Albums to watch

Punisher

Phoebe Bridgers

Punisher

Second album from the LA indie rock singer-songwriter featuring contributions from Conor Oberst, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Blake Mills, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Nick Zinner

ADM rating[?]

8.4

Label
Dead Oceans
UK Release date
19/06/2020
US Release date
19/06/2020
  1. 10.0 |   Q

    A masterpiece in mood setting, the apocalyptic Punisher aches with sadness, but Bridgers doesn't wallow. Print edition only

  2. 10.0 |   Northern Transmission

    Punisher is a rare album. One that has been anxiously anticipated and also fulfills expectations on every level. There’s an understated charge that elevates every single moment in Bridger’s songs to the point where they are almost excruciatingly relatable
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  3. 10.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Almost every single moment on this album is exquisitely thrilling: the perfect medicine at a time of doubt and fear
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  4. 10.0 |   NME

    Bridgers’ voice is as clear as ever, and sonically, she expands from the foundations set down by her breakthrough 2018 debut album ‘Stranger In The Alps’
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  5. 10.0 |   Albumism

    The tracks on Punisher float through space. The solo piano and acoustic guitar of the debut record have been replaced by reverb-rich electric guitar and synthesizers
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  6. 10.0 |   Evening Standard

    Soul-baring songs of beauty and profound sadness
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  7. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    It’s an album about sleepless nights and sinking feelings in the pit of your stomach, wrapped in a musical package that’s both feather-light and lush enough to run your fingers through
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  8. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    A remarkable record that dazzles and beams with restless energy and twisted dream logic
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  9. 9.0 |   DIY

    A clear step forward
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  10. 9.0 |   music OMH

    Punisher is funny but serious, subtle yet obtuse, familiar and somehow simultaneously entirely unique. Even if in the final analysis it’s still not massively folky
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  11. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    At 25, Phoebe Bridgers is, by all metrics, an artist at the beginning of her career, though Punisher sounds more like the work of a time-tested veteran perfecting a style she's been honing for years
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  12. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Punisher is a graceful, elegant and confident record that firmly cements Phoebe Bridgers as one of the most important artists of this generation
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  13. 8.8 |   Paste Magazine

    Noisier and more upbeat than her debut
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  14. 8.7 |   Pitchfork

    On her marvelous second album, Phoebe Bridgers defines her songwriting: candid, multi-dimensional, slyly psychedelic, and full of heart. Her music has become a world unto itself
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  15. 8.1 |   Beats Per Minute

    The main difference between Stranger in the Alps and Punisher is simply maturation of her writing, which might well have come from working with so many talented songwriters in the last couple of years – but you would never mistake one of Bridgers’ songs for anyone else’s
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  16. 8.0 |   American Songwriter

    It’s exhaustive but redemptive, and she casts her songwriting into fire and brimstone, only to later yank it free in the knick of time
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  17. 8.0 |   The Independent

    On her second record, Bridgers has both sharpened and broadened her songwriting, with meditations on homesickness, love, depression and Ryan Adams
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  18. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    It amounts to controlled frustration allied with some of the best saw-toothed pop-folk tunes you’ll hear this year
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  19. 8.0 |   All Music

    It's an album of shockingly self-aware explorations of dark feelings and Bridgers is more willing than ever before to throw herself headlong into the darkness
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  20. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Bridgers gives you the moon on Punisher. Which is to say that she gives you everything that you are looking for in a Phoebe Bridgers album but still manages to make it feel miraculous and larger than life
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  21. 8.0 |   Clash

    ‘Punisher’ is an immense album tackling the ugly and absurd sides to life with beauty, humour and self-awareness. It’s a unique reporting style and a key statement
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  22. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The ambitious singer-songwriter evokes influences from Warren Zevon to Joan Didion
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  23. 8.0 |   Mojo

    It's artfully rumpled, but the ragged angry gasps that close the record confirm Bridgers' songwriting isn't the effortless dream it seems. Print edition only

  24. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The singer addresses a generation resistant to defining itself against a backdrop of perpetual catastrophe
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  25. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    With her second album, Punisher, Phoebe Bridgers expands her sonic palette and sharpens her lyrical knives
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  26. 8.0 |   Crack

    I Know the End, the record’s closer, is Bridgers at her best: from sparse, lullaby-like beginnings it becomes something rougher and wilder than anything she’s written before. It ends with a roar of bravery and a sharp intake of breath – a fitting last gasp for an album embracing an uncertain future
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  27. 8.0 |   Punk News

    An artist that really should have a much more massive spotlight
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  28. 8.0 |   Gigwise

    A triumph in understanding and toying with expectations
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  29. 8.0 |   Uncut

    A deservedly confident album. Print edition only

  30. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Punisher is a literary and musical triumph on the nature and meaning of storytelling
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  31. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Bridgers is ironically at her best on Punisher when she finds herself the most disoriented
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  32. 8.0 |   The Observer

    The LA songsmith’s second album doesn’t disappoint
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  33. 8.0 |   The FT

    The new record is sonically layered and plays between innocence and worldliness
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  34. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Over the past few years, it may have seemed like Bridgers was a team player, but on Punisher, she reannounces herself as a solo songwriter reaching her peak
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  35. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    This is an awkward record in places, but then, so is Bridgers; her sheer force of personality remains her greatest asset, and it’s more than enough to carry Punisher over the line
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  36. 7.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Her ability to turn a phrase, her gorgeous voice, and her sheer charm can justify a lot, but she needs more than those tricks in her bag to sustain what will hopefully be a long and fruitful career
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  37. 6.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Nails certain facets of Bridgers’ experience with its open and careful language and its singular, unending pursuit
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