Bottle It In

Kurt Vile - Bottle It In
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2018 Ratings: #342 / 678
Year End Rank: #30
User Score
Based on 134 ratings
2018 Ratings: #344
October 12, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Matador / Label
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Your Review


Under The Radar
There's a comfort to Vile's music, like the glow of nostalgia and warm but distant memories, muttering a ceaseless flow of sideways witticisms, something aimless yet completely reassured. He is one of the most dependable artists working in indie rock, rehashing old sounds while always pushing the envelope, constantly expanding his artistic approach while never losing his footing.
The Line of Best Fit

Depending on your taste, and depending on how you like your Vile, this could be his best record in ages, or you could be a tad put off by the spaced-out, long-winded nature of it.

As it stands it’s not Vile’s most accessible album, but it rewards patience.

The mellow master’s seventh studio album is an expansive odyssey that proves he’s an idiosyncratic one-off.

The Skinny

Bottle It In calmly addresses rough themes with maturity and elegance. On his seventh solo album, Kurt Vile discards the negativity, generating an affirmative landscape of awareness.

Rolling Stone

Vile’s latest LP has his tastiest playing and his deepest writing. It follows his fantastic 2017 collaboration with singer-songwriter wiz Courtney Barnett, Lotta Sea Lice, and suggests he’s in the midst of a real artistic roll.

The Guardian
Lesser musicians would make these songs as boring as a drugs story you aren’t involved in, but Vile ultimately has such an instinctive facility for melodic logic that behind the shaggy locks and purple haze, there’s a clear-headed, big-hearted songwriter at work.

However eccentric and laidback his expression, it’s as masterfully distinctive as that of any auteur. Vile’s a soulful and perceptive rover, not some head-scratching rambler. Bottle It In proves that there’s a literal world of difference between them.

God Is in the TV

At about 80 minutes long, it’s a sprawling album, but in the main it doesn’t drag.

The Independent

Kurt is ever the buzzed, backseat philosopher, pondering the infinite and trying to establish his footing within it.

The Observer

Across 80 sprawling minutes, Vile does lose his focus occasionally ... Still, this is an album to savour.

Spectrum Culture

This is Vile in Mark Kozelek-circa-Common as Light and Love mode, where an indie stalwart with a distinct style embodies and extends his craft to such an extreme that it scans as either self-parody or a logical endpoint to a slow and steady development.

Consequence of Sound

These woozy explorations don’t always result in anything more than a pleasant 10 minutes or so, but taken together, they combine to form one more data point for the argument that Kurt Vile’s artistic trajectory remains, as always, on an upward slant.


When all is said and done, Bottle It In feels like the musical equivalent of an excellent 90-minute movie padded with a couple unnecessary scenes to get past the two-hour mark.


While Bottle It In—Vile’s longest, most introspective record—lacks the quiet beauty of 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo, the warmth of 2013’s Wakin on a Pretty Daze, or the immediacy of 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin’ down…, its monolithic Kurtness is its own defining quality.

Drowned in Sound

Bottle It In ultimately succeeds in its intentions and further escalates Vile’s reputation as part of a rare breed of authentic songwriters. And that’s alright for now.

Tiny Mix Tapes
Vile’s never sounded more like he’s had nothing to say, which is why it’s never felt more important that we listen.

Bottle It In rewards patient listeners with some dazzling highlights that reveal themselves with each listen.


While sometimes disjointed or lingering, Bottle It In finds Vile's production at its most colorful and curious. Making the most of the various environments where it was recorded, the album feels like a travel diary picked up sporadically along the way.


The sonic nature of this record is melodically soothing and laidback, with no shortage of guitar-centric genius. This, like most of his work, is humble songwriting, and for Vile, humility has always travelled far and wide.


Jeez, it’s long, and there are some missteps, some ill-advised detours, along his peregrinations, but all in all, it’s worth coming along for the ride.

Northern Transmissions
For ardent fans of Kurt Vile’s signature softening of Indie Rock, his latest album delivers a delightful feast for the ears – but for listeners that lean towards explorative music, it is worth skipping the first two tracks and sticking it out until the end.
FLOOD Magazine

There is always more than initially meets the eye with a Kurt Vile record, and this one is no exception; Vile’s funny, evocative songwriting lends the album an uncommon warmth and humanity.

The 405

Bottle It In does enough to keep himself and his fans happy, but it leaves waiting those of us that wish a bit more from him.

Inventive and innovative while still overflowing with the wholesome charm of his sound, it’s rooted in themes of anxiety, existential fear and vulnerability.
Slant Magazine

This affinity for aimless trains of thought applies to the whole of Bottle It In, an album where Vile is quick to conjure up a bevy of interesting images or ideas but struggles to find a compelling way to contain them.

The Needle Drop

Though an improvement on his previous solo effort, Kurt Vile's new album could have used some trimming.

Kurt Vile is an artist that operates clearly within one lane, and a violent swerve into nu-rave or dubstep wouldn’t exactly have worked very well.
Having said that, there needs to be something new for an album to be interesting, and unfortunately, it’s this something that ‘Bottle It In’ is lacking. It’s still a good enough record, just don’t get too excited when you first hit play.
I swear if this website were out during the Kid A release it would've never gotten the praise it has today. So many people on here can't wait to rate things, so they immediately come to a conclusion on an album after 1 listen. You're telling me that Kurt Vile, who has pretty much gotten solid 80's throughout his career, deserves a rating after a leaked album listen? C'mon people. This is exactly what happened to the new AM and Jack White albums this year. A ton of people listened to it once, ... read more
Definition of chill. Even though I haven't given it a super high score it's the type of album I'd like to have on vinyl.
Stop over-analyzing it. What were you looking for? Father John Misty, Radiohead? This is a Kurt Vile record, and a damn good one.
Idk, man. I like what he's offering, but it also feels too hollow and meaningless at times to really leave an impression on you. The songwriting chops are undeniably there and the overall aesthetic of the album is something I can definitely get behind, but I very highly doubt that this is an album I'll still be actively thinking about in six months time. My opinion may change, though.
Kurt Vile returns with another album shooting for the same kinda sound he's been playing with for the past two albums. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I just think his past two albums are far stronger from a songwriting perspective.

If you dig Kurt's style there's lots to like with this release. It's a very chill listen and I'll probably return to it quite a lot for the rest of the year.

It outstays its welcome toward the end though, I found Skinny Mini quite tedious and doesn't evolve ... read more
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Track List

  1. Loading Zones
  2. Hysteria
  3. Yeah Bones
  4. Bassackwards
  5. One Trick Ponies
  6. Rollin with the Flow
  7. Check Baby
  8. Bottle It In
  9. Mutinies
  10. Come Again
  11. Cold Was the Wind
  12. Skinny Mini
  13. (Bottle Back)
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Added on: August 18, 2018