Winter Women / Holy Ghost Language School Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: This double album marks the first solo release for the "brother" half of the brother-sister duo Fiery Furnaces. While the 'Holy Ghost' disc is as bizarre and experimental as recent Furnaces releases, 'Winter Women' marks a detour into more accessible pop.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. The chaos that ensues is catchier than you might expect. [11 Aug 2006, p.67]
  2. 70
    Holy Ghost is something of a wash... Winter Women, though, boasts some of [his] best material. [Sep 2006, p.111]
  3. Bizarre lyrics, wooze-inducing dissonance and overly elaborate embellishments maintain Friedberger's genius-of-pretension title.
  4. All in all, the two albums prove that even Friedberger’s secondary musical thoughts are worthy of attention. [Summer 2006]
  5. Holy Ghost Language School is something of an endurance test... Winter Women is more rewarding by design; it only suffers from excessive length and Friedberger's continued insistence on slathering songs with random waves of noise and self-conscious dissonance.
  6. Without Sis, Matthew still does just fine, but let's be honest: You know the style by now.
  7. One might suppose that solo album(s) from the chief Furnaces songwriter Matthew Friedberger would magnify his flaws/assets, and in the case of Winter Women and Holy Ghost Language School, one would be correct.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. dugan
    Aug 18, 2006
    i can certainly see how this could be unappealing for most people. but if you loved rehearsing my choir and the vietnamese telephone ministry, holy ghost language school is perfect for you. and winter women is only slightly weirder (and perhaps even more catchy) than bitter tea and blueberry boat. and if you love matt for his lyrics, there's a veritable windfall of treasures in these two discs. great, great, great stuff. Expand
  2. MalarkI
    Aug 24, 2006
    Why the critics aren't "getting" this (and why they didn't "get" Rehearsing My Choir, I'll never know....It makes me wonder if they really enjoyed Blueberry Boat at all. Expand
  3. muckraker11
    Apr 3, 2007
    the critics went hilarious over this one. this is one of the most talented individuals in music right now. please give BOTH of these discs a chance. They are incredibly different and both incredible. Expand
  4. Nov 17, 2012
    The wonderfulness and precision-in-complexity of many of these songs makes me think philosophical thoughts. Creative visions. MANY highlights - I call out "The Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company Resignation Letter". Winter Women is very pleasing to start and finish (1-7, 12-16), and more difficult (but good!) in the middle. Holy Ghost is more like the middle part of Winter Women (in terms of accessibility at least), but "7th Loop Highway" and "Do You Like Blondes" are fun rockers and the rest are good and weird and go together. Overall, GLORIOUS and FUN and MEANINGFUL! Expand
  5. spencerm.
    Feb 4, 2008
    Really great stuff... 'Winter Women' is up to the brim with beautiful melodies, witty lyrics, and great instrumentation, while 'Holy Ghost Language School' sounds like a drum-machine nightmare!! Brilliant!! Expand
  6. CarlM
    Sep 19, 2006
    Winter Women is the better half.