Ys Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 352 Ratings

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  • Summary: Steve Albini, Jim O'Rourke and Van Dyke Parks lend a hand on this five-song full-length from the folk singer-songwriter.

Top Track

Only Skin
And there was a booming above you that night, black airplanes flew over the sea. And they were lowing and shifting like beached whales, shelled... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. It may well be the most off-putting album released this year. After playing it, there seems every chance it is the also the most astonishing.
  2. 100
    For the 56 minutes that "Ys" lasts, all the doubts evaporate. Every elaboration has a purpose, every labyrinthine melodic detour feels necessary rather than contrived. Tempting as it is to fixate on the gilded reputations of her associates, this is unequivocally Newsom’s album.
  3. While Ys is ridiculously overwritten, over-performed and self-contained, her fables always sublimate into the hot fog of real emotions just before they calcify.
  4. Mojo
    90
    It is Newsom's voice that provides the stunning balm to bind this strange beauty together. [Dec 2006, p.118]
  5. It’s to her great credit that Newsom (literally) plucks artistic triumph from the jaws of cloying whimsy.
  6. She has issued a treasure. She has floored us again.
  7. It's like being stuck in the seat next to a chatty, batshit backwoods pixie for an 18-hour plane ride.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 199
  1. Dec 11, 2010
    10
    Magical. Flawless. One of the best albums I've ever heard, it's like a very well told tale, and Joanna is very creative, and not boring atMagical. Flawless. One of the best albums I've ever heard, it's like a very well told tale, and Joanna is very creative, and not boring at all. Even though no one mentions it, "Cosmia" is beautiful, and, for me, the best track. "Sawdust & Diamonds" is also just as pretty. No single back track in this album. Expand
  2. ChristinaT
    Dec 9, 2006
    10
    I'd just like to point out that most of the reviews on here are mostly either a 9-10 or a 2-0. Joanna is an artist you either get, or I'd just like to point out that most of the reviews on here are mostly either a 9-10 or a 2-0. Joanna is an artist you either get, or you don't. You can't just someone's talent based on how her voice sounds, that's just how she sings. And if you even study her lyrics for one minute, you can see she is an accomplished writer and has a very firm grasp of the english language and is a fantastic lyricist. Her harp playing? I'm a harpist and I'm here to tell you she's amazing. The fact that she tried something new is noted by everyone, in the good and bad reviews, so I think that everyone should look at Ys based on the way every other album is looked at. Are the lyrics good and is the music good? Yes and yes. If you don't like her voice, that's your taste, and is no reason to put the other aspects down. If you honestly can't stomach it, go listen to some regular old regular-voiced singer with a regular old session band. Expand
  3. aldoa
    Nov 14, 2006
    10
    rolling stone is the dumbest publication on earth.
  4. DelP.
    Aug 16, 2007
    10
    This is an utterly brilliant album from start to finish. The melodies on songs like "Emily" and "Only Skin" still send shivvers down my This is an utterly brilliant album from start to finish. The melodies on songs like "Emily" and "Only Skin" still send shivvers down my spine. Took me some time to get into this but once I did it was all I could listen to for a couple of months. I understand that this is an album that some people may not "get" and that Joanna's voice may be irritating to some but you cannot knock the songs. The melodies are of the sort that you find yourself singing in your head at night whilst you try to sleep and the lyrical content is not far off brilliant. If you buy this album, please give it a chance!!!! Expand
  5. madsl
    Dec 4, 2006
    9
    this is a serious contender for Album of the Year! Newsom reveals herself as a singular talent on this marvellous recording. A minor quibble this is a serious contender for Album of the Year! Newsom reveals herself as a singular talent on this marvellous recording. A minor quibble is the fact that occasionally Van Dyke Parks´ arrangements seem removed from the vision of Joanna! Expand
  6. umbertop
    Nov 13, 2006
    7
    beautiful but not so beautiful
  7. AaronS
    Nov 15, 2006
    0
    I don't know whay everyone else is hearing, but this is the single worst release in 2006. Newsom's vocals are beyond bad and the I don't know whay everyone else is hearing, but this is the single worst release in 2006. Newsom's vocals are beyond bad and the album itself is very overproduced. Awful. Expand

See all 199 User Reviews