Ys

Ys Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 346 Ratings

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  • Summary: Steve Albini, Jim O'Rourke and Van Dyke Parks lend a hand on this five-song full-length from the folk singer-songwriter.

Top Track

Only Skin
Only Skin And there was a booming above you That night, black airplanes flew over the sea And they were lowing and shifting like Beached... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. It may well be the most off-putting album released this year. After playing it, there seems every chance it is the also the most astonishing.
  2. 100
    For the 56 minutes that "Ys" lasts, all the doubts evaporate. Every elaboration has a purpose, every labyrinthine melodic detour feels necessary rather than contrived. Tempting as it is to fixate on the gilded reputations of her associates, this is unequivocally Newsom’s album.
  3. While Ys is ridiculously overwritten, over-performed and self-contained, her fables always sublimate into the hot fog of real emotions just before they calcify.
  4. Mojo
    90
    It is Newsom's voice that provides the stunning balm to bind this strange beauty together. [Dec 2006, p.118]
  5. It’s to her great credit that Newsom (literally) plucks artistic triumph from the jaws of cloying whimsy.
  6. She has issued a treasure. She has floored us again.
  7. It's like being stuck in the seat next to a chatty, batshit backwoods pixie for an 18-hour plane ride.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 197
  1. Dec 11, 2010
    10
    Magical. Flawless. One of the best albums I've ever heard, it's like a very well told tale, and Joanna is very creative, and not boring atMagical. Flawless. One of the best albums I've ever heard, it's like a very well told tale, and Joanna is very creative, and not boring at all. Even though no one mentions it, "Cosmia" is beautiful, and, for me, the best track. "Sawdust & Diamonds" is also just as pretty. No single back track in this album. Expand
  2. KelseaL
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    Joanna Newsom's Ys has been a long awaited album and when information about it began to leak out, everyone was already shocked and Joanna Newsom's Ys has been a long awaited album and when information about it began to leak out, everyone was already shocked and excited. 5 tracks long and an hours worth of music, the songs range from 7-17 minutes in length. It was also said that Van Dyke Parks was to be arranging the orchstral parts for 4/5 songs. If an artistic director from Smile thinks Ys is worth something, that's a pretty high standard. I myself purchased the album the day it came out and listened to it twice in a row, once reading the words, once picking out musical anomolies. Neither aspect of the album dissapointed me. It's hard to say wether Joanna has more skills as a harpist, songwriter or lyricist, but everything she produces in each aspect is captivating. Ys is personal, musically perfect and a huge step up for the formerly faun-like gentle creature that is Joanna. She tells us she has been changing with the years and her rise to fame in Sawdust and Diamonds saying, "I wasn't born of a whistle, or milked from a thistle at twilight. No, I was all horns and thorns, sprung out folly-formed, knock-kneed and upright." Joanna is progressing as a writer, singer and person and it is certain she will continue to please current fans and gather new ones with each passing day. Expand
  3. JeremyP
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    Personally, my favourite album ever. I'm so happy I heard it months before it was released so that I was free of any influence
  4. ja
    Jul 3, 2007
    10
    Gorgeous. Her occasionally screechy vocals will deter many potential listeners, but if you can get around those sparodic moments in the Gorgeous. Her occasionally screechy vocals will deter many potential listeners, but if you can get around those sparodic moments in the songs, you'll find an absolutely brilliant album filled with stirring music and beautiful imagery. It is fantastical, yet her humanity still comes across clearly. Expand
  5. JaredB.
    Nov 29, 2006
    9
    i've never seen so many people angry because someone *likes* something before. this record isn't for everyone, but a surprising i've never seen so many people angry because someone *likes* something before. this record isn't for everyone, but a surprising number of people find a lot to love about this difficult, but ultimately rewarding album. even if you never warm to it, please try not to be as closed-minded as the poster below me. sheesh. Expand
  6. PaulL
    Feb 10, 2007
    6
    If you're expecting the catchiness and charm of the Milk-Eyed Mender, you'll be disappointed. Where her last album was a nice If you're expecting the catchiness and charm of the Milk-Eyed Mender, you'll be disappointed. Where her last album was a nice combination of hooks and quirks, this one's all quirks. It's certainly not annoying, but it isn't a joy to listen to. Expand
  7. AaronS
    Nov 15, 2006
    0
    I don't know whay everyone else is hearing, but this is the single worst release in 2006. Newsom's vocals are beyond bad and the I don't know whay everyone else is hearing, but this is the single worst release in 2006. Newsom's vocals are beyond bad and the album itself is very overproduced. Awful. Expand

See all 197 User Reviews