Ys

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 340 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 340

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  1. g
    Nov 17, 2006
    10
    album of the year... if Darwin is to be believed, newsom's record will survive as a classic for hundreds of years. seriously its THAT good
  2. kishaandra
    Apr 13, 2010
    10
    Ys is, at the very least, a heartfelt and poetic work of art set to music. Structurally, it only meanders as far as to elaborately support its overarching themes of searching and loss. It's a wonder Trouser Press has managed to be included in the selection of reviews for this album, as the meat of the review places Ys in a context in which Newsom has never claimed to be: both the Ys is, at the very least, a heartfelt and poetic work of art set to music. Structurally, it only meanders as far as to elaborately support its overarching themes of searching and loss. It's a wonder Trouser Press has managed to be included in the selection of reviews for this album, as the meat of the review places Ys in a context in which Newsom has never claimed to be: both the aftermath and revival of some long-gone, overthrown 70s movement. It should be noted that, quite ironically, Trouser Press's review of the album itself meanders into an almost entirely irrelevant music history before finally throwing down a biting adjective or two toward the actual album itself. But to those who are interested in seeing both the appealing and potentially repelling qualities of Ys, figure this: her voice is unusual and hard to down at first, but is nevertheless an endearingly contribution all its own to the emotions expressed in Ys. The lyrics are elaborate, but indirect, having - at times - an almost riddle-like quality to them. The orchestration ranges from quiet to largely theatrical. The album, to me, is ambitious and unpretentious, and demands its listener take an active role in unearthing its secrets, rather than passively watching it unravel all on its own. Expand
  3. 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 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.
  4. JamesS
    Mar 10, 2010
    10
    Simply the most astonishing record. Having recently picked up
  5. madsl
    Dec 4, 2006
    9
    this is a serious contender for Album of the Year! Newsom reveals herself as a singular talent on this marvellous recording. A minor quibble is the fact that occasionally Van Dyke Parks´ arrangements seem removed from the vision of Joanna!
  6. jamesm
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    I like it both musically and lyrically. But what I like best is the way it polarises your reviewers. It just show that our opinions are only useful to us....don' t listen to me, listen to you!
  7. KurtCobain
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    b0ing!
  8. JustinM
    Nov 16, 2006
    10
    Fantastic album, start to finish.
  9. exodus.
    Nov 18, 2006
    9
    After Claire T: "Simply beautiful."
  10. JoeG
    Dec 1, 2006
    10
    Hmmm, I'll be joining the ranks of pretentious I guess. Or maybe it just that I love listening to it? A worthy successor to Astral Weeks.
  11. Kamil
    Dec 3, 2006
    8
    First, hard to listen, but then it gets better and better. Imagination and ambition of joanna is impressive. Definitive album from freak-folk scene.
  12. Sean
    Dec 4, 2006
    10
    Brian. the different sounding and "ugly" (as you say) music is usually the kind that lasts and becomes classic later on. You're like the same people who bashed Rite Of Spring and the Grosse Fugue because they thought those were too different sounding and ugly, when those first appeared. Now look at their stature. In the same vein, this album may be different and unusual, but Brian. the different sounding and "ugly" (as you say) music is usually the kind that lasts and becomes classic later on. You're like the same people who bashed Rite Of Spring and the Grosse Fugue because they thought those were too different sounding and ugly, when those first appeared. Now look at their stature. In the same vein, this album may be different and unusual, but that's why it stands out so well and becomes so original, and when all is said and done, more people will be talking about this album in the future than the more straightforward, same-sounding music. Expand
  13. 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 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, 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
  14. samf
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    stunning
  15. DannyC
    Jan 18, 2007
    10
    Chillingly beautiful. The first time through Milk-Eyed Mender was a bit rough due to her voice, which granted is difficult at first. However anyone willing to give it a few passes will surely fall in love with this musical genious. I am blown away by those who do not find this gorgeous from start to finish. I get lost in every listen and rarely go a day without playing it in its entirety. Chillingly beautiful. The first time through Milk-Eyed Mender was a bit rough due to her voice, which granted is difficult at first. However anyone willing to give it a few passes will surely fall in love with this musical genious. I am blown away by those who do not find this gorgeous from start to finish. I get lost in every listen and rarely go a day without playing it in its entirety. An enormous step forward from an already masterful first album. I am almost frightened to hear what will come next. "That's an awfully real gun." Expand
  16. ThomasG.
    Oct 26, 2007
    10
    It's absolutely beautiful. Her lyrics are spot on, and the music is wonderful. Just because it's different doesn't make it pretentious. She's got her own unique style that shows alot of passion.
  17. BrandonH
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    This is, by far, the best album of 2006.
  18. KennyM
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    beautiful.
  19. BryanE.
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    Believe me, I am not some latte sipping trendoid latching on to the next big thing. My favorite music is firmly rooted in the guitar rock traditon. But this....this is sublime. I discovered Joanna Newsom from concert footage that had been uploaded onto YouTube. Immediately, I downloaded both her albums. I ahd not read a review or heard any previous information about her. I was just Believe me, I am not some latte sipping trendoid latching on to the next big thing. My favorite music is firmly rooted in the guitar rock traditon. But this....this is sublime. I discovered Joanna Newsom from concert footage that had been uploaded onto YouTube. Immediately, I downloaded both her albums. I ahd not read a review or heard any previous information about her. I was just smitten at first sight. No, she is not easy listening, especially YS. But ANYONE who dismisses her as some puffed up flashin the pan novelty act (as many of the negative opinion posit) are just lazy. Yes, you have the right to not like her. But the dismissive,. condescending attitude that is perfectly exemplefied by that ludicrous Rolling Stone review says to me that most of these people would be off listening to their Brittneys, F'itty Cents and Nicklebacks. Expand
  20. Steph
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    Heaven..this music is so beautiful, it conjures up the fantastical and archaic. Newsom's music transcends the ordinary.
  21. johnd
    Mar 9, 2007
    10
    If you don't like this album, you don't like music: it's that simple. There have been many albums released in the last deacade but none of them leave you as stunned as this. Perfect!
  22. JA
    May 22, 2007
    10
    Definitely one you have to be in the mood for. But wow, when the time is right, this album is pure magic. Phenomenally gorgeous and totally original.
  23. 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 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.
  24. DelP.
    Aug 16, 2007
    10
    This is an utterly brilliant album from start to finish. The melodies on songs like "Emily" and "Only Skin" still send shivvers down my spine. Took me some time to get into this but once I did it was all I could listen to for a couple of months. I understand that this is an album that some people may not "get" and that Joanna's voice may be irritating to some but you cannot knock the This is an utterly brilliant album from start to finish. The melodies on songs like "Emily" and "Only Skin" still send shivvers down my spine. Took me some time to get into this but once I did it was all I could listen to for a couple of months. I understand that this is an album that some people may not "get" and that Joanna's voice may be irritating to some but you cannot knock the songs. The melodies are of the sort that you find yourself singing in your head at night whilst you try to sleep and the lyrical content is not far off brilliant. If you buy this album, please give it a chance!!!! Expand
  25. cmiiiiicmi
    Sep 9, 2007
    10
    It makes me smile.
  26. BrandonV.
    Oct 30, 2008
    10
    Tim Kasher and I once had a conversation about Joanna Newsom. we concluded that she is an olive artist. you either love her or hate her. We love her. "If Joanna Newsom is doing well, music is doing well." YS, this is an amazing album. a sound that actually is new. her songwriting and lyrics are genius. but again, thats just my opinion. i really like olives.
  27. Jaaaaamed
    Jun 18, 2008
    10
    Remember the first time you discovered music-- I think for most of the people I know, and certainly for myself, it happened in my early teens. Indeed, throughout my teenage years(the time I was most passionate about music.) I fell in love with many different kinds of music. Now that I am older, even if I can recognize the brilliance or majesty of a new artist, song, record, or whatever--I Remember the first time you discovered music-- I think for most of the people I know, and certainly for myself, it happened in my early teens. Indeed, throughout my teenage years(the time I was most passionate about music.) I fell in love with many different kinds of music. Now that I am older, even if I can recognize the brilliance or majesty of a new artist, song, record, or whatever--I rarely fall in love with it. Ys is a compleatly different story. The songs long winding arts, the flashes of brilliant lyrics interspersed with pretensious lyric word play--it all captured me in a way hat make me feel young again. This cd has moved more than anything I have heard in the last 5 years with the exception of rasputina and kristen hersh----buy this record---ms. newsome youthful aspirations, musical ambitions, and literary intricacy are unlike anything else around. Expand
  28. PerspicaciousCritic
    Nov 13, 2006
    8
    Y[e]s!
  29. KurtD
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Perfect.
  30. RyanL
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    It took 11 months but we finally have a genuine album of the year.
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.