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Getting Into Knives Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The latest full-length release for the indie folk band led by John Darnielle features a guest appearance from Charles Hodges and was produced by Matt Ross-Spang.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 90
    Ultimately, the best complement one can pay the band at this point is simply to say that the new album is in fact the perfect primer for newcomers as well as further affirmation for those that have followed them all along. Getting Into Knives makes the point that The Mountain Goats are successfully finding their way to higher heights.
  2. Oct 26, 2020
    88
    There’s a rockabilly feel alongside soul and even country, but no one genre is discernible for long. It’s as if The Mountain Goats contain multitudes and so can you.
  3. Oct 30, 2020
    80
    The result is the Mountain Goats' best album in years, one that's more accessible than 2017's downtrodden Goths and more varied and energetic than 2019's In League with Dragons.
  4. Oct 29, 2020
    77
    For all its craft, Getting Into Knives is too casual of a collection to sit alongside The Mountain Goats’ statement albums. But while these may not be Darnielle’s meatiest songs, the rich instrumentation turns them into one of his most welcoming records.
  5. Nov 12, 2020
    70
    The Mountain Goats’ tamer approach, however, isn’t bullet-proof; some tracks simply get lost in the shuffle. The slow, sparse structure of The Last Place I Saw You Alive undercuts its poignant and introspective lyrics. Meanwhile, Pez Dorado, despite its decorative percussion, sounds too similar to the preceding Tidal Wave. Getting Into Knives does pick up by its final third, however, relying on more accessible rock tropes.
  6. Oct 23, 2020
    70
    On Getting Into Knives, Darnielle shows that the Mountain Goats’ toolkit is always expanding, and his tools are getting sharper all the same.
  7. Oct 22, 2020
    50
    Their work manages to feel simultaneously overproduced and under-thought.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 27, 2020
    10
    John Darnielle has been one of the best writers in music for a long while and his deep commitment to authenticity has inspired fans for years.John Darnielle has been one of the best writers in music for a long while and his deep commitment to authenticity has inspired fans for years. Musically he and the band have evolved several times from boomboxes to a full band with session musicians even, it's all distinctive and memorable.

    Getting into Knives is an album where the musical arrangement and execution has caught up with the advanced level of lyrical messaging. This is a stunningly embraceable album that touches on several emotional levels for the listener as well as a diverse soundscape. Lyrically Darnielle has captured the mood and themes of the times w/o direct references. His stories about a collection of people, as all MG albums do, identify the commonalities from the variations people chose to express in their mission to survive and connect in our world. Many of the songs put the decision making around the message to the listener as the song stories can take different paths depending on the translation of perspective/context., the title track is an excellent example.

    The band, Jon Wurster, Peter Peter Hughs, and Matt Douglas continue to excel and show a tightness few bands today have. The opening drums from Wurster on Corsican Mastiff Stride almost pay homage to the historic sounds of the Sam Phillps studio where the album was made as well as opening the door to the musical travelogue. From the sardonic danceable Get Famous to the quiet pin drop of songs like The Last Time I Saw You Alive and Harbor Me, you will be engaged emotionally and intellectually. Lyrically I recommend Picture of My Dress and my personal favorite song on the album Bell Swamp Connect.

    "Toward the tail-end of the age, that's almost finished
    Where the highway starts to crack and nobody fixes it
    I was wandering through an undeveloped tract
    Out near the ocean
    100 acres, we will build to suit
    See what there is to see before it's gone
    Somebody's always just about
    To put some kind of awful plan in motion

    Eastern redcedars, and the pines
    And suddenly an elevated stone slab
    In what must have been a clearing once
    Try to recognize the signals and the signposts
    My curiosity
    Will likely always get the best of me

    It's like that one thing
    My Dad kept trying to tell me
    As the twilight
    Inched its way on up his body

    Get Out! Get Out! Get Out!"
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  2. Nov 25, 2020
    10
    Wow this album is soooooo good! Absolutely perfect from start to finish and one of John's best imo.