Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. 100
    Parks has a singular talent for tapping into sadness and turning it into something uplifting. ... Arlo Parks may be the voice of Gen Z, but there’s no doubt that this is a universal collection of stories that’ll provide solace for listeners of all ages and backgrounds for decades to come.
  2. Jan 29, 2021
    Far more fleshed-out than the EPs (none of the songs from which are repeated here), it seems all but inevitable that Parks will be one of the breakthrough artists of 2021. So what makes her and this album so special? In a word, intimacy. ... None of the above would work without the album’s brilliantly restrained production and arrangements, nearly all by her longtime collaborator Luca Buccellati: The music flawlessly frames her voice and lyrics and never intrudes.
  3. 91
    This album definitely draws from painful places, but comes out of its explorations is multifaceted, deeply considered, and above all full of kindness. The questions it asks — what does caring really look like, how do we show one another kindness when we’re angry, how do we show ourselves kindness when we’re upset or hurt or numb — are essential ones, and we’re lucky we have Parks to guide us through them here.
  4. 90
    The versatility of Collapsed In Sunbeams is beyond comendable. Parks seemingly effortless lyricism and laidback melodies make her songs cosy in winter, and chilled in summer - always to be uplifting and comforting. Every track can mould around different settings and this level of versatility in a debut album is a rarity. Collapsed In Sunbeams is timeless.
  5. Jan 28, 2021
    Arlo Parks’ debut confirms what fans of her EPs likely already knew; she is a rising songwriter of unusual skill and grace. Her take on bedroom pop feels unusually distinctive in a genre that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Moreover, her ability to communicate the raw hardships of life with universality, compassion, and hope is genuinely moving and makes her debut a testament to her artistry.
  6. 80
    With its silky delicacy, percussion that plays with everything from trip-hop to neosoul, and that deft voice gliding through sublime imagery, this is a quietly enriching and powerful first album.
  7. Jan 28, 2021
    As on Parks’s EPs, the music on her album is restrained but far from austere. She coos the melodies over low-slung hip-hop beats and guitars that can tangle like indie-rock or syncopate like funk. ... Meanwhile, her vocals arrive in layers of unison and harmony and from all directions in the mix, conjuring both solidarity and spaciousness. Her music inhabits a private sphere, but not an isolated one.
  8. Jan 28, 2021
    ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ is an excellent character study, of both Arlo herself and the people who orbit around her.
  9. Jan 28, 2021
    Right now, Collapsed in Sunbeams feels like a warm breeze in the depths of a miserable winter.
  10. 80
    The charm – and perhaps a flaw – of Collapsed in Sunbeams is how easy it is to drift in and out of it. At times, Parks’s prism colours and ideas can leap out, scatter and startle you. At others, the myriad references to fruit and fashion alongside mental health catchphrases can feel like flipping through a magazine. But then, that’s how the light works. And I’m so glad Parks is here to brighten this dark year.
  11. Jan 26, 2021
    Spellbinding debut album, its vivid subject matter dealing with depression, sexuality, prejudice and matters of the heart with an uplifting old-school feel complemented by celestial vocals.
  12. Uncut
    Jan 25, 2021
    The 20-year-old punctuates beautifully languid, trip-hoppy vignettes with a voice redolent of Martina Topley-Bird and a neat line in spoken word poetic musings. [Feb 2021, p.32]
  13. Jan 25, 2021
    Reflective, intuitive and introspective, ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ is an immensely gripping debut. With no features, Arlo holds her own across all 12 singles and sets the bar high for those who follow.
  14. Jan 28, 2021
    On Parks’ long-awaited debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams, her narratives remain vivid and often crushing. Likewise intact is her vibrant fusion of rock, jazz, folk and hip-hop.
  15. Feb 4, 2021
    The irony of Collapsed in Sunbeams is that Parks’ greatest strength also gives the album its most noticeable weaknesses. We are mainly here for her connecting songwriting, which means that the production – by Gianluca Buccellati – is restrained to allow her direct words to flow at their own behest.
  16. Feb 1, 2021
    There's a confessional quality to these songs that feels real, regardless of whether Parks is telling these stories exactly as they happened or embellishing them for narrative impact. She also keeps the music engaging throughout, using a lot of guitar and piano for melodies and riffs and a rock-solid rhythm section to create strong grooves. It's early in 2021, but this is already a candidate for one of the year's better debuts.
  17. Feb 1, 2021
    The hazy production in Sunbeams does, to an extent, water down some of Parks' poetic musings and reduce them to pleasant background music. Even if there are hardly any low points here, the forceful sentiments of past songs like Angel's Song and Romantic Garbage are sorely absent—both of which are just mellow as this project but more musically rewarding.
  18. Jan 28, 2021
    If the musical qualities of Collapsed in Sunbeams suffer from a bit of sameyness by the end, the formula is a soothing, pleasant one with sentiment to spare and, as a debut, full of promise.
  19. Jan 25, 2021
    These tracks point toward a more compelling musical direction that would allow Parks to stand out as a singular pop artist, but the overwhelmingly simple bedroom pop stylings that decorate the majority of the album struggle to leave a mark. ... Nevertheless, Parks' wise words are indeed the album's saving grace.
  20. Feb 1, 2021
    “Violet” is one of a handful of moments where the comforting atmosphere starts to crack—it hints at a more compelling album actively at war with its own themes.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Jan 30, 2021
    Arlo Parks is a poet. Parks’ words and music convince you quickly. Parks is a poignant songwriter. She tackles issues of mental health, humanArlo Parks is a poet. Parks’ words and music convince you quickly. Parks is a poignant songwriter. She tackles issues of mental health, human relationships, and discrimination with unprecedented wisdom for a 20 year old. She is an inspiring mouthpiece for young adults. Full Review »
  2. Feb 1, 2021
    This is an excellent debut album that not only introduces us to Arlo Parks's unique sound and her wispy sweet voice, but also illuminates herThis is an excellent debut album that not only introduces us to Arlo Parks's unique sound and her wispy sweet voice, but also illuminates her concise yet mature lyricism. Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2021
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This album is all around great is you love poetic lyrics and a sound that blends neo-soul and indie. A very solid showing for a debut album. She really shows a full range of emotions from the uplifting Hope to the straight depressing Eugene. For me, the only skippable song is Bluish, but even that is a good song; however, it just isn't up to par with the rest of the album. If this song were better and Arlo were a little more expressive vocally, this would be a 10/10 for me. Great overall and have already recommended to friends. Full Review »