Albums to watch

Rare Birds

Jonathan Wilson

Rare Birds

Third album from LA-based singer-songwriter who has also produced albums for Father John Misty and Conor Oberst

ADM rating[?]


Bella Union
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    It’s an extraordinarily immersive listen and a record which continues to provide new sounds and feelings on every play
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  2. 8.0 |   Record Collector

    Thankfully, while pouring out his soul into three or four-minute measures he never loses sight of his attractive Americana-goes-pop sensibilities, most perfectly realised on Over The Midnight and the title track
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  3. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    By turns it’s reminiscent of Talk Talk, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and the sort of LP your parents might have put on at a dinner party c.1988. Is he being sincere? Who cares when it sounds this good
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  4. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Rare Birds finds Wilson ditching many of his well-honed points of reference in favour of more contemporary inspirations
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  5. 8.0 |   American Songwriter

    A strikingly original, complex and inspired work, one that requires your attention and rewards repeated spins
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  6. 8.0 |   Mojo

    This feels like a record you could lose yourself in for months. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Soothing mix with psychedelic flair
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  8. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Rare Birds is sprawling, rich and, by and large, a triumph, its cosmic mindset and focus on detail breathing drama into songs that in lesser hands might sound stale
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  9. 7.7 |   Earbuddy

    Wilson turns in an album that backs up his skills from behind the scenes for other artists. Give this guy the spotlight too
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  10. 7.0 |   All Music

    Rare Birds is dizzying in ambition and (mostly) dazzling in execution. It offers hours of enjoyment to anyone who takes it on
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  11. 7.0 |   Uncut

    The songs are autobiographical, but not always straightforwardly so. Print edition only

  12. 7.0 |   Exclaim

    It's clear that Jonathan Wilson's naked ambition has reached a zenith, for better and for worse, with Rare Birds
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  13. 6.0 |   The Independent

    The lush opacity becomes claustrophobic over his eight-minute default track length: though frequently sweet and beautiful, one’s ultimately left like Heliogabalus, drowned in rose petals
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  14. 6.0 |   Q

    Too sprawling for its own good. Print edition only

  15. 6.0 |   The FT

    Despite some conventional lyrical imagery these multi-textured songs are given an easy flow even amid their twists and turns
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  16. 5.5 |   Under The Radar

    Rare Birds leaves its listener with a heavy heart, not because of the poor content it contains, but more the underwhelming feel that most of it gives off
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