Ys

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 344 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 344

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  1. Nov 17, 2016
    10
    This album is a truly masterpiece, it may seem like the songs are long (because they are), but with the lyrics sheet on your hand, you won't get bored.
  2. Jan 18, 2012
    10
    Newsom screeching voice, her masterful harp playing and the graceful orchestration all come together in a whirlwind of beauty that at the end of the album you are completely overwhelmed. It is very unlikely that youâ
  3. Nov 27, 2011
    9
    Showing her power as an singer and harpist, Joanna Newsom deliver us the best folk album ever. With strange lyrics, that sounds like talks, we catch ourselves flying around listening to beatiful songs like 'Emily' and 'Sawdust & Diamonds' - the best of this album. Super!
  4. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    Joanna Newsom is more than a musician, she is an artist. Perfectly blending her musical talent into the realm of her imagination. Each song is a journey unto itself.
  5. Dec 24, 2010
    10
    Magnificent album. Those who have a problem with her voice: you have the problem, which is a pity for you to then not appreciate this, the greatest writer of lyrics of the last 5 years (alongside Craig Finn of The Hold Steady). This music is only mad **** to those with no imagination to take wing. The instrumentation by the genius of 'Song Cycle', Van Dyke Parks, is superb complementingMagnificent album. Those who have a problem with her voice: you have the problem, which is a pity for you to then not appreciate this, the greatest writer of lyrics of the last 5 years (alongside Craig Finn of The Hold Steady). This music is only mad **** to those with no imagination to take wing. The instrumentation by the genius of 'Song Cycle', Van Dyke Parks, is superb complementing her harp and voice. This is no folkie either, as her songs have the expanse far outreaching anyone of that restrictive genre. Expand
  6. 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.
  7. 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. Collapse
  8. JacobB.
    Mar 10, 2010
    0
    I'm speechless. Just terrible. I heard someone compare her to Dylan and laughed in their face.
  9. JamesS
    Mar 10, 2010
    10
    Simply the most astonishing record. Having recently picked up
  10. 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
  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. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. KateM
    Nov 29, 2008
    10
    I got this on the basis of the fantastic reviews. When I first put it on, I went 'what the hell', and hated it. I came back and listened to it later, and little bits and pieces struck out- mostly the music, but some of the lyrics too. Now I love it. This is a record that rewards repeated listening. I'm still not crazy about some of the lyrics, but her love of language is I got this on the basis of the fantastic reviews. When I first put it on, I went 'what the hell', and hated it. I came back and listened to it later, and little bits and pieces struck out- mostly the music, but some of the lyrics too. Now I love it. This is a record that rewards repeated listening. I'm still not crazy about some of the lyrics, but her love of language is obvious and some of the lines are beautiful. Expand
  17. 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.
  18. Paul
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    Beautiful Album. Just evokes the full range of emotions.
  19. BillyB.
    Sep 21, 2008
    0
    Her voice is total garbage. I don't understand what's likeable about her baby-like voice and barely competent harp playing.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  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. MicheleF.
    Nov 12, 2007
    10
    Incredibly original, wonderful poetry in song.
  25. 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.
  26. cmiiiiicmi
    Sep 9, 2007
    10
    It makes me smile.
  27. pix1011
    Aug 31, 2007
    0
    I just can't get through this album... I've managed to listen to half of each of the tracks, but just don't get it! It's rough stuff!!! Maybe I should start listening to the Top 40 charts or something 'cos I just don't get some of the stuff getting all this hype these days!?
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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
  34. 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.
  35. 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
  36. 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.
  37. ajayp
    Mar 29, 2007
    9
    out of this world, new, refreshing, magical, beautiful and truly lovely to hear.
  38. 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.
  39. 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!
  40. tp
    Mar 8, 2007
    0
    i am disappointed i had to give a rating of at least 0, i would have given it -1. her voice irritates me to NO END. i wonder why she is even allowed to record an album??!!??!!?????
  41. PaulL
    Feb 10, 2007
    6
    If you're expecting the catchiness and charm of the Milk-Eyed Mender, you'll be disappointed. Where her last album was a nice combination of hooks and quirks, this one's all quirks. It's certainly not annoying, but it isn't a joy to listen to.
  42. Steph
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    Heaven..this music is so beautiful, it conjures up the fantastical and archaic. Newsom's music transcends the ordinary.
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. JamesB
    Jan 25, 2007
    0
    will some one kill this crazy person
  46. KyleV
    Jan 25, 2007
    0
    i think i can sing better : and thats saying some thing
  47. andrewc
    Jan 24, 2007
    9
    it was a great album, beautifully built i thought. Bit too fanicical for me to take it seriously though
  48. 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
  49. MisaelM
    Jan 22, 2007
    8
    First, The Album It's Like Taking a Breath Of Fresh Air, It's Something New, A New Voice a Not-So-New Instrument but it was rarely used, I'm Not Saying That It's Complete Musical Awsomness or a Random Record, I Like It, I Really Do Her Stories are Beautiful as Well as The Sound Of The Harp, her voice can be a little piercing at the beggining but you get used to it and First, The Album It's Like Taking a Breath Of Fresh Air, It's Something New, A New Voice a Not-So-New Instrument but it was rarely used, I'm Not Saying That It's Complete Musical Awsomness or a Random Record, I Like It, I Really Do Her Stories are Beautiful as Well as The Sound Of The Harp, her voice can be a little piercing at the beggining but you get used to it and you learn how to love that voice as the record plays. Second, get over yourselves! you can't listen to a whole record without thinking about the tags? If it's for "cool pretencious kids" doesn't mean it's not a good record, I'm Sure That Joanna Didn't Mean to aim that kind of audience. Third, She Kicks Ass Live. Expand
  50. BillG
    Jan 22, 2007
    8
    Joanna is brilliant, but I would definitely put her in a different category from other artists out there. You can't compare cutting-edge hip hop artists to long-dead classical composers: they're apples and oranges. In her arena, Newsom is undeniable. I personally thought Milk Eyed Mender deserved a 10; Ys works a little longer and harder to 'get to the point' so to Joanna is brilliant, but I would definitely put her in a different category from other artists out there. You can't compare cutting-edge hip hop artists to long-dead classical composers: they're apples and oranges. In her arena, Newsom is undeniable. I personally thought Milk Eyed Mender deserved a 10; Ys works a little longer and harder to 'get to the point' so to speak. Impressive, compelling, new--but not her best to date. Expand
  51. BrandonH
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    This is, by far, the best album of 2006.
  52. 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
  53. doesitmatter
    Jan 19, 2007
    1
    Annoying.
  54. 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
  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. Steve
    Jan 15, 2007
    3
    This is 50 minutes of noise without a single memorable melody, with the added bonus of a voice I
  57. HannahG
    Jan 15, 2007
    6
    I expect that after this I shall be accused of not being 'open-minded.' Whatever. I've listened to this album several times over. I don't get it. I find her affected, her lyrics overwrought. Sad, because she's got something going with that harp of hers. This is coming from one who has on occasion, 'pretentious.' I recommend that people listen to this I expect that after this I shall be accused of not being 'open-minded.' Whatever. I've listened to this album several times over. I don't get it. I find her affected, her lyrics overwrought. Sad, because she's got something going with that harp of hers. This is coming from one who has on occasion, 'pretentious.' I recommend that people listen to this album on the sole basis of the controversy it has fomented. Now, Karen Dalton: she got it!!! Expand
  58. 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
  59. Chris
    Jan 12, 2007
    3
    Remember the creepy kid from The Grudge? Yeah, she sounds like him.
  60. 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
  61. KennyM
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    beautiful.
  62. 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
  63. TopCat
    Dec 31, 2006
    9
    Haunting - keeps me coming back
  64. EranR
    Dec 29, 2006
    10
    Excellent in every aspect!
  65. 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
  66. Neil
    Dec 26, 2006
    2
    This could be some of the most overated music I have ever had the priviladge of listening to. Listen to the new TV on the Radio album, or Future/sex Lovesounds by Justin Timberlake.
  67. 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.
  68. DylanM
    Dec 22, 2006
    10
    My favorite album of all time. This is simply the most beautiful and emotional music I have ever heard. The epic scope, the haunting melodies, the expressive lyrics, the way she seems to pour her heart and soul into every song, it just all washes over me and sometimes overwhelms me. It's so good that I have a hard time going a day without listening to it, which worries me because I My favorite album of all time. This is simply the most beautiful and emotional music I have ever heard. The epic scope, the haunting melodies, the expressive lyrics, the way she seems to pour her heart and soul into every song, it just all washes over me and sometimes overwhelms me. It's so good that I have a hard time going a day without listening to it, which worries me because I don't want to ever get tired of this. A true masterpiece. Expand
  69. felipe.
    Dec 21, 2006
    8
    some time ago i thought that her voice was REALLY terrible. but then,i think she won me up with these 10-minute songs,great job. :}
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. ReubenF
    Dec 18, 2006
    7
    Joanna Newsom is one of the most interesting artists around - there isn't many other harpist singer-songwriters out there. While her distinctive voice adds to her cult appeal, it also makes it unlikely she will ever 'break-out' and do well on the charts. I sometimes wonder whether she would be better served as part of a duo, with someone else singing - though no doubt that Joanna Newsom is one of the most interesting artists around - there isn't many other harpist singer-songwriters out there. While her distinctive voice adds to her cult appeal, it also makes it unlikely she will ever 'break-out' and do well on the charts. I sometimes wonder whether she would be better served as part of a duo, with someone else singing - though no doubt that would be sacrilege to her fans. Expand
  73. 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
  74. 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
  75. andrew
    Dec 15, 2006
    2
    so, im gonna review the album, but i honestly havent been able to listen all the way to the end. you know why? cause shes singing about chim-chir-ees and monkeys and bears, and while yeah i get the metaphors and references to her thesaurus-inducing vocabulary terms, its a little preposterous to expect someone to listen to 15 minute songs that arent songs at all. im sorry, but music is not so, im gonna review the album, but i honestly havent been able to listen all the way to the end. you know why? cause shes singing about chim-chir-ees and monkeys and bears, and while yeah i get the metaphors and references to her thesaurus-inducing vocabulary terms, its a little preposterous to expect someone to listen to 15 minute songs that arent songs at all. im sorry, but music is not reading a children's book or a nature book while strumming your harp to no appartent rhythm or melody, and then adding an orchestra to do the same thing, that is, play random notes whenever they feel like it. there is absolutely no conjunction to this album whatsoever, and its beyond annoying hearing her repeat the same ridiculous lines over and over about meteorites (pronouncing them meteoroyytes). her first album is terrific and beautiful, but Ys (what the hell does Ys mean??) is absurd. stop trying to be so otherworldly and academic and take the time to actually craft some worthy songs. Expand
  76. AaronA
    Dec 15, 2006
    10
    One of the best albums I've ever heard.
  77. RichardK
    Dec 15, 2006
    7
    Not my cup of tea but I can see there's something original going on. Some parts sounded like an old Walt Disney cartoon.
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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...
  82. 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
  83. 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?
  84. 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
  85. 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.
  86. 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.
  87. 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
  88. grub
    Dec 6, 2006
    3
    one of the worst sounding, most indigestible CDs I've heard. yet the songs are amazing. what happened?
  89. AdamH
    Dec 6, 2006
    8
    Very good cd. reminds me of an epic poem with wonderful lyrics. she assumes an air of confidence that makes her great.
  90. 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
  91. 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.
  92. 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!
  93. samf
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    stunning
  94. [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.
  95. 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
  96. 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
  97. 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
  98. 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!
  99. jayb
    Dec 3, 2006
    1
    Snooze fest. Too much hype on nothing. You can guarantee it'll get four to five stars from most meatheads...
  100. 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
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.