Ys Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 368 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 201
  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. PmD
    Dec 7, 2006
    10
    This album isn't for everyone. It's not pop- it's not easy to classify at all! It's the best music I've heard in This album isn't for everyone. It's not pop- it's not easy to classify at all! It's the best music I've heard in years- the composition, lyricism, passion, and texture leave me in a state of wonder. I wish I could be more articulate about what makes this so awe-inspiring. Wow, wow, wow. 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. JaredB.
    Nov 29, 2006
    9
    i've never seen so many people angry because someone *likes* something before. this record isn't for everyone, but a surprising i've never seen so many people angry because someone *likes* something before. this record isn't for everyone, but a surprising number of people find a lot to love about this difficult, but ultimately rewarding album. even if you never warm to it, please try not to be as closed-minded as the poster below me. sheesh. Expand
  6. PaulL
    Feb 10, 2007
    6
    If you're expecting the catchiness and charm of the Milk-Eyed Mender, you'll be disappointed. Where her last album was a nice If you're expecting the catchiness and charm of the Milk-Eyed Mender, you'll be disappointed. Where her last album was a nice combination of hooks and quirks, this one's all quirks. It's certainly not annoying, but it isn't a joy to listen to. Expand
  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 201 User Reviews