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A Sailor's Guide to Earth Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 80 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length release for the Grammy-nominated country artist features a cover of a Nirvana song and was self-produced.
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Top Track

Welcome To Earth (Pollywog)
Hello, my son Welcome to earth You may not be my last But you'll always be my first Wish I'd done this ten years ago But how could I know How could I... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 100
    Whether by Simpson’s own design or in spite of it, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is ahead of its time.
  2. 91
    Overall, the album is strikingly intimate.
  3. Apr 14, 2016
    90
    As singer, songwriter, producer and bandleader, Simpson juggled his own destiny on A Sailor’s Guide to Earth without dropping the baby. Afforded creative freedom many felt would be stifled, Simpson’s latest musical offspring is a love letter we can all cherish. Ahmet Ertegun would be proud.
  4. 80
    A skilled interpreter, Simpson’s bruised baritone murmur morphs to fit the contours of each song.
  5. Apr 19, 2016
    80
    A Sailor's Guide to Earth is such a rearrangement of Simpson's sonic universe that any previous categorization now seems out of date.
  6. Apr 14, 2016
    80
    “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)” starts the record with a foreboding sound that moves to stately piano and tremolo strings before exploding into soul. Nirvana’s “In Bloom” is turned into sweeping countrypolitan; “All Around You” offers killer country soul. “A Sailor’s Guide” confirms that Simpson isn’t content to stand in the same place for very long.
  7. Apr 18, 2016
    60
    Not all of it gels, but as a treatise on male absence, Sturgill’s Guide is heartfelt.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Apr 20, 2016
    10
    This is coming form a guy who rarely listens too country. This album blew me away, you can feel the raw emotion and when I realized he madeThis is coming form a guy who rarely listens too country. This album blew me away, you can feel the raw emotion and when I realized he made this album for his son it meant so much more. This takes country to another level. 10/10 Expand
  2. Apr 23, 2016
    10
    There really isn't anything like this album. Another reviewer stated "genre-less", and I could not agree more. Wonderfully put together, thisThere really isn't anything like this album. Another reviewer stated "genre-less", and I could not agree more. Wonderfully put together, this is the most unforgettable album I've ever listened to. I wish this was the type of country we heard on the radio. Expand
  3. Apr 18, 2016
    9
    This isn't the album you may have thought you wanted from Sturgill, but instead he gave you something you didn't know you wanted. I adore thisThis isn't the album you may have thought you wanted from Sturgill, but instead he gave you something you didn't know you wanted. I adore this album for what it stands for, his departure from being the next outlaw country darling. Musically this album is genre-less, which only shows Simpson's musical prowess even more. Expand
  4. Apr 18, 2016
    8
    On A Sailor's Guide to Earth Sturgill Simpson sends several postcards with life wisdom's to his son. The musical package goes from theOn A Sailor's Guide to Earth Sturgill Simpson sends several postcards with life wisdom's to his son. The musical package goes from the emotion-rich sounds of the country, the swinging of the soul and funk to his expressions of pain and sorrow in the blues. This combination gives the text more depth and supports the messages he sent as a touring musician to his son. It is the cry for freedom and love he conquers as a bandleader and translates into his energetic and sonorous songs. Sturgill Simpson sails his own route and let his discoveries and experiences come to life in the most beautiful postcards that you can wish for as a son. 8/10

    Full Review in Dutch: https://www.platendraaier.nl/albumrecensies/sturgill-simpson-a-sailors-guide-to-earth/
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  5. Feb 21, 2018
    8
    For those who declare themselves "country haters", this is one of those albums that challenges them. Simpson returns genre-bending as ever,For those who declare themselves "country haters", this is one of those albums that challenges them. Simpson returns genre-bending as ever, and even in the moments where his music seems to stem purely from a southern-rock influenced country, it retains a sense of defiance of the status quo and dedication to itself that it can't truly be captured by a genre. This album is at times touching and dreamy, and at times rowdy and nearly over-the-top, which holds it back from its potential to be a total embrace of the "metacountry" that he self proclaimed in his last effort but again never quite reached. This work comes closer and is deserving of the praise it receives. I can imagine someday playing a few of these songs to my children. "Breakers Roar", the cover of Nirvana's "In Blood", and "Oh Sarah" are high spots of the album if you are looking for the emotional touching side of Simpson's music, while "Sea Stories" and "Keep It Between the Lines" rock and roll liken the sea they openly proclaim to be set in. Another success for Sturgill Simpson and for creative musicians everywhere. Expand
  6. Apr 28, 2016
    8
    Good record even if E. Swartz disagrees. The fact it is an open letter to his son is risky and unique. After his last album it is a boldGood record even if E. Swartz disagrees. The fact it is an open letter to his son is risky and unique. After his last album it is a bold statement musically. Expand
  7. Apr 20, 2016
    8
    I wish all country was like this. Denser, more ambitious, and more authentic than the stereotypical "bro-country" that has pervaded radioI wish all country was like this. Denser, more ambitious, and more authentic than the stereotypical "bro-country" that has pervaded radio stations for upwards of 30 years. Simpson incorporates southern rock, psychedelia, soul, and, above all, country on the latest record of his. A Sailor's Guide to Earth is not only in the top 5 albums released in 2016 so far, but one of the best country albums of the last decade. If you are wary of the genre, do not discount it until you have given a listen to Sturgill Simpson. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews