Cardinal Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release on the Run For Cover Label for the New Jersey indie rock band features two songs from its 2014 compilation, Everything So Far.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. While the lyrics are what everyone will talk about, it’s Hall’s voice that makes them work. That insistent yelp, straining to create melody without being beholden to it.
  2. Feb 11, 2016
    83
    Pinegrove builds and burns a lot on Cardinal, and they’re left with the hard-earned knowledge that everything’s probably going to be alright. It’s not the stuff teenage anthems are made of, maybe, but maturity comes with its own small pleasures.
  3. 80
    Cardinal feels cinematic, colourful and is a great fine-tuning of the promise shown on past EPs.... A heavy listen, but one that's worth it.
  4. Feb 10, 2016
    80
    The Montclair, New Jersey's band's sound--off-the-cuff, loose heart-on-sleeve indie-rock cut with Americana--is the perfect vessel for that kind of premature twilight, anxiety and loss. Above all else, it feels so goddamned natural.
  5. Feb 10, 2016
    80
    Pinegrove could have ridden a self-assured record like this to widespread indie acclaim. Instead, it feels like an act of generosity, a record lovingly crafted and intimately written, full of sounds, observations, and emotional realizations that you didn’t know you wanted in 2016, but, in fact, needed desperately.
  6. Kerrang!
    Jun 30, 2016
    80
    These eight tracks bind the smart emo of Brand New to the rootsy alt.country of a Bright Eyes or Ryan Adams, stroking nostalgia and tugging the heartstrings throughout. [2 Jul 2016, p.52]
  7. 75
    There’s no flash here, just a finely crafted batch of searingly personal indie rock songs. Unless you never had to grow up, it will resonate.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Feb 18, 2016
    10
    I can't choose a standout song on this album, maybe Aphasia but still it's a really tough decision. The lead singer's voice is absoluteI can't choose a standout song on this album, maybe Aphasia but still it's a really tough decision. The lead singer's voice is absolute perfection for this genre. It seems like the more I listen to this album the more I fall in love with it. !!!!!!شكرا Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2016
    10
    The song-writing is pure, melodic, thoughtful and so true to young adult life in America today. The singer's voice brings to life the honestyThe song-writing is pure, melodic, thoughtful and so true to young adult life in America today. The singer's voice brings to life the honesty in the songs and the band backs him up wonderfully. This is worth your investment if you like power pop that reflects both our struggle and glimmers of hope. Expand
  3. Sep 6, 2017
    10
    Holy Sasquitch! I love this band. The lyrics tug on each and every part of me that likes to be tugged and the dude's voice is amazing. I feelHoly Sasquitch! I love this band. The lyrics tug on each and every part of me that likes to be tugged and the dude's voice is amazing. I feel like he's singing directly to me. There may be a part of you that wants to classify Pinegrove as "emo" but that would be the dark, naughty part of you that is almost always covered by a bathing suit. I heard it once and liked it, I heard it thrice and started making out with it. We will never ever be apart again. I'm loving it in every way possible including the ways most modern religions frown upon. Expand
  4. Feb 17, 2016
    10
    Cardinal is a very accessible album that features plenty of depth and lush instrumentation in their sound. The album gives off a sort ofCardinal is a very accessible album that features plenty of depth and lush instrumentation in their sound. The album gives off a sort of "nuanced" optimism that reveals some doubts to some of the main meanings to their songs. The singers voice blends in very well with the sort of style and instrumentation that each song features. Can't wait for more. Expand
  5. Jun 9, 2016
    9
    A really really nice debut. Accessible to pretty much anyone, and all of the song lyrics are surprisingly honest. It may be rather short (onlyA really really nice debut. Accessible to pretty much anyone, and all of the song lyrics are surprisingly honest. It may be rather short (only 30 minutes), but it certainly isn't forgettable. Excited to see how this band continues their journey. Expand
  6. Feb 20, 2016
    8
    Cardinal is a haphazard, erratic, stream-of-consciousness mental breakdown under the guise of a catchy, accessible indie rock/alt-countryCardinal is a haphazard, erratic, stream-of-consciousness mental breakdown under the guise of a catchy, accessible indie rock/alt-country record. In 30 short minutes, Pinegrove delivered the best straightforward rock album of the year so far. The lead singer's emo-country twang fits the lo-fi crunch of the instrumentation perfectly, giving the album a fantastic sense of immediacy and authenticity. When lo-fi production is done well, a record may sound more pure, as it were, and less unfinished. Cardinal sounds like a basement performance played with reckless abandon, and I say that in the best way possible. 2016 has been off to a rocky start, and this record is one of few that has me genuinely excited.

    85/100
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