Ys - Joanna Newsom
Ys Image

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

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Universal acclaim- based on 322 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 11, 2010
    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
  2. jamesm
    Dec 6, 2006
    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! Expand
  3. KurtCobain
    Nov 14, 2006
  4. JA
    May 22, 2007
    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.
  5. KacyK
    Nov 23, 2006
    I previewed this on iTunes and didn't like it. In particular, Joanna's vocals. A couple of days later, I purchased it and after 2 or 3 listens, I'm fairly smitten with it. I now find her vocals charming and sincere. Beautiful harp and arrangements. Wonderfully escapist. Expand
  6. HannahG
    Jan 15, 2007
    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
  7. AaronS
    Nov 15, 2006
    I don't know whay everyone else is hearing, but this is the single worst release in 2006. Newsom's vocals are beyond bad and the album itself is very overproduced. Awful. Expand

See all 196 User Reviews