• Record Label: New West
  • Release Date: May 22, 2020
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
Buy On
  1. May 22, 2020
    90
    With Ghosts of West Virginia, he's created some of the most eloquent music he's written in two decades.
  2. 80
    It’s a taut and intense collection of songs that connect just as well without the visuals of the play they were predominantly written to accompany. GOWV displays once again that Steve Earle is one of America’s most captivating, unvarnished, provocative and talented singer/songwriters.
  3. Uncut
    May 20, 2020
    80
    For all that Ghosts Of West Virginia is a serious work contemplating a serious subject, there are moments where Earle sounds like he's having more fun than any time since The Mountain. [Jun 2020, p.32]
  4. Mojo
    May 20, 2020
    80
    Powerful stuff. [Jun 2020, p.93]
  5. May 20, 2020
    80
    Instead of digging up coal like the miners grippingly depicted in these new songs, the Hardcore Troubadour and the Dukes unearth anthemic gems for America's marginalized.
  6. May 20, 2020
    80
    Ghosts of West Virginia astutely captures and empathically chronicles the lives of people that have suffered through an unspeakable tragedy in an attempt to make a living, day by day, year by year, generation by generation.
  7. May 21, 2020
    70
    Earle serves here as a trusted travel guide, offering a nuanced portrayal of a time and place (21st-century Appalachian mining) that likely feels a world away for the majority of his listeners.
  8. May 20, 2020
    70
    The distinctly raw sound is a cross between his usual folk-rock sound, and mountain music with generous hints of bluegrass, an area he explored earlier in his career.
  9. May 26, 2020
    60
    There are more reflective moments, like Time Is Never on Our Side and If I Could See Your Face Again, where fiddler Eleanor Whitmore sings a widow’s part. Numbers such as Black Lung complete the evocation of thankless blue-collar toil, though Earle has done as much before on 1999’s The Mountain, when no one was voting for Trump.

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