User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 325 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 325

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  1. MinMin
    Nov 16, 2006
    0
    Poor. Over-hyped and unlistenable by virtue of her voice.
  2. HG
    Dec 7, 2006
    0
    If Joanna Newsom went mute tomorrow the world would be a better place. Her voice is painful to listen to: it is better suited for singing in the shower. I like folk music. I like harps. Joanna Newsom's voice distracts me past any point of reason and deters me from even trying to listen to any talent she has for playing the harp or writing lyrics.
  3. Aamie
    Dec 8, 2006
    0
    Like others have said, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard... How can anyone listen to this? Seriously? Do any of you rating it 10 really like it or do you just want to appear to be 'arty' or something?
  4. DanitaM
    Jan 14, 2007
    1
    This statement seems to sum up the album:: "Sometimes she just sings without really singing a melody. Other times, she has a melody but it's a totally unremarkable one." One adjustment needs to be made, however-- she doesn't really SING at all. Sometimes, she squeaks! No one yet has mentioned how she blatantly goes OUT OF TUNE! OFF KEY! I don't mean to attack those who did This statement seems to sum up the album:: "Sometimes she just sings without really singing a melody. Other times, she has a melody but it's a totally unremarkable one." One adjustment needs to be made, however-- she doesn't really SING at all. Sometimes, she squeaks! No one yet has mentioned how she blatantly goes OUT OF TUNE! OFF KEY! I don't mean to attack those who did enjoy the album--many of you have justified yourselves and that's fine--but I found this to be utterly unmusical. The background orchestra WAS lovely and I DID enjoy the harp, but the tragedy is that it is supposed to align with the vocals which are horrible. And I love how many of those who posted before me assume that those who didn't enjoy this album adore rap. Actually, we enjoy MUSIC, and this does not qualify as such. Expand
  5. ColbyS.
    Jul 2, 2007
    1
    High aspirations here? Yes. Musical talent? To some degree. But for the love of God, listening to this woman ramble on like a Vietnamese child tripping out on LSD is too grating to listen to for an average song length of four minutes, let alone twenty-five. The reviewers just liked this because it was different and may have made them sound cultured for a few days. That's my only guess.
  6. EusebioP.
    Sep 7, 2009
    3
    A girl playing harp short of OK and singing (out of tune half of the time) painfully long diatribes... Is this an 85 score? By Tutatis that you people across the ocean sometimes amaze me... I can imagine that most of the people giving a high score to this have never ever listen to any decent folk, Celtic or world music, so coming from Alternative Pop-Rock this can be short of a revelation A girl playing harp short of OK and singing (out of tune half of the time) painfully long diatribes... Is this an 85 score? By Tutatis that you people across the ocean sometimes amaze me... I can imagine that most of the people giving a high score to this have never ever listen to any decent folk, Celtic or world music, so coming from Alternative Pop-Rock this can be short of a revelation of difference, but believe me, it is not. If you want to hear something decent on "women playing harp", please make yourself a favor and buy something of Loreena McKennitt. Expand
  7. JPublius
    Nov 14, 2006
    3
    The harp's nice. Newsom's voice sounds like the midget from Poltergeist Lyrics make as much sense as a Yes album. This will be on every critics top 10 list, and nobody will listen to it for more than five minutes.
  8. pauls
    Nov 19, 2006
    4
    NOW and Rolling Stone are dead on: "She plucks and sings in her little-girl-lost warble never seems entirely integrated with the hovering orchestral parts ... Hard to stomach"
  9. JamieP
    Nov 21, 2006
    4
    This is simply meandering rubbish. Why bother trying to actually compose something with structure and meaning if the critics will like this nonsense. Half of it is completely out of time, and seemingly deliberately so. The album sounds like a drunk impersonating Joni Mitchell with an orchestra tuning up in the background. Lovely production, mind you. I just wish they'd spend that This is simply meandering rubbish. Why bother trying to actually compose something with structure and meaning if the critics will like this nonsense. Half of it is completely out of time, and seemingly deliberately so. The album sounds like a drunk impersonating Joni Mitchell with an orchestra tuning up in the background. Lovely production, mind you. I just wish they'd spend that money on someone who wasn't so self-consciously trying to be different. Expand
  10. Chris
    Jan 12, 2007
    3
    Remember the creepy kid from The Grudge? Yeah, she sounds like him.
  11. Steve
    Jan 15, 2007
    3
    This is 50 minutes of noise without a single memorable melody, with the added bonus of a voice I
  12. JamsieJ
    Mar 28, 2007
    3
    I listened to this cd in the shop. I tried to like it but the vocals reminded me of a feline squirming after someone had stood on its tail by accident. Would have been nice if the songs weren't so drawn-out and the vocals weren't so preposterous/off-putting.
  13. Ian
    Mar 22, 2009
    4
    Joanna Newsom, as well as other artists from the recent 'New Weird America' movement, are not so unique as they are a reemergence of pretentious white person 70's folk. Boo.
  14. 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 album itself is very overproduced. Awful.
  15. KevinK
    Dec 27, 2006
    4
    At first, I thought my dislike of this record was the result of some internal defect; now, I realize that the record just isn't that good. I can see that it's supposed to be a grand statement, and Newsom certainly proves herself to be an accomplished musician here. However, if one is going to make a record like this, it's probably a good idea to have something to say first. At first, I thought my dislike of this record was the result of some internal defect; now, I realize that the record just isn't that good. I can see that it's supposed to be a grand statement, and Newsom certainly proves herself to be an accomplished musician here. However, if one is going to make a record like this, it's probably a good idea to have something to say first. What I hear here is a whole lot of sounds smashed together to signify nothing. Expand
  16. JoS
    May 29, 2007
    3
    How can anyone like this? Listen to that voice! Since when did bad become good? Now, I'm all for pretentious artists (I'm a big fan of Sting), but only if they have TALENT in the first place! Yeah, she can pick on the harp pretty well, but that doesn't give her an excuse to mindlessly and badly warble lyrics that, while decent, don't flow well. I have no problem How can anyone like this? Listen to that voice! Since when did bad become good? Now, I'm all for pretentious artists (I'm a big fan of Sting), but only if they have TALENT in the first place! Yeah, she can pick on the harp pretty well, but that doesn't give her an excuse to mindlessly and badly warble lyrics that, while decent, don't flow well. I have no problem handling up to 20 minutes songs (Yes's And You and I is one of my fav. songs of all time), but that's because the music keeps you involved in those cases by changing its tone every few minutes, but here, the only thing that keeps me from going to sleep is Joanna's constant squeaking. I think that if an album plans to be successful, all the elements have to be present, and skipping one area ruins it. Sure, the harp and orchestra is pretty, but the melodies aren't involving enough. Unless you absolutely LOVE THEM TO DEATH, you won't remember any of them the next day. The lyrics are alright, but I'd take anything by Neil Peart over any of them. But her voice...that ruins the whole album for me. To be mean about it, she sounds like Scrooge McDuck lifting heavy things whist sucking helium. And the squeaks! Would it kill her to go get some voice lessons? When will peole get the friggin' modesty to not sing when they can't! *ahem* anyway, I really, REALLY dislike this album, and despite what everyone else tells me, I'll never change my name. Thank you, and goodnight. Expand
  17. DavidM.
    Feb 25, 2008
    3
    I'll never understand why these sprawling idiosyncratic croonings constitute a great work--and that's coming from a fan of Tori Amos and Kate Bush!!
  18. michaels
    Dec 18, 2006
    3
    As good as you would think a harp album named after a mythical city in Brittany would be. I am seriously impressed by anyone over the age of 8 who can derive enjoyment from listening to this album. For critics who are bathing Joanna and any other psych folk artist who scraps together an hour long renaissance festival soundtrack, it's really not that hard to drone on about treehouses As good as you would think a harp album named after a mythical city in Brittany would be. I am seriously impressed by anyone over the age of 8 who can derive enjoyment from listening to this album. For critics who are bathing Joanna and any other psych folk artist who scraps together an hour long renaissance festival soundtrack, it's really not that hard to drone on about treehouses and forest animals with minimalist strings echoing in at random times. Stopped being impressed by it. Expand
  19. JacobB.
    Mar 10, 2010
    0
    I'm speechless. Just terrible. I heard someone compare her to Dylan and laughed in their face.
  20. RickR
    Nov 17, 2006
    4
    Pretty good music making, if not for the dreadful vocals. Like someone said, it'll be on every Critics "MUST HAVE" lists but it probably will be ignored by the public. I mean, it's alright really, that voice is quite ridiculous.
  21. JonoS
    Nov 27, 2006
    2
    Sometimes she just sings without really singing a melody. Other times, she has a melody but it's a totally unremarkable one. The arrangements would be nice if it weren't for the fact that the vocals are supposed to integrate into them. Not only do the arrangements lack coherence, but so do the different moments of the songs.
  22. sturnb
    Nov 28, 2006
    3
    I don't get this. First Sulfjan Stevens, The Decembrists now this...Maybe there is some intellectual payoff at the end of this pretentious self fellating journey but who cares? What happened to having pop songs? This ain't Tolstoy so why pretend it is?
  23. doesitmatter
    Jan 19, 2007
    1
    Annoying.
  24. tp
    Mar 8, 2007
    0
    i am disappointed i had to give a rating of at least 0, i would have given it -1. her voice irritates me to NO END. i wonder why she is even allowed to record an album??!!??!!?????
  25. pix1011
    Aug 31, 2007
    0
    I just can't get through this album... I've managed to listen to half of each of the tracks, but just don't get it! It's rough stuff!!! Maybe I should start listening to the Top 40 charts or something 'cos I just don't get some of the stuff getting all this hype these days!?
  26. MattD.
    Nov 13, 2006
    3
    Less grating than The Milk-Eyed Mender, but it's without personality. Sounds like a bad soundtrack to a fantasy movie. If you want something different, try Nellie McKay or Loreena McKennitt.
  27. Grut
    Nov 15, 2006
    4
    Her first album was amazing, this one is just crap. Must be the influence of her new buddy Devendra Banhart. Can someone tell this guy not to talk to other artists ?
  28. nightchapelk
    Nov 15, 2006
    2
    awful. 50+ minutes long and she is singing for 48 of those minutes. I would love to hear the version sans vocals.
  29. KenH
    Nov 24, 2006
    1
    This is by far the most overrated album of the year. Just awful
  30. TedB.
    Nov 27, 2006
    2
    Newsom should have stuck to voice work in commercials and cartoons rather than thinking she could sing.
  31. happysad
    Nov 28, 2006
    3
    Another neo-folk (or whatever you call it) record pretty much completely devoided of any soul or passion...or memorable tunes for that matter, having a gimmicky voice is just not enough I'm afraid. String arrangements are nice though...
  32. JennaJameson
    Dec 1, 2006
    0
    This record blows more than me. i kind of agree what Brian has to say. Rolling Stone sold their soul over ten years ago with their stupid 31/2 star ratings but I think the only reasons Sulfan Stevens and Antony and the Johnsons are famous is becasue they have Fancy Arty names that would go well when discussing the new season of Battlestar Galactica at some upscale party that you go to get This record blows more than me. i kind of agree what Brian has to say. Rolling Stone sold their soul over ten years ago with their stupid 31/2 star ratings but I think the only reasons Sulfan Stevens and Antony and the Johnsons are famous is becasue they have Fancy Arty names that would go well when discussing the new season of Battlestar Galactica at some upscale party that you go to get away from "common people." The Decemberists are acclaimed because they go well with those Lord of the Rings parties all the nerdy virgins through. Expand
  33. andrew
    Dec 15, 2006
    2
    so, im gonna review the album, but i honestly havent been able to listen all the way to the end. you know why? cause shes singing about chim-chir-ees and monkeys and bears, and while yeah i get the metaphors and references to her thesaurus-inducing vocabulary terms, its a little preposterous to expect someone to listen to 15 minute songs that arent songs at all. im sorry, but music is not so, im gonna review the album, but i honestly havent been able to listen all the way to the end. you know why? cause shes singing about chim-chir-ees and monkeys and bears, and while yeah i get the metaphors and references to her thesaurus-inducing vocabulary terms, its a little preposterous to expect someone to listen to 15 minute songs that arent songs at all. im sorry, but music is not reading a children's book or a nature book while strumming your harp to no appartent rhythm or melody, and then adding an orchestra to do the same thing, that is, play random notes whenever they feel like it. there is absolutely no conjunction to this album whatsoever, and its beyond annoying hearing her repeat the same ridiculous lines over and over about meteorites (pronouncing them meteoroyytes). her first album is terrific and beautiful, but Ys (what the hell does Ys mean??) is absurd. stop trying to be so otherworldly and academic and take the time to actually craft some worthy songs. Expand
  34. jayb
    Dec 3, 2006
    1
    Snooze fest. Too much hype on nothing. You can guarantee it'll get four to five stars from most meatheads...
  35. grub
    Dec 6, 2006
    3
    one of the worst sounding, most indigestible CDs I've heard. yet the songs are amazing. what happened?
  36. KyleV
    Jan 25, 2007
    0
    i think i can sing better : and thats saying some thing
  37. JamesB
    Jan 25, 2007
    0
    will some one kill this crazy person
  38. BillyB.
    Sep 21, 2008
    0
    Her voice is total garbage. I don't understand what's likeable about her baby-like voice and barely competent harp playing.
  39. JeffR
    Nov 15, 2006
    1
    Like Bjork doing 10 minute "epic" Yoko Ono covers with a harp. Overly ambitious and frankly, kind of annoying. Clearly lots of people love it, but I just don't get it.
  40. BiffL
    Nov 21, 2006
    1
    Like fingernails on a chalkboard. Maybe there's a nice melody in there somewhere. Maybe if Squeaky paused her rambling lyrics for a second or two we could hear it. Pretentious crap.
  41. LeoF
    Nov 22, 2006
    2
    very boring.... next, please!
  42. time
    Nov 27, 2006
    0
    What the hell is this crap? Is KFed still performing? That's how bad this album was.
  43. BrianD
    Nov 29, 2006
    1
    You pretentious people like to think you're cool because you know of things that others don't. In reality your taste sucks and so does this album. Rolling Stone is a good publication and I trust for the most part their critics and right they are that this album is hard to stomach. Things are not beautiful because they're ugly, or different sounding. Get over yourselves.
  44. Neil
    Dec 26, 2006
    2
    This could be some of the most overated music I have ever had the priviladge of listening to. Listen to the new TV on the Radio album, or Future/sex Lovesounds by Justin Timberlake.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. It’s to her great credit that Newsom (literally) plucks artistic triumph from the jaws of cloying whimsy.
  2. 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.
  3. Newsom has managed to lessen the twee factor of her last record... in the process crafting an album as bewitching as it is odd.