Ys - Joanna Newsom
Ys Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 320 Ratings

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  • Summary: Steve Albini, Jim O'Rourke and Van Dyke Parks lend a hand on this five-song full-length from the folk singer-songwriter.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. It’s a vivid and beautiful painting that you can walk into; a magic window into another world that I'd be happy to get lost in, and never come back.
  2. Ys is an exceptional piece of art in the broadest sense - give it the chance to grow on you.
  3. While Ys is ridiculously overwritten, over-performed and self-contained, her fables always sublimate into the hot fog of real emotions just before they calcify.
  4. From the lavish orchestration courtesy of Van Dyke Parks to the richness and sheer abundance of language at Newsom's disposal, Ys is a supreme achievement.
  5. Newsom has managed to lessen the twee factor of her last record... in the process crafting an album as bewitching as it is odd.
  6. No album will ever move you quite like it, and if it weren't for a slight misstep, it would be perfect in almost every way.
  7. It's like being stuck in the seat next to a chatty, batshit backwoods pixie for an 18-hour plane ride.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 196
  1. 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 complementing her harp and voice. This is no folkie either, as her songs have the expanse far outreaching anyone of that restrictive genre. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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 Expand
  5. 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! Expand

See all 196 User Reviews