A Black Mile to the Surface Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 63 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the indie rock band led by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell was produced by Catherine Marks and John Congleton.
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Top Track

The Gold
Couldn't really love you any more You've become my ceiling I don't think I love you anymore That gold mine changed you You don't have to hold me... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Oct 5, 2017
    100
    Black Mile has already won your heart, and you know that it is going to be one of those albums that stay with you forever; a byproduct of life events coinciding with its release and an uncanny relation to Hull’s lyrics.
  2. Jul 26, 2017
    96
    The songs on Black Mile are expansive, textured, each one like a painting in a distinct style; the layers of Simple Math are back with a vengeance, but instead of the empty palazzios and antique wooden drawers of that album, we're left with mineshafts. Pitch black, filthy, bottomless. Tempting.
  3. Jul 26, 2017
    90
    There's no song on Black Mile like "Wolves at Night" or "April Fool," the kind of high-energy howler fit for an EA Sports game, but their efforts have paid off with an artistic triumph, the kind worth regarding as a creative masterwork among their collection.
  4. Jul 25, 2017
    77
    A Black Mile To The Surface does not disappoint. It may not be a no-hitter (nothing here is as immediately visceral as, say, “Shake It Off” or as instantly gorgeous as “Simple Math,” perhaps), but the band still looks and sounds strong.
  5. Aug 7, 2017
    70
    The result is Manchester Orchestra’s most confounding, thrilling, and unintentionally loopy album yet.
  6. Jul 31, 2017
    70
    A Black Mile to the Surface is not ultimately the kind of cohesive and singularly classic album that Manchester Orchestra has shown the ability to create. However, the bold new steps Andy Hull and company take on it seem likely to be the building blocks upon which they build their next classic.
  7. Jul 28, 2017
    50
    There’s some beautiful songwriting here, but it’s buried beneath the smudges of its producers.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Aug 1, 2017
    10
    black mile to the surface a brilliant album ... Perfect 10 ... all carefully composed pieces call ... and negatives brilliant Manchesterblack mile to the surface a brilliant album ... Perfect 10 ... all carefully composed pieces call ... and negatives brilliant Manchester Orchestra BEST Expand
  2. Jul 29, 2017
    10
    This band never fails to disappoint. It tells a remarkable story of 2 brothers and an abusive father/abandoned mother. The album isThis band never fails to disappoint. It tells a remarkable story of 2 brothers and an abusive father/abandoned mother. The album is Cinematic and Epic, and builds and swells with every moment. This is my AOTY Expand
  3. Jul 28, 2017
    10
    I have been waiting all summer for this album to drop and today is the day.

    Manchester Orchestra's "Black Mile to the Surface" is such an
    I have been waiting all summer for this album to drop and today is the day.

    Manchester Orchestra's "Black Mile to the Surface" is such an amazing album. And that's just what it is... an album. It is meant to be listened to from song one through eleven. This isn't the product of the catchy pop single creation machine that most are familiar with in music today. It is an outpouring of emotion after a deep look inside one's soul. It's quite simply ART.

    The album is a story and the arc takes you through a slow build to a crescendo and then back down again, all the while baring it's soul to you. Each time I've listened through I just build with excitement about seeing this band live on Sept. 8th at House of Blues Houston.
    Expand
  4. Aug 7, 2017
    10
    Amazing beauty and flow to this album. From the haunting to the guitar oozing rifts that have defined Manchester Orchestra's prior albums.Amazing beauty and flow to this album. From the haunting to the guitar oozing rifts that have defined Manchester Orchestra's prior albums. There is a true beauty here. Might be my favorite album the boys from GA have put out. Well done. Expand
  5. Jul 28, 2017
    10
    Their best, most mature sounding release thus far. Tracks like "The Maze," "The Grocery," "The Wolf," "The Alien," and "The Silence" break newTheir best, most mature sounding release thus far. Tracks like "The Maze," "The Grocery," "The Wolf," "The Alien," and "The Silence" break new ground for MO, reaching emotional heights (and depths) without relying solely on the crunching guitars from Cope and METN, and featuring better production value and songwriting than Simple Math. Impeccably produced with enough detail and layers to hold up for a long, long time. Expand
  6. Jul 29, 2017
    10
    Well, after listening to Arcade Fire's new album, I really needed something to cheer me up, and this album did it for me. The vocals andWell, after listening to Arcade Fire's new album, I really needed something to cheer me up, and this album did it for me. The vocals and harmonies are always fantastic, the instrumentals are never overbearing, and the production is absolutely gorgeous. That's all I have to say. Expand
  7. Aug 15, 2017
    8
    This is a nice example of careful, congenial, and sensible songwriting while stringing together a pleasant 50 minutes of music, with theirThis is a nice example of careful, congenial, and sensible songwriting while stringing together a pleasant 50 minutes of music, with their overall tameness being met with strong musical decisions on melodic shape and harmonic motion, albeit a bit goofy at times. My Score: 136/180 (Solid) = 7.6/10 Expand

See all 13 User Reviews