Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Most of the songs light up, shine for a while, and pull back so suddenly that you feel a little betrayed. It's a shame these dry lullabies didn't surface earlier in our dreary summer.
  2. When The Devil’s Loose showcases a resolve and relief Bondy’s never evinced before, as if he’s raked his hand through the sands of these spooky songs and transformed the grains that stuck into flawed, captivating pearls.
  3. A tightly constructed record, its hushed instrumentation and Southern Gothic lyrics give it a melancholic mood, one that Bondy handles beautifully. [Dec 2009, p. 117]
  4. 80
    The pace and tenor occasionally resemble the Bataan Death March, but Bondy’s gorgeous melodies, vivid imagery, and haunting voice keep you pressing on.
  5. The Mississippi native leads a spartan group that includes the Felice brothers’ Ian Felice and Greg Farley through 10 woodsy cuts that convey warmth, loneliness and the rural South’s sinister underbelly.
  6. Bondy’s supple vocals and the roomy song arrangements let him shake off the world-weary gloom at times for the more peaceful evocations of the piano waltz 'On the Moon.'
  7. The new album boasts a full band and an open, almost cavernous feel, which still manages to exude warmth. [Fall 2009, p.75]
  8. When the Devil's Loose might share some reference points with another singer/songwriter with a similar offhand affection for roots music, but A.A. Bondy seems to be developing a voice of his own despite all the surface similarities, and the result is a quietly powerful album of songs that cut deeper into the heart and soul than you might expect at first glance.
  9. Bondy’s latest effort still proves a solid and thoughtful experience for aesthetic wanderers the world throughout.
  10. Where the old Bondy would sometimes show his hand too blatantly, the new Bondy is playing his cards with greater aplomb and much greater skill. When the Devil's Loose, A.A. Bondy's second album, is evident of this ever-growing skill. But that's not to say there isn't room to grow.
  11. In the hands of a different producer maybe the material assembled for When The Devil's Loose could step forward into something more Technicolor, as its faults are minor, but they are the faults which separate merely pleasant albums from great ones. As it is, When The Devil’s Loose is the former.
  12. 60
    His blurry lullabies, full of crimson moons and devils' wings, carry a Biblical sense of foreboding and disquiet, somewhere between J Tillman and a more whiskery Neal Casal. [Dec 2009, p. 106]
  13. A sense of stylistic familiarity does rather rule out any real "wow" factor, but its simple charms sink in over repeated listens, and firm fans of this whole backwoods-troubadour thing should find plenty to admire here.

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