• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Feb 26, 2021
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Feb 26, 2021
    100
    With Little Oblivions, the singer-songwriter has made her most cohesive record yet. The resuscitation of a heavier sound works in Baker’s favor, while she still adds hints of the fragile gentleness that has captivated fans since her Sprained Ankle days.
  2. Feb 25, 2021
    92
    Even with booming guitars, pounding drums and soaring instrumentals, Little Oblivions feels just as intimate as Baker’s more, well, intimate albums. It’s an impossible task to make a massive capital-R Rock album sound just as home in an arena as it would in a living room, but somehow, some way, Baker has managed to crack the code.
  3. 91
    The newly turned-up volume and heavier instrumentals of synths, bass, and drum programming still never drown out Baker’s tender vocals, which are consistently unexpected and innovative.
  4. Feb 26, 2021
    90
    Much like what has come before, it’s in this melancholic in-between that ‘Little Oblivions’ finds its voice; a soundtrack for those searching for hope in difficult times, particularly when the wider world has removed easy distraction from the pain.
  5. Feb 25, 2021
    90
    Magnificent. ... Although she played all the instruments on “Little Oblivions” herself, she built out most of its arrangements so they could be performed with a full band onstage. This choice brings a new, sweeping dynamism to Baker’s music, and keeps “Little Oblivions” from feeling sonically repetitive.
  6. Feb 24, 2021
    90
    Ultimately, her recent period of artistic silence and personal trials results in Julien Baker’s most masterful work to date. The expanded sonic palette reimagines the possibilities of her music and makes for Baker’s most dynamic work yet. What’s more, none of the impact of her heart wrenching lyricism is lost in the transition.
  7. Feb 22, 2021
    90
    On her third album, the view has swung from microcosm to breathtaking panorama.
  8. Feb 22, 2021
    90
    Little Oblivions is generous and giving; it's not only a public display of personal catharsis, but also an act of collective commiseration and an invitation to heal.
  9. 80
    The writing here is bleak, self-excoriating and largely excellent.
  10. Feb 26, 2021
    80
    This is sensitive, heartfelt and resolute rock music that shuffles its feet while looking at the stars.
  11. Feb 24, 2021
    80
    Like all Baker’s work so far, Little Oblivions is an album that rewards close listening and multiple run-throughs — afternoons lost to foot-tapping despair and, hopefully, some catharsis as the wildly talented songwriter welcomes us back to her saddest show on Earth.
  12. 80
    An album of stunning emotional clarity that sees Baker’s words sent skyward with help from the beefy instrumentation of a full band.
  13. Feb 23, 2021
    80
    What results is a fully realized artistic statement without a skippable track, even if a few songs trail off a bit toward the end — almost as if Baker knows the rush of cathartic energy has left everyone involved a little exhausted, including herself. And that’s just fine, because this is enough reality for a lifetime, let alone one record.
  14. Uncut
    Feb 22, 2021
    80
    Everything on Little Oblivions will make you feel, and it's the catharsis we all need. [Mar 2021, p.26]
  15. Feb 22, 2021
    80
    She successfully translates her confessional tone and subject matter into melodically and atmospherically engaging songs, resulting in an album that represents a significant step for one of contemporary music’s most eloquent artists.
  16. Feb 22, 2021
    80
    A well-crafted album.
  17. Feb 26, 2021
    76
    As tempting as it is to imagine Baker fully unleashing in one direction or another, the studiously crafted messiness captured here still feels like a compelling next step.
  18. Feb 25, 2021
    70
    Despite the bigger sound on average, however, Baker's brutal lyrical authenticity remains the main attraction.
  19. Feb 26, 2021
    66
    Little Oblivions doesn’t so much feel like a step to a higher point as so much as a stumble that Baker has made to look as graceful as she can.
  20. Mojo
    Feb 22, 2021
    60
    It can be vague on the details, but Baker's songwriting is smart and serious enough to keep Little Oblivions from burning out entirely. [Apr 2021, p.86]
User Score
9.6

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Feb 28, 2021
    10
    Julien's new approach in this album is so refreshing! It's a huge leap from her first two (2) albums but the depth and emotions in her lyricsJulien's new approach in this album is so refreshing! It's a huge leap from her first two (2) albums but the depth and emotions in her lyrics and melodies are still there. Albeit, there's more hope now in her words than before. And as others have claimed, you can now shake ass to Julien's songs! The bass drop and the drum kicks are incredible! So much talent in this album. Definitely AOTY!

    Best songs for me include Heatwave, Repeat, Ringside and Ziptie.
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2021
    10
    The lyricism, production and Julien’s soft vocal delivery mix together her to make this sort of poignant, heavy alternative masterpiece. ThisThe lyricism, production and Julien’s soft vocal delivery mix together her to make this sort of poignant, heavy alternative masterpiece. This album shows us a new side of Julien Baker, songs are at a quickened pace with more splendour in track’s such as “Relative Friction”, “Hardline” & “Bloodshot”. This is the greatest release from Julien and the best from 2021 so far. Full Review »