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Becoming A Jackal Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the solo debut for Irishman Conor J. O'Brien, a member of the rock band The Immediate who split up in 2007.

Top Track

That Day
Can you hear me now Lying in this bed Embedded in this written story? Can you hear me now Calling from this bed? I'm spitting words but there's no... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Astonishing new album from ex-Immediate wunderkind.
  2. There's depth, sincerity and beauty in abundance here.
  3. Mojo
    80
    O'Brien sees dead people, spits at love, puts himself inside the heads of fellow bus passengers and defies anyone to categorise his music. It's a rich experience making the attempt though. [Jul 2010, p.92]
  4. While that argument over the art of the singer-songwriter may be embedded in a lack of originality, Villagers have managed to craft an endearing record, glowing with a heart-warming level of nostalgia.
  5. Every word on the album rings honest and true without any indulgent dips in over-sentimentality.
  6. If you set aside some uninspired, cryptic-as-poetic moody fantasy lyrics (and a few forgettable songs truly as slight as whispers), Becoming a Jackal reveals a hidden stash of imminently memorable melodies.
  7. There's enough honesty in his rich, warm voice to render even the most forgettable tracks into pleasant diversions on the way to future favorites.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    Definitely the album of the year, and if he manages to produce another album of anything close to the haunting beauty of this one, he willDefinitely the album of the year, and if he manages to produce another album of anything close to the haunting beauty of this one, he will become a legend. Expand
  2. Nov 10, 2010
    10
    This is a hauntingly beautiful album. I would absolutely recommend this album to anyone despite their taste in music, normally i wouldn't haveThis is a hauntingly beautiful album. I would absolutely recommend this album to anyone despite their taste in music, normally i wouldn't have patience for anything even remotely folksy but i genuinely think this is something rather special. Expand
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    9
    Really fantastic album. One of the best of 2010, and that's really saying something with the excellent albums out this year by Arcade Fire,Really fantastic album. One of the best of 2010, and that's really saying something with the excellent albums out this year by Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens, and The National. This guy has a lovely, soft, delicate voice that goes well with his folk-rock arrangements. The music is beautiful. He reminds me of a mixture of Conor Oberst and Elvis Perkins. Expand
  4. Oct 13, 2018
    8
    This is an album that has really stood the test of time and I have to say I really love it and revisit regularly. Of it's 11 tracks there isThis is an album that has really stood the test of time and I have to say I really love it and revisit regularly. Of it's 11 tracks there is something to find in most of them. The sound is predominantly quite mellow of the chamber pop variety, with mainly gently delivered vocals, piano and acoustic guitars. The songwriting is excellent. I would say your better off hearing this record without hearing its creator, Conor O Brien talk. If he was a hamburger he'd eat himself. A bit like the way Bono turns a lot of people off of U2, COB had a similar effect for me but such is the quality of his music that I just can't help but love it. A classic Irish debut and a great place to start with Villagers who went on to produce 3 further superb albums (as of 2018). Expand