Yanqui U.X.O. - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Yanqui U.X.O. Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Summary: Slightly (and confusingly) changing their name to Godspeed You! Black Emperor for this outing, the Canadian instrumental band recorded these 5 tracks (clocking in at 75 minutes) with Steve Albini as a follow-up to their extremely well-received 2000 effort 'Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven.' Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. The band is making the finest music in the history of its collective.
  2. Lift Your Skinny Fists… told a story, included more extremes in volume and emotion, and added vocal samples. Yanqui, thus, is more subtle, more restrained. Yet it's also more moody, more cerebral, more intense.
  3. More substantial, positive and dynamic. [#225, p.58]
  4. A difficult and rewarding thrill.
  5. What remains is a sometimes cold, sometimes confusing collection of epics that are more intricate than anything GYBE have ever created.
  6. Stripped of some of Godspeed's hallmarks, including its creepy spoken-word samples and propensity for building to an overbearingly climactic full-on pummel, the disc's power lies more in its subdued shading and slow, methodical builds.
  7. The tracks on Yanqui are content to continue building to bored, satiated endings we can see coming 20 minutes in advance.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. JonL
    Nov 15, 2006
    It doesn't show the balls-out part of Godspeed, like their first two albums, but it shows them in the mode of craftsmen. This doesn't mean the album sounds safe and comfortable, though, far from it. If anything, it feels kind of like a continuation of the last passages of "Antennas To Heaven" in a more rock form, but with the unsettling feelings of old gloom long since forgotten with a hint of wistful twilight in some sections nonetheless. The group is as martial and rousing as ever, and the album is nearly as haunting as the most autumnal moments of "Lift Your Skinny Fists...", but perhaps this will fit as the final statement from the band, as I truly can't see where they can grow from here. They have certainly left three essential albums full of uncanny passion and dread like no band before or since them has replicated, and that is more of an achievement than prolific composing. Expand
  2. HTam
    Sep 14, 2006
    Among the greatest music ever recorded. Those into common music won't get it, but it's a post-rock masterpiece. Also it's all instrumental, which already filters out the mainstream listeners. Expand
  3. MitchM
    Oct 2, 2006
    Great album. Their best hands down.
  4. MaxH
    Nov 13, 2002
    So what do you do when you make an unfailingly beautiful record like Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, and then try and follow it? Godspeed have reached the OK Computer syndrome, trying to follow what is universally accepted as near-perfect, groundbreaking work. This album is a distinct departure from the band's previous work, despite all the comments of a homogenous sound. Yanqui glistens with the feel of more than its nine players, creeping out of the woodwork like a full orchestra. There are no samples, and no drone interludes connecting the larger passages. Instead, the compositions are more ambitious, the notes more dissonant. This album is not about simple relief and beauty. Godspeed are more unsettled than ever (if thats possible) and their progressions have far less of the easy relief of past work. The payoff is unimaginably powerful. This album is to be read like novel, sat with and taken in. That could be said for all their work, and most Post-Rock, but it has NEVER been true like it is now. All that, and the glorious "Motherfucker=Redeemer," which comprises tracks 4 and 5, could be the best work this band has ever done. In a very real sense, it was all leading here. Expand
  5. BenD
    Jun 12, 2006
    while i would have liked to hear the voice sample and explosions of noise from Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, i still find Yanqui U.X.O. to be a very exciting listen. Overall there is more actual music and less of the ambient noise passages from skinny fists. I would highly recommend motherfucker=redeemer. This track could just possibly be the future of the band. Expand
  6. KeithH
    Nov 26, 2005
    I have only just found this band via Aural Moon; stunning, ethereal, challenging. Loved Motherfucker=Redeemer.
  7. DB
    Apr 11, 2004
    I cannot with any kind of self integrity, rate this any higher. While they did make a good album to say this is better or even as good as their previous works would be complete bullocks. There is one thing missing through out this entire album and that is the small vessel of hope swimming in their sea of sorrow. While this album goe in a different direction, (which is always good) it is not nearly as experimental as "Lift Your Skinny Fingers..." or others. It's the smeared sounds and haunting arrangement that make them one of the best ensembles in the history of music. Which is the very thing that never materializes in this effort. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews