Strand of Oaks - Heal
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2014 Ratings: #170 / 845
User Score
Based on 97 ratings
2014 Ratings: #118
June 23, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Dead Oceans / Label
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strandofoaks.net / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club

Previous Strand Of Oaks albums had settled into a folk niche that is all but abandoned on Heal, with big rock moments basked in without any irony, as if Showalter was the only inhabitant in an alternate dimension where Coldplay was cool. 

91
Consequence of Sound

HEAL is a rock record, unabashed in its influences and unbridled in its execution.

85
The 405

The title couldn't be more appropriate - it's an album about the healing power of music, a testament from someone who made it through, a shout to keep going.

80
American Songwriter

Showalter has jacked up the musical intensity to match his fearless, often harrowing lyrics, and the results are stellar.

79
Pitchfork

On HEAL, it’s not just the lyrics that are memoiristic, but the music as well. These songs draw on the pop songs of Showalter’s youth—not just Molina’s epic Americana, but also postpunk synth pop and heavy metal.

70
AllMusic

Musically, Showalter draws from the same pool of familiar sounds as fellow neo-classic rock/overshare pop artists like The War on Drugs, Phosphorescent, The Low Anthem, and My Morning Jacket ... but he's got a flair for electro-pop as well

70
PopMatters

HEAL is the kind of heartbreaking album that never feels heartbreaking, that has a resiliency that keeps it from brooding.

70
The Line of Best Fit

Strand of Oaks’ particular synthesis of modern sounds with retro feels is as entertaining as it is uplifting.

CheapandLethal
100
Amazing
71
“HEAL” is a prime archetype of a brand of heartland-rocking, proudly backwards-looking band that certain reviewers invariably eat up. Less generously, Strand of Oaks is pure dad rock. But dad rock endures for a reason, and there’s plenty to enjoy on Tim Showalter’s best-regarded album to date. “Goshen ’47” and “Shut In” are tasty blasts of pure classic rock that capture all the nostalgic memories of the era while avoiding its indulgence and ... read more
WildChameleon
75
This album is by no mean bad. Some great ideas and electronic addition to a more rooted folk/hearland rock. But I feel kinda confused track after track. The shift of the rythm, the pace and the arrangement is completely different when you are listening the track in the album's order.

The fact is that it's coming each time really abruptly and at the end I just have the feeling that it was good but irregular.
mr_kite
78
Judging by the looks and the name I was expecting another sad, bearded folk singer. Couldn't be more wrong - I've got an anthemic indie rock, evoking bands like My Morning Jacket at times.
It's got killer opener 'Goshen 97' with J. Mascis on guitar.
NR
Just curious about this site's math. The critic score is 81, based on 13 critic reviews.

Mean = 78.46
Median = 79
Mode = 70

It's a good album and all, I just don't understand how they came to a score of 81 "based on the 13 critic reviews".
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Track List

  1. Goshen '97
  2. Heal
  3. Same Emotions
  4. Shut In
  5. Woke Up To The Light
  6. JM
  7. Plymouth
  8. Mirage Year
  9. For Me
  10. Wait For Love
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Added on: June 6, 2014