB.
    May 26, 2007
    A long overdue album, soulful and moving. Mavis Staples is revisiting the songs and give them power, she gives us food for thoughts. Great masterpiece. Full Review »
  2. KenS
    May 9, 2007
    One of the best of the year so far. Cooder's production and playing are perfect, as usual.
  3. HiNumber
    May 8, 2007