Albums to watch

Divers

Joanna Newsom

Divers

Fourth album of new folk from the Californian multi-instrumentalist features members of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

ADM rating[?]

8.6

Label
Drag City
UK Release date
23/10/2015
US Release date
23/10/2015
  1. 10.0 |   The FT

    In her hands physics becomes a kind of magical realism, a Newsomian universe in which the diver of the title track takes “one breath above for every hour below the sea
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  2. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Dense lyricism is keenly matched with rich, luxuriant instrumentation and Divers perhaps reaches a zenith in Newsom’s arrangement skills
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  3. 10.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    These are startlingly beautiful, fiercely inventive songs, couched in the metaphysical, touching on the universal, born from a deeply personal place
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  4. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    Confirming Newsom’s position as an extraordinary artist, with what is a most considered and exceptional record
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  5. 10.0 |   Evening Standard

    Another labyrinthine listen that’s rich with musical textures
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  6. 9.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    With her latest masterpiece, Joanna Newsom mostly jettisons the sprawling and the slow-building in favour of punchier, more immediate compositions
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  7. 9.1 |   Paste Magazine

    If her music hasn’t clicked for you yet, listen to this record until it does
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  8. 9.0 |   Clash

    It's a truly incredible album, a special album and a rare album
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  9. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    If you’re into music that’s profound and resonant with multiple meanings, and willing to work to get beneath the surface, this album is for you
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  10. 9.0 |   The 405

    This is an album that is constantly unfolding over its themes, so the only option remaining is that of acceptance of her ingenuity
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  11. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    Like all Newsom’s albums, it is full of beautiful music and lyrics that initially appear enigmatic but are in fact simply dense
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  12. 9.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    These flights of technological fancy and heightened lyrical focus are more than matched by the compositional prowess on display
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  13. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Her most comfortable, charming album. Print edition only

  14. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    The sound of an artist operating at the peak of her powers, employing all her greatest strengths at once to create an assured, moving work
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  15. 9.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    For all its bewitching scholarly accomplishment, this is a wonderfully natural-feeling album, whose heart has even more to offer than its thrillingly skilful head
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  16. 9.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Divers steps outside of itself. Its lyrics are obscure, and its melodies are more variable and complicated than those of the “overstuffed gorge” some saw in 2010’s Have One On Me
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  17. 9.0 |   music OMH

    Joanna Newsom’s most consistently outstanding record to date
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  18. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    Divers demonstrates that Newsom's music lies somewhere outside of contemporary genre conventions
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  19. 8.5 |   Pitchfork

    Most artists on their fourth album settle into atrophy, or at least comfort, Newsom delivers such complex, nuanced music, filled with arcane constructions, that she is only her own yardstick
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  20. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    The sheer array of sounds on this record is amazing—not just in the variety of instruments employed, but also in the ways they are utilized
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  21. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    What makes her continually achieve greatness is the trust she puts back in her listeners, that they will appreciate her words and the labor she pours into her compositions, that they will give her music the patience it deserves
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  22. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    It’s telling that Divers doesn’t stretch Newsom’s music any further than the last two albums have. It’s just more organized, is all! Praise be!
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  23. 8.0 |   State

    For an album that probes the peaks and valleys of the spirit, its’ quality remains consistently sky-high
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  24. 8.0 |   The Independent

    A dazzling imagination takes wing on a richly diverse comeback
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  25. 8.0 |   Spin

    By streamlining her sound, she is able to hit with some of the most direct and powerful songs of her career
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  26. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Throughout, Newsom's vocals—seemingly limitless, but always under control—glide through swirls of piano, harp, and strings that burst forth and fade at random
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  27. 8.0 |   DIY

    She takes a bold, explorative leap into the centre of her own mind
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  28. 8.0 |   The Observer

    The result is a lean, compact summary of the joys of Newsom, still an acquired taste to some, but to others, one of the undisputed greats working in our lifetime
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  29. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Her most focused and refined album yet
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  30. 8.0 |   All Music

    Dazzling, profound and affecting, Divers' explorations of time only grow richer the more time listeners spend with them
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  31. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Form and content are wrestling one another, ostentatiously
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  32. 8.0 |   NME

    One constant is Newsom’s inclination towards the warped country of ‘Hejira’-era Joni Mitchell and the wild Greenwich Village folk of Karen Dalton
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  33. 8.0 |   Q

    She switches mood and pace deftly. Print edition only

  34. 8.0 |   Mojo

    An album of erudite pop and deepening moods. Print edition only

  35. 8.0 |   NOW

    Newsom's working with a darker palette of colours here, and in all respects - her ideas, musicianship and vocals - is evidently a master
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  36. 7.0 |   The Music

    She nails the holistic sense of an album more than ever before
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  37. 6.8 |   Earbuddy

    If only Newsom would just pull back on her ambitions and remember that she’s supposed to be making this music for other people to enjoy
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