Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Unlike his previous efforts, the guitar isn't the focal point here; instead, it's the ambience created by tape loops, scratching, and Burnside's singing and talking that makes the record both edgy and relevant.
  2. R.L.'s voice has never been so well recorded. The dark, deep, weathered, grain stands its ground alongside the greatest living roots legends: John Lee Hooker and Johnny Cash.
  3. Burnside's singing is the strongest it's been in years, hitting aching falsettos in "Bad Luck City" and then, on the title track, letting his voice get as dark and gritty as the silt of the Mississippi River.
  4. 70
    The results [of the combination of DJ culture and blues] sound less contrived on this outing [than on 1998's Come On In]. [#48, p.81]
  5. 70
    The modern touches in particular - set in such sharp contrast to the rawness of the more human elements - make this an artistic statement worth hearing. If it can't quite match the cathartic experience of listening to some of the early masters, it still beats the increasingly slick face much blues music has taken on in recent times.
  6. The guitars (some by occasional Beck and Tom Waits sideman Smokey Hormel) snap out repetitive riffage that's one step from cliche. But Burnside's singing has never been more compelling on record.
  7. The fact that Burnside doesn't play guitar provides the first bad omen, and the busy, style-jumping production does the rest.... There's a decent Burnside album buried here, with spare songs like the title track providing the strongest moments.

See all 9 Critic Reviews