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. MinMin
    Nov 16, 2006
    0
    Poor. Over-hyped and unlistenable by virtue of her voice.
  5. JamesS
    Mar 10, 2010
    10
    Simply the most astonishing record. Having recently picked up
  6. DwightGooden
    Dec 12, 2006
    5
    It's just...not...THAT...good. I've listened to plenty of albums that are more pretentious but also more engaging and listenable than this. I liked "Cosmia" and was pretty bored with everything else. Oh yeah, and her voice sounds like E.T.'s sister.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. ericf
    Nov 13, 2006
    5
    I don't fault her for being ambitious, I just honestly don't think it's that effective. I think her looks, and "schtick" is what sells it to people, down to the album art. I'm just amazed so many people fall for it. To my ears, this album is bloated and overwrought with prentention, yet it appears this is what the critics want these days.
  13. 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.
  14. 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"
  15. 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
  16. Chris
    Jan 12, 2007
    3
    Remember the creepy kid from The Grudge? Yeah, she sounds like him.
  17. Steve
    Jan 15, 2007
    3
    This is 50 minutes of noise without a single memorable melody, with the added bonus of a voice I
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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!!
  24. 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
  25. 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!
  26. 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!
  27. JacobB.
    Mar 10, 2010
    0
    I'm speechless. Just terrible. I heard someone compare her to Dylan and laughed in their face.
  28. KurtCobain
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    b0ing!
  29. JustinM
    Nov 16, 2006
    10
    Fantastic album, start to finish.
  30. 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.
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.