• Record Label: Woodsist
  • Release Date: May 22, 2020
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
Buy On
  1. May 21, 2020
    90
    Strange to Explain sounds like the result of carefully considered choices in songwriting and production. Without losing the unfiltered emotion that makes them so compelling, Woods reach a new maturity with these songs. Fifteen years into a tirelessly curious evolution, the band sound more comfortable and surefooted here than ever before.
  2. May 26, 2020
    80
    If you were a fan of their mid-2000’s work, this album would be a very satisfying continuation of their sound while also mixing in enough new ideas for it to be a progressive album for the group.
  3. May 22, 2020
    80
    The excellent Strange to Explain, acts as a course correction. Where Love Is Love was filled with mantras and positive affirmations, Earl is now quick to admit that wishing away darkness doesn't guarantee its departure.
  4. Q Magazine
    May 21, 2020
    80
    A sublime tonic. [Jul 2020, p.113]
  5. Uncut
    May 21, 2020
    80
    Strange To Explain might be about dreaming and escape but it's also about their limitations, our need for hoke and the importance of other people. [Jun 2020, p.31]
  6. May 27, 2020
    75
    The record represents a roaring comeback for the band at a moment to which their sound is particularly well-suited.
  7. May 27, 2020
    75
    The record wanders amongst the warm thickets of Woods’ discography like an explorer: coming across new worlds and sensations without judgement or fear, but instead, equipped with an eye for the beautifully difficult—those things in life that test us, that make us pure.
  8. May 28, 2020
    73
    For the most part, the songs are compact, with only the closing instrumental, “Weekend Wind,” passing the six-minute mark. Jeremy Earl’s falsetto is at its most confident and versatile, gliding over tunes that explore the headspace newfound fatherhood has brought him.
  9. May 26, 2020
    72
    What starts out as a great Woods record unfortunately peters out towards the end. Regardless, Woods have assembled a worthy “comeback” album of sorts, one that highlights all of their best moments, and even some of their more forgettable ideas.
  10. May 27, 2020
    60
    Woods consciously goes for simplicity, not depth. The musicianship complements that goal appropriately on Strange to Explain, an album that hazily focuses on themes of dreams and sleep. The wah-wah guitars, Mellotron, and gentle, upbeat drums match the laconic subject matter to relaxing and pleasant, if forgettable, effect, sort of like a dream.
  11. May 21, 2020
    50
    This album feels like they need to take another walk in the trees to reconnect with their namesake.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. May 22, 2020
    10
    Fantastic album that lives up to the rest of the discography. They managed to merge what made Sun City great into their their longer, moreFantastic album that lives up to the rest of the discography. They managed to merge what made Sun City great into their their longer, more guitar focused songs and it works very well. It shocks me this band aren't bigger than they are. Full Review »