Path of Wellness Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 10th full-length studio release for the Portland, Oregon-based alternative rock duo was self-produced.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    Imagine Killing Eve in audio form. They’re still that kick-ass. That sexy. That much fun. Put this album on your to-listen list, pronto.
  2. Mojo
    Jun 8, 2021
    80
    A deep, powerful and satisfying album. [Jul 2021, p.82]
  3. Uncut
    Jun 18, 2021
    80
    Path Of Wellness proves Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein haven’t forgotten the empowering, life-giving qualities of rock’n’roll fun. Sleater-Kinney are turning their reunion years into a reaffirmation of the importance of support and solidarity on a private, personal level. [Aug 2021, p.30]
  4. Jun 17, 2021
    73
    What Path of Wellness lacks in sonic urgency, it makes up for with a vintage classic-rock swagger that livens up the material considerably.
  5. Jun 16, 2021
    70
    The album’s early singles “High in the Grass” and “Worry with You” both play off of Sleater-Kinney’s strengths, the former showing off the ever-expanding reach of Tucker’s voice and the latter sporting one of the band’s sneakily catchy hooks. On the other hand, songs like the dour “Tomorrow’s Grave” sound a little too familiar and fail to push the group beyond their previously established template.
  6. Jun 15, 2021
    68
    Sleater-Kinney has made heart-stopping, philosophically challenging rock music. Path of Wellness takes a more pacifist stance, content to let life happen around it.
  7. Jun 14, 2021
    58
    It’s not bad music per se, but lacking Weiss’ sharp drumming and the virtuoso guitar work the two are so good at, there’s not much left of what made Sleater-Kinney exciting.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 13, 2021
    9
    An inventive, quietly brilliant record from Sleater Kinney, if not a groundbreaking feat in the band's canon.
  2. Jun 14, 2021
    9
    “Creative differences” - a very professional, non-descriptive phrase available for bands to use when parting ways with one of its members.“Creative differences” - a very professional, non-descriptive phrase available for bands to use when parting ways with one of its members. Unfortunately, it was not the phrase used by Janet Weiss (one of the greatest drummers of her generation) upon leaving Sleater-Kinney. Instead, Weiss unloaded details (dirty laundry) about her supposed marginalization within the band and sparked a fire of hurt feelings across the internet. An injury in a bad car accident further cemented her martyr status. Now nearly two years (and a pandemic) later, critics, fans, and trolls can still barely talk of anything else when the topic of Sleater-Kinney comes up. This is so sad. Not only does it potentially tarnish the legacy and dent the financial returns of the Sleater-Kinney catalog, it prevents people from coming with an open mind to any new S-K endeavors. I wish you had chosen the higher ground, Janet. Anyway, “Path of Wellness” is the newest album by the now “duo” of Sleater-Kinney. It is not a feminist punk record. Sleater-Kinney has not been a “punk” band for a long, long time. It sounds like indie rock made by fans of 70s acts such as Tom Petty, Chrissie Hynde, and Fleetwood Mac. This is no surprise from a band that covered Boston very early in their career. There are “of the moment” lyrics related to Portland’s riots, wildfires, and of course, the pandemic. There are heartfelt pleas for “mercy” and “love” as a balm for the internal and external exhaustion caused by our current times. Corin Tucker’s powerful voice reaches soothing new heights with “High in the Grass” and has perhaps never sounded so good as on this self-produced album. Carrie Brownstein adds keyboards and a new custom Fender guitar to her songs which continue the pop styling heard on “The Center Won’t Hold” album. The music on “Path of Wellness” is mature but also very vulnerable and human - a S-K strength that has thankfully never diminished. Perhaps that is the problem - applying the lofty, masculine “Rock God” paradigm to a band that has always been down-to-earth by both necessity and by choice, as women who eschew patriarchal notions of “perfection” and who instead celebrate the importance of “connection.” Any individual who decides to step outside the toxic commentary surrounding this band and give this album a real chance will reap the benefits of this connection. Expand