Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
Buy On
  1. Mar 27, 2015
    100
    Somehow, the Australian singer-guitarist has made something fresh out of everyday vignettes performed on everyday instruments (guitar-bass-drums). She sounds like she's day-dreaming out loud instead of singing, but she's deceptively incisive as a lyricist. Her guitar-playing, while never particularly showy, can be subtle or scalding.
  2. Mar 23, 2015
    100
    This is a debut like few others. In fact, the only way we’ll ever get another record like Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is if Barnett hits Groundhog Day. It’s beyond bonzer, mate.
  3. Mar 17, 2015
    100
    Gentle, subtle, poignant, Barnett is almost crooning as she talks disappointment and expectation, and she has a photographer’s eye for detail when it comes to the otherwise mundane.
  4. Mar 24, 2015
    91
    Sometimes extends the fantastic first impression of songs like “Avant Gardener” and “History Eraser” into a far more memorable and cohesive proper debut for Barnett.
  5. 91
    Sometimes I Sit and Think is in conversation with the likes of Marvin the Album and “Supernova,” Brighten the Corners and “Malibu,” Mellow Gold and “About a Girl.” The dream of the 90s is alive in Courtney Barnett. And with Sometimes I Sit and Think, it’s just been fully realized.
  6. Mar 24, 2015
    90
    The tunes are tight and sticky; the guitars hit with real sizzle and bite, accented by flourishes like the garage-rock organ in "Debbie Downer" or the cowbell swing of "Aqua Profunda!"
  7. Mar 24, 2015
    90
    By channeling her anxiety into wonderful, shaggy, relatable and supremely catchy songs, she’s made Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit one of the most compulsively listenable albums to come out so far this year.
  8. Mar 23, 2015
    90
    There are no frills here but there is a distinct, compelling voice evident in Barnett's songs and music alike.
  9. Mar 23, 2015
    90
    Sometimes I Sit is not just tighter and more cohesive as it should be, but it’s a more confidently proficient work as well.
  10. Mar 23, 2015
    90
    It doesn't excite with sonic innovation and lyrical reinvention, it excites by just sounding really, really, really good, and coming from a voice that, in more ways than one, we've never quite heard before. And that in itself should make it one of the most thrilling albums you hear this year.
  11. Mar 20, 2015
    90
    For an album that deals in low stakes, Sometimes I Sit and Think finds Barnett hitting some incredible highs. Without sounding labored, she creates an impeccably honest world rife with humor, self-deprecation, and heartbreak.
  12. 90
    Sometimes is the work of probably the best lyricist writing today, and roundly deserves to be an album for the ages. If it’s not, that’s only because she’ll have found a way to top it next time around.
  13. Alternative Press
    Mar 16, 2015
    90
    The Australian is a poet of common life, her almost-talked, observational tracks turn the mundane profound. [Apr 2015, p.90]
  14. Mar 18, 2015
    89
    Her proper debut full-length follows suit, but honed with more power.
  15. Mar 25, 2015
    88
    Incisive, cutting and verbally dexterous, if a little overwhelming in a single sitting, Barnett's best new songs — "Pedestrian at Best," "Depreston" and "Debbie Downer" among them--inject memorable heft into timeless rock terrain formerly explored by Polly Jean Harvey, young and angry Elvis Costello, Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain.
  16. Mar 23, 2015
    86
    In the end, Barnett returns invariably to herself, a subject she finds hard enough to understand. If all this seems a little heady in discussion, it's to the credit of Barnett and her band--Dave Mudie, Dan Luscombe, and Bones Sloane--that it doesn't sound that way on record.
  17. Apr 2, 2015
    85
    Barnett's emotional candour on Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit shows us that sometimes she brushes off her mistakes and sometimes she dwells on them--just like the rest of us.
  18. Jul 28, 2015
    80
    The kind of details she hones in on are so easily overlooked, but often the most jarring. Sometimes... begs you stop to sit and think about them for a while.
  19. Q Magazine
    Apr 1, 2015
    80
    Sometimes I Sit And Think is littered with wry, smile-inducing couplets and wonderfully mundane detail. [May 2015, p.114]
  20. Mar 25, 2015
    80
    The musical backing is radiantly raw, splintering guitars, hard thwacked drums, riffs that saw up from the bottom, break the surface and resubmerge. Barnett’s band — Dan Luscombe on guitar, Bones Sloane on bass and Dave Mudie on drum--is quite good, in a raucous, Replacements-into-Thermals way.
  21. Mar 25, 2015
    80
    Although Sometimes I Sit and Think is musically straightforward, Barnett doesn’t need anything more to tell great stories.
  22. Mar 24, 2015
    80
    An existential crisis has never sounded like so much fun as it does in Barnett’s songs.
  23. 80
    It belongs in that hour when the sunlight dims, everyone leaves the park, the disposable barbecues are smoking abortively, the makeshift Lilt bottle bong's started to taste like shit and you don't know whether to go back to bed or fritter away your last tenner in town.
  24. 80
    What Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit reflects is that Courtney Barnett is a burgeoning talent whose future likely holds great improvement from this already-impressive starting point.
  25. Mar 23, 2015
    80
    Half of the time Barnett, sounds like she isn't even trying, shrugging out moments of brilliance with ease and nonchalance. Whether she sits and thinks or sits and does nothing, it would appear the results are still golden.
  26. Mar 23, 2015
    80
    We already know she’s good--but Sometimes… moves Barnett’s own story along with the easy percolation of one of her own songs, better produced and more varied than its predecessor.
  27. Mar 19, 2015
    80
    Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is fun, intelligent and sets up Barnett as a voice who can tread between both high and low culture and treat them the same.
  28. Mar 18, 2015
    80
    A stellar, necessary batch of smart rock songs.
  29. Uncut
    Mar 16, 2015
    80
    Courtney Barnett has managed to expand her lyrical preoccupations and musical interests outwards and upwards, while still retaining the magic of her past peak. [Apr 2015, p.68]
  30. 80
    She might not want a pedestal, but there aren’t many songwriters who’d make better use of it.
  31. 75
    Like Stephen Malkmus or Kurt Vonnegut, Barnett looks at the mundane with a skewed perspective, turning it over in her mind and transmogrifying it into something extraordinary.
  32. Mar 24, 2015
    70
    Any song on this album could function as a funny little short story well enough, but Barnett’s band, her guitar playing, her impeccable sense for melody and consistency give her stories life beyond their quirks, beyond her strength as a chronicler of the exhausting contemporary situation, expanding them into emotional worlds unto themselves.
  33. Mar 23, 2015
    70
    It all means that Sometimes I Sit… is a likeable, enjoyable album rather than a great one. Barnett has written half a masterpiece: let’s hope that, next time round, she can complete the job.
  34. Mar 20, 2015
    65
    While debut albums are rarely perfect, you can't help but feel this one could benefit from some stringent quality control.
  35. Mojo
    Mar 19, 2015
    60
    Barnett doesn't quite equal this deadpan reportage [as Avant Gardener on 2013's A Sea of Split Peas] but navigates similar terrain in charming style. [Apr 2015, p.88]
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 210 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 210
  1. Mar 24, 2015
    10
    This album is so chill. I love it. Courtney Barnett is a refreshing new artist. Music is alive and well. This has been a good year for music.This album is so chill. I love it. Courtney Barnett is a refreshing new artist. Music is alive and well. This has been a good year for music. Life is good. Full Review »
  2. Jun 14, 2015
    6
    Courtney is such a damn clever lyricist. There are neat little one-liners and quirky storytelling abundant throughout this album. It'sCourtney is such a damn clever lyricist. There are neat little one-liners and quirky storytelling abundant throughout this album. It's simultaneously aimlessly mundane in it's everyday observations, yet poised and weirdly profound in it's humdrum nature. I don't find the instrumentation quite as appealing, however. The garage/alt rock aesthetic is limited, and grows stale fast, some tracks turning me away in spite of their fantastic lyrical content sheerly because they bore me on a musical level. If others can look past this limiting factor (as they seem to have) you're in for a pleasant and diverting, yet provoking listen. Full Review »
  3. Apr 10, 2015
    10
    I have to admit, I was worried. The songs on Courtney Barnett's first release (The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas) were so delicate andI have to admit, I was worried. The songs on Courtney Barnett's first release (The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas) were so delicate and idiosyncratic that I was convinced she was headed for a sophomore slump (best case scenario) if not one-hit-wonder status. I'm very glad to be wrong. This song ramps up her 90s indie-rock roots (Cobain and Phair for starters); "Pedestrian at Best" is a scorcher, But then a song like "Depreston" reminds us of "Avant Gardener" and how we fell in love with Barnett in the first place. And then it breaks our hearts. Full Review »