American Kid - Patty Griffin
American Kid Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: Co-produced with Craig Ross, the mostly acoustic release for the singer-songwriter was inspired by her father, who passed away in 2009.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jun 11, 2013
    100
    American Kid is a triumph of songwriting and expressive singing.
  2. May 9, 2013
    100
    Patty Griffin has clearly been saving the best of her own material for a long time, making this perhaps her finest hour.
  3. May 16, 2013
    90
    American Kid successfully recaptures Griffin’s acoustic roots in haunting and moving fashion.
  4. Jun 17, 2013
    80
    It's her devastating voice and ear for the smallest details that ultimately makes all the difference. [Jul 2013, p.104]
  5. May 16, 2013
    67
    There are points when Kid feels a little boxed; "Mom & Dad's Waltz" plays trite in the indicated time signature, and "Wild Old Dog" delves too far into its God-as-errant-mutt metaphor. Nevertheless, Griffin re-emerges with her best foot forward, sparse folk for the working man ("Faithful Son").

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. May 13, 2013
    10
    Griffin should be much better known than she is, but then mediocrity often rises to the top. American Kid is a spellbinding masterpiece, a word which I don't apply indiscriminately. It's her Blood on the Tracks. Expand
  2. May 9, 2013
    10
    It's hard to imagine a more blissful combination of pain and paradise than hearing Patty Griffin on this stripped down, heart-broken-open recording. MASTERPIECE! Expand
  3. May 9, 2013
    10
    I've run out of words to describe the greatness of Patty Griffin. If she's ever written a bad song, it hasn't been recorded. She's a genius at conveying the details of simple moments to immerse you in the story, to make you feel like you've been somewhere you've never been. She's not just a great poet, she's an insightful voice. American Kid is a masterpiece and sonically is quite different than her other albums. Listen to the first 4 tracks and tell me she isn't the best songwriter alive today. Expand
  4. May 9, 2013
    10
    I have long wondered why Patty Griffin isn't more well known if not downright revered for her art. American Kid makes that gap between her achievements and notoriety seem even stranger. She has put forth collections of perfectly sculpted songs for years, too many masterpieces to recount at this point. American Kid is her finest accomplishment to date. American Kid is not the same sort of collection of miniatures Griffin typically releases. It's unified by theme in a way her other albums have not been, save Downtown Church. It's a whole, fully formed work. Nothing she has ever done has felt more personal, and that is saying a lot, considering her distinctive ability to hit the heart and soul with that one of a kind combination of singing and songwriting. The people in these songs, veterans, slaves, lovers, sons, God himself, fathers, especially her own, walk in to the room during these songs--her word choices are that perfect and evocative in each turn of lyric and note. This album also seems to carry with it the weight of American history, the history experienced by men like her father, men now leaving the earth, people long past and forgotten. Anyone who has known these men or who has lost someone they love or seen a love end too soon will cherish this album. Patty seems determined in these songs to commit their stories (most poignantly her father's story) to memory for all time. American Kid is a stunning achievement. A masterwork by one of our great living singer/songwriters. No one who still values the craft of song-making and songwriting should leave this album out of their collection. Expand
  5. May 9, 2013
    9
    Stunning album, and the best I have heard this year. Patty Griffin has always amazed me with her storytelling and musical ability, and this album is probably the best collection of focused songs that she has released. Wild old dog, go wherever you wanna go, that kind of lonely, and not a bad man are among immediate standouts, but the album flows wonderfully and is full of excellent lyrics, great music, and diverse production. I think you will struggle to find a more touching and beautiful album this year. Excellent. Expand

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