Ys

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 340 Ratings

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

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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!
  2. JamesS
    Mar 10, 2010
    10
    Simply the most astonishing record. Having recently picked up
  3. KurtCobain
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    b0ing!
  4. JustinM
    Nov 16, 2006
    10
    Fantastic album, start to finish.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. samf
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    stunning
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. BrandonH
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    This is, by far, the best album of 2006.
  13. KennyM
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    beautiful.
  14. 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
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. cmiiiiicmi
    Sep 9, 2007
    10
    It makes me smile.
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. KurtD
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Perfect.
  23. RyanL
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    It took 11 months but we finally have a genuine album of the year.
  24. MikeM
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    Gorgeous, inspiring.
  25. 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..
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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'.
  32. BOBL
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    I think it's gorgeous. It's even better performed live.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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
  38. 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. Expand
  39. 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.
  40. 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
  41. MicheleF.
    Nov 12, 2007
    10
    Incredibly original, wonderful poetry in song.
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 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
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. 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
  51. ElliottM
    Nov 12, 2006
    10
    Best album of 2006, hands down.
  52. 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.
  53. 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
  54. 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!
  55. AndrewC
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    It's absolutely astonishing. Even after forty plays, it knocks me out every time.
  56. JoshS
    Nov 13, 2006
    10
    Incredible, best album of 2006.
  57. 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
  58. 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.
  59. 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!!
  60. PaulF
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    Spell binding! Album of the year.
  61. Helen
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    We have seen the birth of a true modern day masterpiece.
  62. 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.
  63. 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
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. samf
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    stunning
  67. 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.
  68. skyweaponsky
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    This is a real dream
  69. 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.
  70. 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!!
  71. 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!
  72. DavidN
    Nov 28, 2006
    10
    deeply musical, lyrically astonishing, and profoundly moving.
  73. ECanton
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    Brilliant, Beautiful, one of the best of 2006
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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
  77. EranR
    Dec 29, 2006
    10
    Excellent in every aspect!
  78. [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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. Paul
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    Beautiful Album. Just evokes the full range of emotions.
  82. ChristianD.
    Mar 18, 2008
    10
    I have currently been examining monkey and bear, I get chills just reading a few lines. this is classical masterpieces with brilliant poetry that seeps into your head and cuddles you in a blanket of ease. if green day is more of your music I would not suggest listening to this as it might put you in a comma.
  83. ZacC.
    May 17, 2008
    10
    Quite simply one of the most beautiful records I can think of. Everything is lush and flowing. The lyrics and orchestration are nothing short of amazing.
  84. JoanS
    Nov 29, 2009
    10
    Magical!! 2006's Masterpiece! Too bad some people just can see it, thank god critics and the big majority saw what i saw and what i felt! Ys is pure magic! Just give it a try! If you can't see how unique her voice, her harp, her lyrics, her music it's your problem. This days people just want easy music, the hooks! She's so much more than that. It's not because you Magical!! 2006's Masterpiece! Too bad some people just can see it, thank god critics and the big majority saw what i saw and what i felt! Ys is pure magic! Just give it a try! If you can't see how unique her voice, her harp, her lyrics, her music it's your problem. This days people just want easy music, the hooks! She's so much more than that. It's not because you like tori amos or kate bush that means you will like it. Joanna Newsom is unique and she's an acquired taste, you love or hate it. I ADORE! Expand
  85. AlexP.
    Feb 18, 2009
    10
    When I first listened to this album, I was confused. I liked the harp and doubly so the orchestral overtones, but found the songs rambly and actively disliked her voice. I was somewhat intrigued, but also rather offput. After giving it a long rest, I came back and listened to the song Emily, which for some reason decided to grab me and cling on for dear life. I found myself humming When I first listened to this album, I was confused. I liked the harp and doubly so the orchestral overtones, but found the songs rambly and actively disliked her voice. I was somewhat intrigued, but also rather offput. After giving it a long rest, I came back and listened to the song Emily, which for some reason decided to grab me and cling on for dear life. I found myself humming snippets of tune in the shower. The more I listened to it, the more I realized how much nuance there is in this music, and what seemed rambly before was actually a fully populated world of sound filled with interesting audio minutia. Eventually, I got used to the voice, and the other songs on this album grew on me, with the exception of Cosmia, which is the only misstep on the entire album. Now, after many listens, I believe that this album is simply brilliant and I can't remember the last time something held my attention for so many listens (maybe System of a Down's Mesmerize/Hypnotize). You will either love it, or you will hate it, and there's really no in between. And for those of you who can't get past the voice, you are missing something truly wonderful here. Expand
  86. KyleB
    Nov 12, 2006
    10
    Album of the decade.
  87. aldoa
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    rolling stone is the dumbest publication on earth.
  88. ClaireT
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    Simply beautiful :).
  89. JohnM
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    WOW.
  90. LianN
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    Just perfect. That's all.
  91. JustinB
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    rarely does any artist ever reach such high levels of accomplishment with any piece of music. "Ys" is really too good to explain, only listening will do it justice.
  92. BrendtR
    Nov 15, 2006
    10
    Album of the year. Hands down.
  93. VicsO
    Nov 16, 2006
    10
    album of the year, period.
  94. LonelyGurl
    Nov 18, 2006
    10
    Magically Fantastically Romantically Amazingly Gorgeous
  95. TomP
    Nov 18, 2006
    10
    Stunning. Although at times I can understand some qualms expressed about about it, that I've had 7 or 8 melodies from the album simultaneously running through my mind, later rotating to others, at all times over the last week is something I cannot say about any album I've heard in my life. I can't stop listening to it. Whatever you want to say about pretention, overwriting, Stunning. Although at times I can understand some qualms expressed about about it, that I've had 7 or 8 melodies from the album simultaneously running through my mind, later rotating to others, at all times over the last week is something I cannot say about any album I've heard in my life. I can't stop listening to it. Whatever you want to say about pretention, overwriting, whatever... the music is simply just too good for me to care. Expand
  96. AlD
    Nov 19, 2006
    10
    An extremely ambitious album that actually achieves its ambitions. Incredibly rich, complex and subtle, it needs to be heard many times to be fully absorbed, but for me, repeated listens are easy. This is about as good as music can be.
  97. TaylorF
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    Stunningly beautiful with lyrics that will play with your head. So close to perfect it's scary. Screw you, rolling stone.
  98. TristramC
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    You know how everyone lost their mind over Sufjan Steven's 'Illinois' in 2005 and it was this event and you could get pure glee from playing it for your cool indie friends & regular people alike? Remeber how universal awe was the response every time and it only made you anticipate the look on the next persons face your played it for? That album, that joy, that event for You know how everyone lost their mind over Sufjan Steven's 'Illinois' in 2005 and it was this event and you could get pure glee from playing it for your cool indie friends & regular people alike? Remeber how universal awe was the response every time and it only made you anticipate the look on the next persons face your played it for? That album, that joy, that event for 2006 is 'Ys'. Its as ambitious and OK Computer tight-roping between skyscrapers on fishing line (just like Illinois was) and its similarly intricate and gorgeous and poetic. And its overwhelming the first time you hear it. And it offers layers of new reward to those who peel the onion. Anyone coming in without hearing her debut will have to get used to her high-pitched voice, but that's also less squeeky than on 'Milk-Eyed Mender'. Van Dyke Parks' stamp is readily obvious to anyone who has heard 'Orange Crate Art'. I was initially excited about the freak-folk scene when Devendra Banhart's Rejoicing In the Hands was my favorite album of 2004 but 'Ys' overtakes that record and will probably go down as the San Fransisco's most important moment since the last time freaky folkies congregated there. As far as the present is concerned, the scene is now impossible to ignore. Espers, Vetiver, White Magic, Devendra, all of them are led by Joanna brandishiing her druidic quarterstaff making their mark on pop history. Expand
  99. ReidA
    Nov 26, 2006
    10
    Beautiful...i cannot stop listening to it.
  100. jasonb
    Nov 28, 2006
    10
    best album of the year... no contest
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.