• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: May 20, 2003
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. The butter-drenched vocal harmonies can be overwhelming in spots, but each of the principals involved brings enough of his songwriting savvy to the table to make The Thorns a guilty pleasure of pure California dreamin'.
  2. Blender
    80
    Some of the brightest three-part harmony singing since Crosby, Stills & Nash first gathered around a mic 30-plus years ago. [#17, p.144]
  3. Q Magazine
    80
    Something rather lovely with a jittery edge that halts proceedings well before they arrive at saccharine-sweet. [Aug 2003, p.115]
  4. If there's a follow-up (and there should be), perhaps Droge, Mullins, and Sweet will give more thought to what makes a Thorns song, besides the gleaming surfaces.
  5. Uncut
    70
    It's a long time since we heard three-part harmonies as good as this from anyone. [Jun 2003, p.104]
  6. Mojo
    70
    Occasionally gestures towards greatness, but remains earthbound for the most part. [Sep 2003, p.112]
  7. The most successful songs are those that either embrace their influences so fully that they become glorious reproductions or those that dispense with the idol worship altogether.
  8. Entertainment Weekly
    58
    When an entire CD turns into a game of spot the classic-rock reference, it's distracting, not to mention dull. [23 May 2003, p.72]
  9. 30
    This is toothless, banal music that is so sweet it's like eating an extra helping of cotton candy.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. rchavez
    Sep 18, 2003
    9
    turn this cd up LOUD--the harmonies and vocalizing really can't be appreciated without volume. the songs are tight and indicative of the turn this cd up LOUD--the harmonies and vocalizing really can't be appreciated without volume. the songs are tight and indicative of the songwriters that make up this band. this is a case of the collective being much bigger than the sum of its' parts. basic chords, tight rhythms, and majestic sounding arrangements make this a NECESSARY piece of your cd collection. it's the best part of every element of music--agressive in parts, hook-laden all the way through, and, as warren zevon likes to say, 'just plain ol quality music'. Full Review »
  2. BrianM
    Jun 12, 2003
    9
    You gotta love it. Matt Sweet hits his stride... on an America/CSN CD? Three-part harmonies may not be in style, but good Baldur in Aasgard, You gotta love it. Matt Sweet hits his stride... on an America/CSN CD? Three-part harmonies may not be in style, but good Baldur in Aasgard, they still sound good. If their songs find an edge, they'll move beyond America into CSN territory. Full Review »
  3. CharlesG
    Jun 1, 2003
    10
    Bought this and the new Jayhawks on the same day and cant wait for one to finish so can hear the other again. What a dilema!