With Light and With Love Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eighth studio release for the Brooklyn folk rock band led by Jeremy Earl includes the use of a saloon piano, singing saw, and more percussion.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Apr 29, 2014
    82
    Mainstream baiting notwithstanding, With Light & With Love is the best Woods record yet, a tinkering of the charmingly sincere folksiness of Bend Beyond into something even more muscular and full-bodied.
  2. Apr 16, 2014
    80
    Turns out that on this album you get to hear Woods in perhaps the purest form yet, even as you know that form will change again for the next record. Until then, embrace the bittersweet now.
  3. Apr 14, 2014
    80
    The album is easily the most solid offering from the Woods camp to date, besting even the production of its incredibly strong predecessor and presenting the songs with even more clarity and interesting choices than ever before.
  4. Apr 23, 2014
    80
    Adroit instrumentation and elegant melodies from the NY quartet. [May 2014, p.96]
  5. Apr 15, 2014
    78
    Even the most drawn-out, mind-bending stretches on the album serve a purpose, managing to avoid sounding like sonic filler.
  6. Apr 14, 2014
    70
    As this year's laid-back, folk-tinged efforts go so far, Woods haven't quite packed the sort of emotional punch that, say, Beck did on Morning Phase, but they have provided further evidence that they're slowly emerging as masters of their mellow-pop craft.
  7. 58
    While With Light and With Love might sound more instantly accessible than previous Woods albums, it also shows that it might not be a good thing for Woods to tinker with their most defining quality: the intimacy of their songs.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Apr 20, 2014
    10
    I came home with this new Woods CD - a band I have never heard of before which is strange because I really "dig" and search for new music and not just listen to what most people are fed on the radio - after reading good reviews for it on this site and on Pitchfork and sampling the songs on iTunes, I decided to pick it up today at Reckless Records (Chicago/London). I put it on when I got home, and having already read comparisons to George Harrison (among others) on the Reckless site, and my roomie comes out and says "Is that George Harrison?!" There are a few places on the album where the music, esp. the guitars sound a lot like how Harrison played the guitar. Woods singer, Jeremy Earl, has a peaceful, pleasant high-pitched voice which goes well with the beautiful melodies and existential poetic lyrics. I wish it had come with a lyric book, however, because this album really has songs that stay with you, and you're still humming them after you listen. It sorta reminds me of Real Estate's new album "Atlas" but I like this Woods album much better because it goes in more different directions. They're really do not have all that much of a unique sound, but I can honestly say I do not have another album in my collection that sounds like it or makes me feel the way I do when listening to it. I totally intend to turn my friends and family on to this album and band. The only downside is that I wish it was at least 10 minutes longer. Expand
  2. May 11, 2014
    7
    A very interesting album. It has great music that is diverse in style. Some tracks aren't so great (Twin Steps, Only the Lonely), but are still okay. The vocal performance and Jeremy Earl's voice are serene, and they go well with the existential lyrics.

    My favorite tracks are: "Shining", "Moving to the Left", "New Light", and "Leaves Like Grass".
    Expand