Sharon Van Etten - Are We There
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2014 Ratings: #12 / 1028
Year End Rank: #8
User Score
Based on 666 ratings
2014 Ratings: #32
Liked by 37 people
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Are We There only very momentarily makes me realise that I am listening to something quite horrific, but it pretty much always makes me think I’m listening to something special.

Pretty Much Amazing

While Are We There can be taxing at points, by its end, you’ll be overcome by the feeling that you’ve shared in something profound.

NOW Magazine

Van Etten's poetic lyrics continue to focus on navigating the complexities of love, but they hit harder and heavier.


Van Etten’s fourth album marks the true arrival of a singer who’s been on her way for a long time, and thinking of her as anything less than a career artist is certainly a vast underestimation.

Consequence of Sound

Are We There functions best as the portrait of an artist coming into her own, while hopefully putting some of her demons to rest.

A.V. Club

Are We There offers an artist in full command of her voice and her instrument, a woman who knows exactly what she wants to offer listeners and who isn’t afraid to accompany the barest streaks of sunlight with thousands of clouds.

The 405

Are We There is one of those rare albums when you stop listening to the music as simply a combination of chords, melodies and carefully constructed instrumentation, but as essential, emotional communication from one person to another.

Loud and Quiet

Best of all ... is the manner in which she’s managed to create what feels like a mood piece; her elegant approach to emotionally candid lyricism is nimbly matched by the sound of the record throughout.

Wondering Sound

Each new album is a little bolder than the last, though the songs remain built around the consistent core of her electric guitar — dirty, slashing, skeletal and yet somehow tasteful — and her impressive voice, which covers the whole range between fragile and formidable.


The varying styles, sounds and even delivery suggest an artist still exploring the skin she lives in. It’s a truly fascinating listen.


Although it’s melodramatic, the overt sadness in Van Etten’s songs is seldom luxuriant.

No Ripcord

Her pain, her flaws, her confidence and her laughter make her one of the most relatable songwriters around today, as human as the rest of us. 

Drowned in Sound

Indeed it is a deep, dragging record; listening to it an experience akin to wading through particularly delicious molasses and it will take the hardy listener a good few attempts to find the key by which they can unlock most of its treasures.

The Line of Best Fit

It’s an album full of resonance, one likely to sink deep into your bones, and it should most certainly soundtrack any kind of romantic road trip. 


Are We There may be her most present-tense album to date, her most immediate and urgent—the peak of a steady upward trajectory.

God Is in the TV

Her smoky-blues voice is brilliant, the songs fantastic and hopefully this record will be a commercial success, because it so deserves to be. It’s a record to appreciate from start to finish and one I want to play again as soon as it’s finished.

Rolling Stone

... her magnificent fourth LP, which grows her trademark examinations of romantic decay to cathedral-like scale.


Indecision and despair may be her favorite subjects to write about, but musically, Van Etten has crafted an assured, resounding triumph.


Although there is the occasional overwrought lyric, and nothing ground-breaking here in terms of song structure or instrumentation, the emotion in the delivery makes up for it.


Are We There, unsurprisingly, is superb. Van Etten’s confessional rawness is still thankfully intact and the music is still remarkable, fortified as it is by the sheer absorptive power of one human communicating (seemingly) directly to another through an artistic medium.


While still immersed in songs of emotional ravagement and betrayal, the confidence of her performances and spectrum of sounds represented here suggest a complete graduation from troubled, uncertain roots into a place where she can deliver her songs with a powerful, borderless command.


Are We There cuts deep into the skin of its creator and finds Van Etten more exposed than ever.


Van Etten has gained in confidence and widened her scope, and the results are impressive.

Under The Radar

It's a fraught listen, though, that's for sure, and Van Etten's to be applauded on her boldness and vision, which nudges closer and closer to something truly remarkable and game-changing. If this isn't it, it's damn close. 

Northern Transmissions

Are We There is distinct from other albums inspired by heartbreak as it sheds insight into what it is like to stay in a relationship despite being aware of its harmful consequences ... The singer-songwriter’s honesty is commendable and helps to make this album an eye-opening listen.

Slant Magazine

The subtle surprises of vocal tone and melody throughout Are We There indicate her ability to risk sentimentality without succumbing to it.

American Songwriter

Are We There is definitely an album that will reveal itself to you with closer attention and multiple listens, as opposed to Tramp, which was a little catchier with its obsessions right from the get-go. 

The Guardian

As with her 2012 breakthrough album Tramp, these revelations feel intimate and shocking, and gain further power when Van Etten appears to fall back under her lover's spell. If only the songwriting – which so often conforms to accomplished but trad indie-rock norms – was as brave.


Incredibly moving, and melodically very beautiful. This is a wonderful album... Not gonna beat around the bush, this is my AOTY as of June 1st.


A rich, beautiful and rewarding album from Sharon Van Etten.

Lyrically, tracks like "Afraid of Nothing" and "Your Love is Killing Me" are some of the best this year and Sharon's voice just elevates these tracks even further.

Loving the overall themes on the album, themes that have been explored many times before by numerous musicians, but Sharon has her own unique spin on it.

Took me a while to get around to this album but I'm glad I eventually did. Any fans of ... read more


Proof that New Jersey has some redeeming qualities.

Never got much into SVE until I saw her on the Twin Peaks reboot and felt the need to listen more.

Been hitting this album hard lately... Our Love > Tarifa > I Love You But I'm Lost, great run of songs right there.

Happy to see we got a new album coming in January.


Favorite Tracks : Afraid of Nothing, Taking Chances, Your Love is Killing Me, Tarifa, I Love You But I'm Lost, Every Time the Sun Comes Up

Least Favorite Track : You Know Me Well


Solid album but too solid to enjoy.


我尝试接受这女子的音乐,但每次都是这些死气沉沉的旋律在我的耳边都转一圈就走了,我的耳蜗负荷了全部的能量消耗,到最后屁都没听进去,那几个Cate le bon,Angel olsen还有这位,算了吧,要不?

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Added on: February 25, 2014