Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    Gelb creates masterful songs for the ages.
  2. As perfect a brew as this is, it's Gelb's voice and lyrics that push the music into otherworldly territories.
  3. Some of the rowdiest Giant Sand music since the near-grunge of 1992's Center of the Universe.
  4. Mojo
    A noble addition to the Giant Sand canon. [Sep 2004, p.96]
  5. His raspy, hushed voice is in fine form as ever.
  6. New Musical Express (NME)
    One of the most cosmopolitan albums to carry the Giant seal of oddness. [11 Sep 2004, p.55]
  7. Much has been made of Gelb’s ability at cobbling together musical forms, but overlooked is his skill at entwining contradictory moods.
  8. For new listeners, this is the most accessible Sand album to date, but for veteran Sand nuts, this may be... well, just different.
  9. No one makes records that sound quite like this: a shambolic, atmospheric mixture of hushed tones, deadly distortion, tender poetry and rock and roll.
  10. Although this is one of the most linear and easy-to-navigate Giant Sand records, some might be put off by the album's lapses in noisier and raucous dynamics.
  11. Filter
    Gelb and the band make great strides in musicianship, shifting tempos, languages and sounding disjointed, elegiac and hallucinatory all at once. [#12, p.98]
  12. Unlike earlier efforts, this album never detours into patience-trying exercises in noise, never dallies in self-indulgent improvisation.
  13. Q Magazine
    Though head-spinning, this collision of ideas retains some cohesion thanks to Gelb's sun-scorched songwriting that sees his acoustic alt-country efforts, in particular, shine. [Oct 2004, p.123]
  14. It is music that sits at the crossroads of Neil Young and Captain Beefheart, a reverence for its rustic background balanced by a playful desire to fuck shit up.
  15. Rolling Stone
    An uneven album... but it's a nice soundtrack for a lonesome drunken night. [14 Oct 2004, p.98]
  16. Musically, the disc feels jerky and distracted, as if Gelb was plagued with fragments of ideas.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. GregJ
    May 22, 2006
    After so many albums with so many great, great songs, how did Gelb & Co. manage to pull this stellar album out from nowhere? Like After so many albums with so many great, great songs, how did Gelb & Co. manage to pull this stellar album out from nowhere? Like Calexico's 'Feast of Wire,' this is the absolute peak of their capabilities and finally does what they have been doing all along, only perfectly. Everybody needs to hear this. Full Review »
  2. eirike
    Nov 26, 2005
    another splendid album by howe gelb and giant sand - after more than 20 albums they still amaze and delivers yet another gem!
  3. OlivierP
    Feb 18, 2005
    A very good album Majestic songwriting