User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8

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  1. Jan 7, 2014
    10
    First of all, it is important to note that this is NOT a straight-up bluegrass album. This is easily one of my favorite albums, period. I can listen to it any time. The title track, Who's Feeling Young Now, gives off the intensity and energy of a punk-rock ballad. And the arpeggios used in Don't Get Married blow my mind. If you have a chance to see this talented group live, you will not be disappointed. Expand
  2. Nov 5, 2013
    8
    Not as good as 'Antifogmatic' but still very lovely. They have a completely authentic style, which makes it all flow nicely. Every new chord explored every track that goes, 'Who's Feeling Young Now?' shown increasingly solid.
  3. Apr 26, 2012
    6
    Without a doubt Punch Brothers have the skills which many instrumentalist musicians might envy. Their bluegrass performance is high-flying one, but on the latest - third album "Who's Feeling Young Now?", guys sometimes ovedid with its intensity, just like with the vocals - and that's why songs sometimes seem chaotic. In any case this is not a bad album - just to mention bluegrass essence in the "Movement and Location", quiet folk ballad "Soon Or Never", or a great - totally instrumental country song: "Flippen". For the hesitant is worth mentioning that on the album there is absolutely brilliant cover of "Kid A" by Radiohead. Expand
  4. ScS
    Feb 16, 2012
    10
    In order to understand just how good an album this is, it's helpful to know some of the history of the Punch Brothers, particularly Chris Thile. He started off real young, as a kid who, just hitting double-digits in age, was already starting to show his virtuosity on the mandolin. He hit it big with the accessible, lovable trio Nickel Creek, who remain his most accessible work yet: the chemistry they had was remarkable, and their music was, again, perfectly accessible; it was music for the whole family, music you and your grandmother could enjoy together just as easily as you could alone. He was a happy, married, thoroughly successful man. --- It wouldn't last. His marriage started looking bad, a fact which he cataloged in his album Deceiver (an utterly excellent if slightly scattered pop album), and meanwhile, his relationship with childhood friends and fellow band members in Nickel Creek seemed to sour as well. The band announced that they were breaking up on the heels of their last album, properly titled "Why Should the Fire Die?" Again, Thile's hope and heartbreak, his passion, his faith crisis were all on display. This intermediate, crash-and-burn period was, up until now, his best work. --- Thile divorced and, like any true genius, this personal toil translated into a masterpiece, which he called "The Blind Leaving the Blind". It was a five-voice bluegrass-classical fusion piece, as brilliant as it was passionate as was inaccessible, and thus Punch Brothers was born. They followed up with the decidedly bluegrassy "Antifogmatic", which was a brilliant sophomore album, but a sophomore album nonetheless. Things were still rough around the edges, things were still gelling together, but it was easy to see that this was a band of virtuosi, led by Thile- and honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if Thile was the only man on earth who could front such a talented group. --- So, onto the album... It is a tremendous accomplishment. It is probably the only album ever to so harmoniously blend the complexity and depth of Radiohead with the decidedly everyman-ish aesthetic of bluegrass. One sees from the beginning the struggle of balance, between smoothness and edge, style and substance, showing off and keeping it all together. Listening to the album feels kind of like watching a tightrope walker lean back and forth with every step- and yet he never falls. The first track, "Movement and Location", personifies the atmospheric, strength-in-unity element of the work whereas the title track shows off the snarl of rock, "New York" the sheer virtuosity of each individual member. It all flows perfectly. And yes, the Kid A cover does the original every bit of justice, although I admit that I was hoping for some vocals in the listening; nonetheless, it captures the honest heartbreak and undisguised despair of its muse. Emotionally, the album's thick with resigned nihilism and sheer, inconsolable restlessness. It has its share of honest love and heartbreak, as well as equally honest misogyny. There's some substance use, some coldness and some heat. It's the band at their best as they capture the mood swings and confusion of the modern world. It makes for quite a character study. --- There's class. There's edge. There's seamless blending and stunning fingerwork. There's moments soft and hard, moments that spit in your face and moments that sooth and arouse contemplation. And yes, I'll say it: There's punch. If this was the best album of 2012, it would be a good year of music. Expand
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. May 7, 2012
    90
    They may have just crafted a masterpiece.
  2. 80
    The musical leaps Punch Brothers takes are invigorating, sometimes breathtaking.
  3. Apr 2, 2012
    80
    An astonishing, envelope-pushing vision that mocks the idea of bluegrass being a revival genre. [Apr 2012, p.94]