Albums to watch

The Center Won't Hold


The Center Won't Hold

Ninth album from the Olympia, Washington all-girl punk trio produced by St. Vincent

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  1. 10.0 |   A.V. Club

    Producer Annie Clark, a.k.a St. Vincent, brings a wholly new sound to the record, a sleek, sharp industrial/synth-pop hybrid that sounds like bubblegum on brushed steel and embraces screeching feedback and bubbly synthesizers alike
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  2. 10.0 |   The FT

    The American rock band’s album has a new sense of scale with huge hooks and feminist fury
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  3. 10.0 |   Punk News

    The Center Won’t Hold is a revolution for Sleater-Kinney, an amazing act of artistic bravery, Sleater-Kinney’s best album to date, and my new favorite album of 2019. This is a cultural moment that should not be missed, and I highly recommend you listen to it immediately
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  4. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    A confident, dynamic, and, frankly, dynamite soundtrack to falling apart
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  5. 9.0 |   music OMH

    The Centre Won’t Hold sees them as vital, compelling and as searingly relevant as ever
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  6. 9.0 |   DIY

    By far their most stylised, radio-friendly work to date
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  7. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Stylistically, this record is a strikingly bold step for the band and it is impossible not to feel Clark’s influence
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  8. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Life passes by quickly and the world is crumbling, but Sleater-Kinney are doing what they do best – saying something important while still having a blast
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  9. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Their inimitable fury and drive is intact. Print edition only

  10. 8.0 |   Q

    Roars with confidence and vigour. Print edition only

  11. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Sounds like a band urgently resetting their course, putting their fury and fear on a war footing. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Working with St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, the beloved indie-rock band weaponizes nostalgia and fights social media malaise
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  13. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Drummer Janet Weiss has left the band since recording this St Vincent-produced album – but their songwriting suggests they can weather anything
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  14. 8.0 |   The Independent

    If this is Sleater-Kinney falling apart, then what a beautiful collapse it is
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  15. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Sleater-Kinney haven’t quite gone full pop here, but there is certainly a softer, more adventurous and less guitar-led sound on display
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  16. 8.0 |   Northern Transmission

    An album made of sturdy, resilient stuff; it’s built to weather the storm no matter how strong
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  17. 8.0 |   NME

    Craving connections in a world that can seem desperately lonely, the band's ninth record veers into chaos, reflecting the time in which it was made
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  18. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    To some fans, The Center Won't Hold might always be remembered as the album that convinced Sleater-Kinney's legendary drummer to leave. But really, it should be celebrated as a brave left turn
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  19. 8.0 |   The Music

    Sleater-Kinney don’t have anything to prove
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  20. 8.0 |   Clash

    Sleater-Kinney’s ninth album does have a nightmare doomsday-like feel to it, but the inarguable quality is there for all to hear - excellent vocals, instrumentation and production make for a catchy record
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  21. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    These are anthems for disintegrating selves, and feminist identities in flux
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  22. 8.0 |   XS Noize

    There might be less signature Punk and the sonics might be more downbeat but the message is luminously conveyed
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  23. 8.0 |   NOW

    Despite the bogus narrative around it, the band are fully formed on the album: vulnerable, yearning and furious
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  24. 7.9 |   Pitchfork

    St. Vincent’s sleek, streamlined production stands out from the rest of the band’s catalog, but all of the elements you first fell in love with are still here
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  25. 7.9 |   Paste Magazine

    Full of transformation and deserved indignation, The Center Won’t Hold is the first Sleater-Kinney album since the rest of the world started to catch up
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  26. 7.5 |   The 405

    Sleater-Kinney experiment with their sound but still possess a united prowess on The Center Won't Hold
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  27. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    The Center Won't Hold works best when it is palpably teeming with lust, sadness, or frustration
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  28. 7.0 |   All Music

    Demonstrates what a fearless band Sleater-Kinney is
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  29. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Amid sonic changes and a sudden departure, Sleater-Kinney tackle challenging issues and find a way forward on The Center Won't Hold
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  30. 7.0 |   Crack

    The prophetically-titled The Center Won’t Hold is a sure stride rather than a misstep, and now – as after The Woods, the 2005 rock exploration that preceded their long hiatus – we’re swept up in their forward momentum, only to be left hanging
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  31. 6.0 |   The Observer

    The strangest thing about the album is the nagging sense of try-hard: Sleater-Kinney have always felt effortless.
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  32. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    Musically, they’re more bright and hummable than ever before. That may repel the long-term faithful, but newcomers could find that feminist punk rock is suddenly more accessible
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  33. 6.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The center won’t hold. Sometimes all we can do is link hands across the darkness to sing and sway gently under the blood red sun
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  34. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The album’s pop and synth elements mark a radical departure for the seminal rock band
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  35. 5.0 |   No Ripcord

    What's absent about The Center Won't Hold is that it presents a powerful and necessary premise, only to find out that there's not much of a message behind it. Sleater Kinney sure have a lot to say, but overall, they don't end up saying much
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  36. 4.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Sleater-Kinney has never been a static band, modulating and complicating their punk sound ever since they focused their riot-grrrl debut into their more melodic second album, but this sounds nothing like Sleater-Kinney
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