Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. These are so fine you don't mind listening again. And as you do, you start noticing how deftly Brett negotiates lines and stanzas that aren't as blockish as their meter and his voice make you think. And then you listen to this uningratiating music some more.
  2. May 17, 2013
    A penchant for mid-tempo country ballads has sometimes made Handsome Family albums seem too similar, and while Wilderness doesn’t stray far from that template, it stays lively by weaving in a wealth of other styles, including Beatles-esque pop, bossa nova rhythm, and traditional American folk.
  3. Jun 17, 2013
    Wilderness quickly makes it clear that the passing of time hasn't dampened down their taste for the macabre mysteries if existence. [Jul 2013, p.105]
  4. May 20, 2013
    Little known natural wonders are gleaned from Rennie's witty and offbeat stories.... Meanwhile, Brett's deep bow-saw of a voice has never sounded so sonorous. [Jun 2013, p.87]
  5. May 17, 2013
    The animal kingdom looms large but human experience is still at the core of Rennie's surreal couplets, given added portent by Brett's compellingly mournful baritone. [Jun 2013, p.73]
  6. Jun 10, 2013
    The album moves slowly, yes, but it’s never boring, and the songs once again open doors to a strange and fascinating new world.
  7. May 21, 2013
    Wilderness, the tenth long-player from the New Mexico-based husband-and-wife team of Brett and Rennie Sparks (The Handsome Family) lives up to its ecological moniker with a 12-track set that invokes both nature and nurture, with an emphasis on the shady bits in between.

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