User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 325 Ratings

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

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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. 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
  12. 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
  13. samf
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    stunning
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. BrandonH
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    This is, by far, the best album of 2006.
  17. KennyM
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    beautiful.
  18. 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
  19. Steph
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    Heaven..this music is so beautiful, it conjures up the fantastical and archaic. Newsom's music transcends the ordinary.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. cmiiiiicmi
    Sep 9, 2007
    10
    It makes me smile.
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. KurtD
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Perfect.
  28. RyanL
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    It took 11 months but we finally have a genuine album of the year.
  29. MikeM
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    Gorgeous, inspiring.
  30. MagillaGorilla
    Nov 15, 2006
    9
    Like Bjork's little sister weened on broken American dreams and visions of Angels. Thoughtful, mysterious, and curious. Most enjoyable in every way. What is up with Rolling Stone? 2 stars/"hard to stomach" typical Boomer mentality. hey, d'ja hear the new Bob Seger?
  31. GeraM
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    "Hard to swallow." Wow RS, I think you should just go sit down and listen to Fergie's album cos ur out of ur leage. Just in! RS has lost all credibility! Oh no, wait that was about 15 years ago..
  32. Gman
    Nov 16, 2006
    10
    I was beginning to think nobody could make an album as stunning, original and unique as Astral weeks/Starsailor/Horses/Miss America/Rock Bottom/Sixty Nine/The Marble Index etc but here it is. Not so much album of the year as album of the decade by several miles. I hear a lot of music of various genres and this towers above everything else I've come across in a long while. It does I was beginning to think nobody could make an album as stunning, original and unique as Astral weeks/Starsailor/Horses/Miss America/Rock Bottom/Sixty Nine/The Marble Index etc but here it is. Not so much album of the year as album of the decade by several miles. I hear a lot of music of various genres and this towers above everything else I've come across in a long while. It does take a few listens before it completely makes sense and takes over your soul but then all the best albums do. Albums that sound great on first listen generally sound crap on the twentieth. This will sound even more stunning on the 500th listen than it does now. Expand
  33. BillY
    Nov 17, 2006
    10
    An album like this only comes along once in a pink moon. It will take a little while to appreciate, which only adds to its longevity. Masterful.
  34. ToddW
    Nov 20, 2006
    9
    In Joanna Newsom we have someone whose lyrics are deep and literate, whose music is stylistically different in that it primarily features her on the harp, and who is attractive to boot. That must mean her album deserves a 4, right Rolling Stone? Take a look below: 100, 100, 100...94...et al, and then, lo and behold, we have Rolling Stone with a 40. Talk about blowing an opportunity to In Joanna Newsom we have someone whose lyrics are deep and literate, whose music is stylistically different in that it primarily features her on the harp, and who is attractive to boot. That must mean her album deserves a 4, right Rolling Stone? Take a look below: 100, 100, 100...94...et al, and then, lo and behold, we have Rolling Stone with a 40. Talk about blowing an opportunity to make amends for the miles of wasted newsprint spent extolling the no-talents and or has-beens currently filling our nation's airwaves. The truly sad thing is the sheep still think Rolling Stone is the outlet of choice for highlighting quality music in our sick culture. No wonder one needs a biohazard suit to listen to today's popular music when you've got scenester wanna-bes like Jann Wenner leading the band. I apologize for them all, Joanna. Everything about you is simply too far ahead of the curve for those simpletons to even begin to comprehend. You have graced the 'aughts with a strikingly close approximation to both Astral Weeks and "Desolation Row" ("Sawdust and Diamonds"), and predictably Rolling Stone slaps you with two stars. Its writers refuse to accept that mindblowing, groundbreaking music is still being produced today, even if you have to really pay attention to it, as they wistfully clutch their tattered copies of Revolver tight to their chests. And, ironically, any time an old timer releases a new album, you can guarantee it'll get anywhere from four to five stars from these ink-stained sycophants. Very unYs. Expand
  35. PhillipL
    Nov 23, 2006
    10
    An entrancing album, it's taken hold of me and won't let go. I can understand that some might not like it, but to me it is one of the best things I've ever heard.
  36. RosieR
    Nov 25, 2006
    10
    Original in the best sense of the term. Newsom is one of the finest lyricists around, and this is an album I will be playing for a long time to come.
  37. JMan
    Nov 28, 2006
    10
    'Y's' is without a doubt the album of the year. It may not be for everybody, but there is not one other artist who has made this strong and original sounding record this year.
  38. 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 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.
  39. ChrisC
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    Great album. One of the best of the year. The only people who don't like it seem to be the ones who hate anything the critics like because they like calling people they disagree with 'pretentious'.
  40. BOBL
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    I think it's gorgeous. It's even better performed live.
  41. LizT
    Dec 11, 2006
    9
    It takes some acclimatising to, but I tend to find that the best albums do... fab, involving and I have a feeling there's more to come the more I listen to it...
  42. TeresaK
    Dec 21, 2006
    10
    This album is extremely addicting. Normally I would not be able to sit through a 17 minute song, but the way the instruments build and the lyrics tell a tale is just amazing. Yes, she has an unconventional singing voice, but I think it makes the album more interesting and gives it personality. Give this album a chance, and you will fall in love with it.
  43. GImp
    Dec 2, 2006
    10
    If you want pop songs go and buy a Britney Spears record. This is a masterpiece. Claiming that this is pretentious is, frankly, ridiculous. Oh, and Tolstoy sucks.
  44. icicle
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    Either you love her or you don't, though I think those who don't are utterly missing the point and refusing to open their minds. This album is nothing short of total genius. Joanna Newsom is one of the most talented people living.
  45. SD
    Dec 26, 2006
    10
    We have seen the birth of a modern-day classic. It was a weak year for us music lovers, but Ys redeems it with much beauty and grace.
  46. ChrisL
    Dec 3, 2006
    10
    Joanna Newsom is one of the most original and vital musical artists performing today. What she's created isn't a critic pleaser; it's just a really refreshing, heartfelt, ambitious set of songs that resonates with people on an emotional level. To be completely honest, I'm a little surprised that so many people like Ys given its rather challenging nature, but it's Joanna Newsom is one of the most original and vital musical artists performing today. What she's created isn't a critic pleaser; it's just a really refreshing, heartfelt, ambitious set of songs that resonates with people on an emotional level. To be completely honest, I'm a little surprised that so many people like Ys given its rather challenging nature, but it's nice to know that other people "get" it because that means she'll get the attention she deserves. A brief note to the those who seem bent on endlessly maligning something that they don't understand: before you go and label people or works of art "pretentious," make sure you look the word up in the dictionary and fully grasp its meaning. Ignorantly tossing around words you don't comprehend is by a much greater degree more pretentious than anything present on this album. Expand
  47. RJ
    Dec 4, 2006
    10
    I could respond to Brian D's whole pretentious nonsense, but what is the point. This album should be averaging higher in my opinion. I love the voice, I am not sure why some people won't give it a chance. I think it is a much more rewarding and satisyfing album than anything else this year (I haven't made it through all of Orphans yet). I also think this album will be I could respond to Brian D's whole pretentious nonsense, but what is the point. This album should be averaging higher in my opinion. I love the voice, I am not sure why some people won't give it a chance. I think it is a much more rewarding and satisyfing album than anything else this year (I haven't made it through all of Orphans yet). I also think this album will be talked about for years to come, as albums this unique and compellling are rare. My highest recommendation! And, I would never trust a Rolling Stone review to begin with, but that review is the most ill informed and written review of a record I have seen in some time. Collapse
  48. Unjaded
    Dec 5, 2006
    9
    There's room for pulpy romance novels in the world, just as there's room for Tolstoy. So there should be room for far-reaching musical inventiveness alongside The Killers, The Ramones, or Britney. Why be so hostile when something like Ys comes along and grabs peoples' imaginations? Isn't it easier not to care if people are moved by something you find pretentious? There's room for pulpy romance novels in the world, just as there's room for Tolstoy. So there should be room for far-reaching musical inventiveness alongside The Killers, The Ramones, or Britney. Why be so hostile when something like Ys comes along and grabs peoples' imaginations? Isn't it easier not to care if people are moved by something you find pretentious? Isn't it just as valid to say "I don't get it" instead of "you're all pretentiously self-fellating"? Doesn't it show you to be no less cynical and elitist than how you perceive the critics and fans who take to this music to be? Expand
  49. MihaiV
    Dec 6, 2006
    9
    I don't get people that insult others just becouse they have different tastes. It's all subjective anyway. What's wrong with beeing different? What's wrong wanting something more then pop? I like this album a lot. I also like Radiohead. Must be a real pretencios snob.
  50. IvyB
    Dec 6, 2006
    9
    this is a comment i have wanted to write for a long time and it doesn't only count for joana newsom's new album. it's a general remark. my point is, that if you don't like (or know) a genre or style in music, then you shouldn't write about it. if you love pop or rock or rap but not folk, then don't come and tell the people who dó like this kind of folk this is a comment i have wanted to write for a long time and it doesn't only count for joana newsom's new album. it's a general remark. my point is, that if you don't like (or know) a genre or style in music, then you shouldn't write about it. if you love pop or rock or rap but not folk, then don't come and tell the people who dó like this kind of folk (or whatever you want to call joana's music... in fact i hate putting labels on artists) that this album sucks. e.g. i have no connection whatsoever with r&b and rap, so i don't give comments on r&b and rap albums. there are certain styles in music that move people, that touch people. if you were touched by joana's first album, but are disappointed in the second one, this is the place to express that feeling of disappointment. for a real music fan, it's all about emotion. if you feel blue, you'll listen to melancholic music. if you're angry, you'll listen to agressive music. if you're happy, you'll listen to the red album by the beatles... joana's music goes with a lot of different emotions, but if you feel none of them, then don't post comments on her albums, please. it's pointless... as far as my opinion goes; i find "ys" an inspiring and refreshing soundscape. it's full of paradoxes. it's old and it's new. it's happy and it's sad. it's crazy and it's elaborated... this album deserves the attention that it gets. but it's a shame it should evoke such disrespectful comments. Expand
  51. PmD
    Dec 7, 2006
    10
    This album isn't for everyone. It's not pop- it's not easy to classify at all! It's the best music I've heard in years- the composition, lyricism, passion, and texture leave me in a state of wonder. I wish I could be more articulate about what makes this so awe-inspiring. Wow, wow, wow.
  52. Josh
    Dec 7, 2006
    9
    I can't believe some of these comments. Pretentious!? Difficult!? Christ, THIS SHIT IS EASY LISTENING. WTF are you people hearing. I mean God, maybe I'm just dense, but I fournd this album to be entirely melodic, very lyrical, and completely engaging; even upon first listen. The production is stellar, the string arrangements are spectacular, the prouct is top notch. If you I can't believe some of these comments. Pretentious!? Difficult!? Christ, THIS SHIT IS EASY LISTENING. WTF are you people hearing. I mean God, maybe I'm just dense, but I fournd this album to be entirely melodic, very lyrical, and completely engaging; even upon first listen. The production is stellar, the string arrangements are spectacular, the prouct is top notch. If you can't get past a slightly unconventional vocalist in this day and age you've got issues. Expand
  53. ChristinaT
    Dec 9, 2006
    10
    I'd just like to point out that most of the reviews on here are mostly either a 9-10 or a 2-0. Joanna is an artist you either get, or you don't. You can't just someone's talent based on how her voice sounds, that's just how she sings. And if you even study her lyrics for one minute, you can see she is an accomplished writer and has a very firm grasp of the english I'd just like to point out that most of the reviews on here are mostly either a 9-10 or a 2-0. Joanna is an artist you either get, or you don't. You can't just someone's talent based on how her voice sounds, that's just how she sings. And if you even study her lyrics for one minute, you can see she is an accomplished writer and has a very firm grasp of the english language and is a fantastic lyricist. Her harp playing? I'm a harpist and I'm here to tell you she's amazing. The fact that she tried something new is noted by everyone, in the good and bad reviews, so I think that everyone should look at Ys based on the way every other album is looked at. Are the lyrics good and is the music good? Yes and yes. If you don't like her voice, that's your taste, and is no reason to put the other aspects down. If you honestly can't stomach it, go listen to some regular old regular-voiced singer with a regular old session band. Expand
  54. MicheleF.
    Nov 12, 2007
    10
    Incredibly original, wonderful poetry in song.
  55. SteveB
    Jan 16, 2007
    10
    Absolutely stunning accomplishment. Living in an age where we have paired music down from the brilliant to just the simple moronic, this is gold. If a two-step rhythm is your standard, you will hate this. Otherwise, it is timeless. (Ys = wise) = Essential
  56. AndrewH
    Jan 19, 2007
    10
    I was initially put off by her voice, which I thought too twee and annoying. But looking beyond the sound of her voice to the words, then the songs themselves, a huge talent and obvious passion for music is revealed. Having just seen this LP performed live here in London, I can attest to its power when given air to breath. Rather than looking for coherent stories in her lyrics, instead I I was initially put off by her voice, which I thought too twee and annoying. But looking beyond the sound of her voice to the words, then the songs themselves, a huge talent and obvious passion for music is revealed. Having just seen this LP performed live here in London, I can attest to its power when given air to breath. Rather than looking for coherent stories in her lyrics, instead I enjoy the lyrical flights of fancy, in much the same way as a great hiphop MC plays with words and the feelings they evoke. For me, this is a musical accomplishment second to none - thank God there are people like Newsom making music these days! Expand
  57. nina
    Jan 23, 2007
    10
    absolutely amazing. the stories are hidden in the lyrics and sure it takes to find them, but oh my lord.. i'm lost & i think i don't want to be found
  58. andrewc
    Jan 24, 2007
    9
    it was a great album, beautifully built i thought. Bit too fanicical for me to take it seriously though
  59. GraceC
    Jan 5, 2007
    9
    Man. Some of the people giving 'Ys' low scores need to be more tolerant of others with different opinions. That sort of attitude is what leads to wars and terrorism. IMHO, 'Ys' is a beautiful album which rewards repeated listenings. The first two songs aren't as good as the other three (which is why I knocked my rating down a point), but even those songs are good Man. Some of the people giving 'Ys' low scores need to be more tolerant of others with different opinions. That sort of attitude is what leads to wars and terrorism. IMHO, 'Ys' is a beautiful album which rewards repeated listenings. The first two songs aren't as good as the other three (which is why I knocked my rating down a point), but even those songs are good as well. PS: Ys is named after a mythical city in Brittany. Also, Rolling Stone suck. Kthxbai. Expand
  60. daveg
    Feb 1, 2007
    10
    how anyone could possibly give this album a score of 0 is absolutely and completely beyond me. once i heard this album i was changed. newsom is an indisputable master of her craft. her lyrics are mysteriously and poetically beautiful, and her skill at the harp transcends the impossible grace that may be used to describe it. her melodies are near perfect, and are shaped by her incredible how anyone could possibly give this album a score of 0 is absolutely and completely beyond me. once i heard this album i was changed. newsom is an indisputable master of her craft. her lyrics are mysteriously and poetically beautiful, and her skill at the harp transcends the impossible grace that may be used to describe it. her melodies are near perfect, and are shaped by her incredible prowess as a composer and musician. i am not exaggerating. do not dismiss this album for its quirky first impressions! it will, without a doubt, become one of the great classics of our time. Expand
  61. JoeM
    Feb 6, 2007
    10
    I hate to say things like "certain people just don't understand it," but looking at how polarized the reviews are and then seeing that the reason many gave Ys a 0 was Newsom's "bad" singing voice makes me believe it more and more. . . I'm not by any means a music snob, but anyone who knows a bit about music and is willing to look beyond an unconventional voice will fall in I hate to say things like "certain people just don't understand it," but looking at how polarized the reviews are and then seeing that the reason many gave Ys a 0 was Newsom's "bad" singing voice makes me believe it more and more. . . I'm not by any means a music snob, but anyone who knows a bit about music and is willing to look beyond an unconventional voice will fall in love with this album immediately. I still can't stop listening. Expand
  62. brittac
    Apr 15, 2007
    9
    listen to this album while reading neil gaiman's stardust.. haha.. i did just by chance and it was quite the experience.. there is absolutely NO way to describe this woman's creation, it's just beyond words what she does with her music.. she basically pulls you directly into an unimaginably whimsical [i keep using that word in my reviews but i can't think of a better listen to this album while reading neil gaiman's stardust.. haha.. i did just by chance and it was quite the experience.. there is absolutely NO way to describe this woman's creation, it's just beyond words what she does with her music.. she basically pulls you directly into an unimaginably whimsical [i keep using that word in my reviews but i can't think of a better one] world and leaves you feeling fulfilled-like you just finished an awesome fantasy novel.. it sticks with you like a good story too.. some people can't stand the squeaks in her voice, but you really just need to get past that and appreciate the album for what it is as a whole.. it's a masterpiece with no equal. Expand
  63. DarneeQ
    Aug 24, 2007
    10
    Unique in many ways, and I'm not just trying to be "arty" or "cultured" here. Joanna builds a theatre of sound with her vox and harp as well as any. All of these complex themes may be too much for many in this day and age; read uncultured America. Anyone with an appreciation and love of the ART of music will appreciate this. To those of you who don't get it, well there are Unique in many ways, and I'm not just trying to be "arty" or "cultured" here. Joanna builds a theatre of sound with her vox and harp as well as any. All of these complex themes may be too much for many in this day and age; read uncultured America. Anyone with an appreciation and love of the ART of music will appreciate this. To those of you who don't get it, well there are plenty of albums out there for you too. Mariah, Celine, Brittny, Avril, etc. Have fun. Expand
  64. SteveP.
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    Even now, 2½ years on from its release, this album stands head and shoulders above anything else of the last 40 years: it has such complexity and is so finely crafted, but it is presented in an accessible, alluring manner. No other album offers so many different nuances that no matter how many times I hear it, there's always a new facet to enjoy.
  65. AnalogueSound
    Jul 1, 2009
    10
    An absolute masterpiece in the history of Music. Obviously, if people find it difficult to understand, it's not a blame of these works.
  66. ElliottM
    Nov 12, 2006
    10
    Best album of 2006, hands down.
  67. leiris
    Nov 13, 2006
    9
    A truly wonderful and unique album. Van Dyke Parks influence is apparent and works extremely well with Newsom
  68. johnw
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    And once again this collection of reviews shows us what total retards the people at Rolling Stone magazine are. They have lost their connection with challenging music a long time ago. As for joanna newsom : record of the year.
  69. Matt
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    A lot of people may throw out a perfect score like it's no big deal; this album, however, deserves it. Though it's likely to split listeners into two distinct camps, you will not hear a better record this year. I find it difficult to be objective about this, but the arrangements are gorgeous, the lyrics are incredibly evocative, and the nuances in her delivery are amazing. Ys A lot of people may throw out a perfect score like it's no big deal; this album, however, deserves it. Though it's likely to split listeners into two distinct camps, you will not hear a better record this year. I find it difficult to be objective about this, but the arrangements are gorgeous, the lyrics are incredibly evocative, and the nuances in her delivery are amazing. Ys immediately grabbed my attention the first time I heard it and has yet to let go. Expand
  70. MichaelE
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    This is one of the albums that will be good company for a lifetime! I wouldn´t call it a voice I ´m falling in love with too easily, but her singing and storytelling is simply fantastic!
  71. AndrewC
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    It's absolutely astonishing. Even after forty plays, it knocks me out every time.
  72. JoshS
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Incredible, best album of 2006.
  73. 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
  74. KevinC
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    This album is without question the best thing I've heard in at least a few years. It's mind-blowingly ambitious and ornately beautiful. I wouldn't expect anything less from Joanna Newsom, this is a perfect album and a stunning masterpiece.
  75. bill
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    Astounding! Between Joanna and Van Dyke, this si nothing short of a masterpiece! The more you play it, thyee more it grows on you. Congrats Joanna!!
  76. PaulF
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    Spell binding! Album of the year.
  77. AntonioB
    Nov 15, 2006
    9
    Rolling stone dropped the ball. Solid arrangements as the songs meander with a purpose and let her voice shine.
  78. Helen
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    We have seen the birth of a true modern day masterpiece.
  79. SanN
    Nov 17, 2006
    10
    On first listen, I'm thinking it might be the best of the year. That spot is currently held by TV On The Radio for me, but it's close.
  80. PlatePlate
    Nov 17, 2006
    10
    On the verge of replacing In The Aeroplane Over The Sea for me, album of the year, Joanna Newsom is a demigod, wow, i have listened to this album more in the last few weeks than any album this year in total
  81. ZachJ
    Nov 17, 2006
    10
    One of the more groundbreaking albums to be released this year, I think. Takes a while to settle in (possibly moreso than usual; I say this because most times people follow such a comment with, "Just like any great album.") Once it clicks though...incredible.
  82. DanielO
    Nov 18, 2006
    10
    J Publius said: "This will be on every critics top 10 list, and nobody will listen to it for more than five minutes." Actually I haven't been able to put it down for over a week. Grows with every listen. It's the same for most people I've talked to who liked it.
  83. samf
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    stunning
  84. DanielW
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    One of the finest albums ever written. Opening track "Emily" is one of the best songs ever written. One must be generous and open-minded when approaching Y's, but the rewards are excellent. At times, her lyrics can even be life-changing. Definitely pick this one up.
  85. skyweaponsky
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    This is a real dream
  86. GuyH
    Nov 23, 2006
    10
    Anyone commenting on this album should have the patience to listen from start to finish at least 10 or so times... Well it isn't conventional pop song writing, it is hard to get a hold of at first but your patience will be rewarded. Ys is stunning - Only Skin and Sawdust together make up the most compelling 30 minutes of music released this year. Yes, this album is that good.
  87. KacyK
    Nov 23, 2006
    9
    I previewed this on iTunes and didn't like it. In particular, Joanna's vocals. A couple of days later, I purchased it and after 2 or 3 listens, I'm fairly smitten with it. I now find her vocals charming and sincere. Beautiful harp and arrangements. Wonderfully escapist.
  88. markp
    Nov 26, 2006
    10
    Astonishinly beautiful, albeit a tad bjorkish and kate bushish, but once you over that, lyrics in hand, it is a bold, fresh, gigantic musical piece. Well done to that young californian girl!!
  89. WesleyWillis
    Nov 27, 2006
    10
    I like the way she rock! I like the way she roll! Jovanna Newston is my honey-lover to the Max!
  90. DavidN
    Nov 28, 2006
    10
    deeply musical, lyrically astonishing, and profoundly moving.
  91. ECanton
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    Brilliant, Beautiful, one of the best of 2006
  92. JoeE.
    Dec 11, 2006
    10
    Just breathtaking. I hate to sound like a music snob and say something like "People who don't like it just don't understand it," but I feel like a lot of the negative feedback is from people who haven't given it a chance. Give it a try for yourself. More than once. This is definitely an album in which something more can always be found.
  93. ericl
    Dec 14, 2006
    10
    an impressive album of rich, layered music. the lyrics aren't as great as they were on milk-eyed mender but the production is better and newsom's voice has improved. that said, many will be turned off by her voice without ever knowing the beauty of this album.
  94. CraigH
    Dec 18, 2006
    10
    At first glance (listen) it can easily seem like Newsom is out to prove something and using a nerdy rennaissance theme to boot. But after repeated listening, it is apparent that she is completely capable of acheiving her goal without a smirk or hint of irony. That her lyrics are thick and poetic, in the strongest sense of the word, is intimidating, while at the same time her vocals grow At first glance (listen) it can easily seem like Newsom is out to prove something and using a nerdy rennaissance theme to boot. But after repeated listening, it is apparent that she is completely capable of acheiving her goal without a smirk or hint of irony. That her lyrics are thick and poetic, in the strongest sense of the word, is intimidating, while at the same time her vocals grow powerfully passionate and honest with each listen. Her unique vocal style is so distinct that many are hung up by it and fail to proceed to the passion within. As you decypher the poetry and emerse yourself in her flight of fancy, you understand the depth and sincerity of this monumental work. It's stunning that at such a young age, she has succeeded in not only being an incredibly talented musician, but attacking a project this large while carving out her own unique style. Incredible, smart writing+talented musician+unique style+depth and sincerity=too much for some! This is a monumental piece that will go down in history as an artistic triumph! Expand
  95. EranR
    Dec 29, 2006
    10
    Excellent in every aspect!
  96. TopCat
    Dec 31, 2006
    9
    Haunting - keeps me coming back
  97. [Anonymous]
    Dec 5, 2006
    10
    Rolling Stone has been irrelevant for years. Ys is one of the most enchanting albums, I have ever listened to.
  98. ajayp
    Mar 29, 2007
    9
    out of this world, new, refreshing, magical, beautiful and truly lovely to hear.
  99. MarkF
    Mar 31, 2007
    10
    Beautiful, and highly stimulating if you like poetic lyrics, a classical sensibility, and the spirit of artistic endeavour. A masterpiece that I can enjoy again and again.
  100. Cait
    Jul 12, 2007
    10
    Perfect. Read the Pitchfork review. You love it or you hate it. If you don't like it, it probably won't grow on you, and I pity you.
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.