A Crow Looked at Me Image
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 285 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The eighth full-length release for the music project of Phil Elverum was written after the death of his wife from cancer in July 2016.
Buy On
  • Record Label: P.W. Elverum & Sun Ltd.
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Mar 24, 2017
    100
    Phil presents his thoughts here with stunning candor, using just a laptop and a microphone to capture his characteristically amorphous guitar lines and thin yet comforting balm of a voice.
  2. Mar 20, 2017
    100
    A Crow Looked at Me is a masterpiece in the manner of A Grief Observed and “She Will Find What is Lost”. All of these works create a special communion between creator and observer, artistic experiences that join individual circumstances of loss with whatever the listener/reader/viewer brings to the work.
  3. Mar 24, 2017
    91
    Pain is the crux of Elverum’s career, and without resorting to any of his brutally stark instrumentation, he offers his most sobering full-length to date, and likely of all time.
  4. Uncut
    Mar 20, 2017
    90
    Overwhelming and beautiful. [May 2017, p.35]
  5. Mar 22, 2017
    90
    There is sad music, which is to say music that deploys lyrical or musical motifs meant to connote misery. And then there is this album, which mostly exists in a space beyond those concerns. It is an album because a musician made it and it is broken up into songs, but it is also a diary, a balled-up tissue, found art.
  6. Mar 20, 2017
    80
    It illuminates very real, very constricting emotions that you know you’ll have to either deal with in true form, or kindle within someone you love upon your own passing.
  7. Mojo
    May 23, 2017
    80
    Painfully literal in its detailing of grief. [Jul 2017, p.91]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Sep 19, 2019
    10
    Deeply depressing. I cannot fathom why it is so sparse yet complex. The words transcend the sound.
  2. Mar 28, 2017
    10
    I had a hard time deciding when I was going to listen to this album. I just had my first baby boy, and I am married to the love of my life. ToI had a hard time deciding when I was going to listen to this album. I just had my first baby boy, and I am married to the love of my life. To a certain extent and in certain circumstances, the musicality of an album becomes less important than the messages and emotions. I cried listening to this album several times. And I mean really cried. It's a very, very personal album that beckons to be listened to in private. I made the mistake of listening to it during a slow work day and it wrecked me. Death is a scary thought, but his bluntness and openness allowed me to receive peace when dealing with the harshest, most confusing, realest lesson of losing a loved one. I highly recommend this album. Expand
  3. Mar 24, 2017
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. By far the most honest, poetic and just... beautiful grief-related art that I've ever seen/heard. It's such an engrossing and "fatiguing" listen, yet I can't stop playing this record over and over again.

    The way Phil delivers these sometimes simple, but always devastating lines is incredible. He's truly one of a kind. I want to hug him.

    All the imagery related to the forest, the ocean, Genevieve's ashes, the birds, the "realness" of everyday life transformed by her sudden absence... The subtle lyrical/melodic references to previous Microphones/Mount Eerie releases... This is honestly one of the best records I've ever heard.

    "It’s dumb, and I don’t want to learn anything from this. I love you."/ "I can't remember, you did most of my remembering for me" / "We are all always so close to not existing at all" / "Now I can only see you on the fridge in lifeless pictures" / "I missed you, of course. And I remember thinking the last time it rained here you were alive still" / "Look at me. Death is real" / "Conceptual emptiness was cool to talk about, back before I knew my way around these hospitals" / "I went back to feel alone there" / "And there she was."
    Expand
  4. Apr 26, 2017
    9
    A beautiful demonstration of the power of medidative minimalism. The melodic devices here aren't particularly pronounced, but they perfectlyA beautiful demonstration of the power of medidative minimalism. The melodic devices here aren't particularly pronounced, but they perfectly compliment the evocative, powerful storytelling. Expand
  5. Mar 30, 2017
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A Crow Looked At Me è probabilmente uno degli album più tristi che la storia della musica abbia mai visto e ascoltato, ma partiamo con ordine:
    Il 9 Luglio del 2016 Geneviève, la moglie di Mount Eerie, muore a causa di un cancro pancreatico a soli quattro mesi dalla nascita della figlia della coppia. L'artista, nei mesi seguenti, scrive le varie canzoni usando delle strumentali della moglie (musicista anche lei), registrando il tutto nella stanza in cui è morta la sua amata.
    Siamo dinnanzi ad un'opera fantastica, una vera e propria dichiarazione d'amore e di disperazione verso la propria compagna di vita. Ci viene narrato, attraverso i testi, come sia completamente diverso andare a buttare la spazzatura senza la moglie e, per esempio, come un semplice spazzolino possa far riaffiorare dolci ricordi. La perdita di Geneviève e la sofferenza data da essa viene smorzata dalla presenza della figlia, alla quale è dedicato l'ultimo brano: uno sprazzo di felicità, una visione verso il futuro restando consapevoli che l'anima dell'amata li accompagnerà per sempre.
    Expand
  6. Jul 18, 2017
    8
    greatgreat album............................................................................................................................................................ Expand
  7. Apr 5, 2017
    1
    Rather than discuss the tragic death of Phil's wife or the path that has led his career to this album I would like to very plainly, talk aboutRather than discuss the tragic death of Phil's wife or the path that has led his career to this album I would like to very plainly, talk about the music that is on this album, and it is simply terrible. Lazy compositions that are barely distinguishable from each other, almost comically disinterested vocal delivery, the same three chords over and over. What is most surprising is the complete lack of emotion here, the lack of anything to really feel, this is ostensibly a heart-breaking album dealing with the loss of a loved one, and yet there is no feeling, no passion, no effort to actually channel that pain into catharsis, into something worth listening to. Something worth listening to, this is the point, because music isn't just art, it is a specific form of art, where by using instruments one creates intriguing sounds that engage a listener, in one way or another. "A Crow Looked At Me" is not music in that way, it does not engage you at all, Phil seems anything but engaged or interested by his own compositions or words, in fact the only thing he seems to care about on this wreck of an album is making sure the listener realizes that he is so apathetic and devoid of energy that he can do no more than sadly pantomime the motions singing and songwriting. Expand

See all 34 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. The Best Albums of 2017

    The Best Albums of 2017 Image
    Published: December 21, 2017
    We reveal the 40 highest-scoring album releases of the year, as well as some of 2017's bests and worsts in other music categories.
  2. Best of 2017: Music Critic Top Ten Lists

    Best of 2017: Music Critic Top Ten Lists Image
    Published: November 27, 2017
    Over the next month, we'll be collecting year-end top 10 album lists from over 200 music critics, publications, record stores, and other sources. Find individual lists and this year's cumulative rankings inside.
  3. The 25 Best Albums of 2017 So Far

    The 25 Best Albums of 2017 So Far Image
    Published: July 7, 2017
    We rank the highest-scoring albums released during the first half of 2017.