• Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: Feb 5, 2021
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 83
    Flowers puts a lens on her weaker moments without any performative brightness. She simply lets her softer side shine. Gone are the animalistic vocals, replaced with a gentler tone that invokes a towering kindness and grace that pandemic-related solitude has allowed. ... She once again proves there is a fragile beauty that comes with facing the darkest parts of yourself, no matter how painful the process might be.
  2. Feb 17, 2021
    80
    Largely acoustic with a limited amount of overdubs, Flowers feels somewhat more minimalist than the aesthetically varied Petals -- which isn't to say it's any less impressive. There is a sense that Williams is celebrating her influences.
  3. Feb 9, 2021
    80
    While eloquently arranged, Flowers’ uniform anguish makes for an uncomfortable listen, even more so than its sonically daring predecessor, 2020’s Petals For Armor. ... Hopefully, the creation of this album — easily her purest songwriter project so far – also provided some peace.
  4. Feb 9, 2021
    80
    Seven albums and 16 years into her music career, Williams seems more confident than ever in doing as she pleases instead of pleasing others.
  5. Feb 9, 2021
    80
    What a pleasure to have a songwriter and singer of this calibre making albums like this, with seemingly limitless texture to dig into and infinite potential meaning for every listener. Just so long as they give it the time.
  6. Feb 8, 2021
    80
    In 'FLOWERS for VASES / descansos' Williams belts the stapled vocal range she’s praised for in notable tracks, ‘All I Wanted,’ ‘Feeling Sorry,’ and ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ and completes it with comforting acoustics, simplistic key work and alluring songwriting.
  7. 80
    “Flowers for Vases/Descansos” has a narrower, quieter palette, though Williams easily handles guitars, keyboards and drums on her own... The songs on “Flowers for Vases/Descansos” are finely polished: every vocal phrase, guitar tone, piano note and studio effect has been thought through by Williams and her engineer and producer, Daniel James.
  8. ‘Flowers for Vases/descansos’ rakes back the debris and leaves Hayley Williams exposed. Sowing new seeds, it’s an approach that reaps rewards.
  9. Feb 8, 2021
    75
    Heartbreak, anger, acceptance, new love, mental health, and hope converged into something a little more well-rounded. Flowers For Vases, for all its beauty, appears single-minded in comparison, focusing solely on pain-tinged recollection and the challenge of moving forward. But if Williams chooses to spend some extra time wading through the uncomfortable emotions that mark a particular breakup—especially when those feelings make way for more personal growth—then it’s a worthwhile bit of exploration.
  10. 75
    This album is the payoff of a risk: while this may not have been a vocally challenging album for Williams, it can be deeply difficult to share the quiet corners of the soul, the stories we might not want to tell but need to for the sake of healing.
  11. Feb 8, 2021
    70
    As a quarantine-driven detour on Williams’ artistic path as a solo act, Flowers works as a side project, although its commitment to confessional storytelling and stripped-down production the whole way through will make it appear one-noted against Petals.
  12. 70
    Whilst the album on a whole is routed in vulnerability – Williams the chanteuse, cathartically pouring whatever remains of herself into her most precious form of expression, “Just A Lover” signifies a shift; a marker of unfinished means, as the pieces she’s surrounded by begin to coagulate into an entirely new feeling.
  13. Feb 11, 2021
    68
    There are no obvious singles or earworms, but more so than Petals for Armor, FLOWERS for VASES takes a step closer to healing.
  14. Feb 5, 2021
    60
    FLOWERS for VASES / descansos continues what Petals For Armor started in showing just how much of Hayley Williams we still have to get to know as an artist. The Paramore question mark continues to hover, but here Hayley has once again shown that there’s more to her than one band.
User Score
9.4

Universal acclaim- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 129
  1. Feb 8, 2021
    1
    One of the worst follow-up albums I've heard from an artist in about 15 years. Talk about a major letdown.

    Pros: - Production is actually
    One of the worst follow-up albums I've heard from an artist in about 15 years. Talk about a major letdown.

    Pros:
    - Production is actually not bad considering most of this was recorded in a home studio. I did get a slight chuckle at the airplane driveby outtake that she kept on the album. I've been there.

    - Lyricalism is still quite strong. Some areas do slack and just aren't as metaphoric this time around.

    Cons:

    - Way too many ballads on one album. Very boring and repetitious. And what's even worse is that most of ballads are forgettable.

    - Vocals don't branch off much at all. They stay within the same range for most of the album.

    - Including an instrumental [which I usually do love on albums] that is redundant and doesn't try to branch off and be unique. (A small piano solo or something would have made it more interesting.) Boring.
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 5, 2021
    7
    Hayley Wiliams' first solo album, at the time received a lot of flattering reviews that surprised me quite a bit.

    I wouldn't say that
    Hayley Wiliams' first solo album, at the time received a lot of flattering reviews that surprised me quite a bit.

    I wouldn't say that Petals for Armor was a bad album, but personally I believed it was an album that sought to reach for more than its sound could provide.

    Especially since many people preferred to pay more attention to the lyrics.

    FLOWERS for VASES / descansos is a surprise album, both because of its sudden release and because Williams shows a more mature side as a songwriter that she couldn't reach in her predecessor.

    This is basically an acoustic album. The arrangements are minimal and in some cases the finished tracks even sound like demos.
    It's a more ethereal and organic experience, and therefore more pleasant.

    Hayley herself said that she was preparing her own ''folklore'' and it's quite evident that she was influenced by Taylor Swift, although both approaches are definitely different, they both share an indie vein.

    The album loses strength in the last tracks after the middle, but the closing is good.
    Although personally I think she should have arranged the tracklist and closed with "Descansos". The most ghostly and ambient track of them all.

    Notable Tracks

    > First Thing To Go
    > Asystole
    > Over Those Hills
    > KYRH
    > Descansos
    > Just A Lover
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 25, 2021
    8
    Hayley Williams' new album "FLOWERS for VASES / descansos" exudes a gentle transition from the first to the second part of her previous albumHayley Williams' new album "FLOWERS for VASES / descansos" exudes a gentle transition from the first to the second part of her previous album "Petals for Armor"
    The work, completely recorded by herself in the singer's house, explores the hidden corners of the human soul, through the prism of her perception, which was formed during self-isolation, as the singer herself wrote about her album "I hope you enjoy album "FLOWERS for VASES / descansos".well, if not, then... Maybe you'll be lucky some other time".
    Full Review »