Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. With a smoky voice reminiscent of Dusty Springfield, Burhenn wrings all emotions out of these tracks with seeming effortlessness.
  2. Little in the scarce, affable output of her former project could have prepared us for the depths plunged here: a soul-purging, powerful statement of survival and self-assertion that stands head and shoulders above the current crop of navel-gazers populating today’s underground music scene.
  3. Back in the Saddle (Creek) is Laura Burhenn--half of disbanded candyfloss-pop duo Georgie James--whose breathy coo glides effortlessly over the golden ‘Dusty In Memphis’ glow that lights up the first Mynabirds album.
  4. It revels in a soulful, brassy buzz that sounds great from the offset and even better on further listening: Swift’s production fantastic and Burhenn’s vocals genuinely spellbinding.
  5. Nothing sounds overworked. If anything, Burhenn and Swift present the songs in an understated manner, confident in the quality of the material and the strength of her voice.
  6. 80
    Debut album from an eclectic yet melodic Omaha band. [July 2010, p. 97]
  7. If there's darkness and pain in these grooves there's also plenty of lightness and joy, with a consistent, compassionate message of redemption through acceptance — as Burhenn sings on "Ways of Looking": "It can be easy if you just let it." That simplicity informs both the album's unstudied songwriting and its deft, uncluttered arrangements.
  8. Laura Burhenn just smolders over a piano-heavy groove. It really is as close to Dusty as they get, but what makes this record special is the way that even when the lyrics clunk up some of the smooth blue-eyed soul (opener and sort-of title track "What We Gained in the Fire" comes to mind), the production is so plainly gorgeous that it really feels like nitpicking (even if it really isn't).
  9. Throughout her new band, the Mynabirds’, soul-country debut, her voice tends to hover above simple, mid-tempo numbers, though the best moments highlight its new-found nuances.
  10. 60
    Heavy on stately soul pianos and produced by singer-songwriter Richard Swift, its strength-through-adversity feels is held back from flight by Burhenn's entirely earthbound voice. [Jul 2010, p.115]
  11. Soulful debut from Omaha's answer to Duffy. [July 2010, p. 136]
  12. Thnakfully, as the album continues, the songs grow more developed as orchestrally augmented tracks "Right Place" and "LA Rain" showcase Burhenn's distinct vocal abilities. [May 2010, p.108]

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