Big Thief - Two Hands
Two Hands
78
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TommyCook
94
This is absolutely fantastic. I’ve never had an album make me feel buried in earth tones like this, but here I am picking mud clumps out of my hair. I’m feel lost somewhere in a forest for most of this album. The 4th Big Thief album is not one to be missed. The simple, quiet instrumentation is met by almost whispers from the lead and backing vocals. Everything blends together to make this album feel raw, like a ripened fruit straight off of the folk tree. The themes in the lyrics ... read more
Doofy
72
A more natural follow up to 'Capacity' than 'U.F.O.F.' which is to say that this album's predecessor really tore up the script...and this one has reverted more to the sometime indistinct indie fare they peddled before.

Too many barroom band 'Cowboy Junkies'-esque tepid tempos - not their strength.

It's a drop off, the only question for me is how much of one.
musicmagpie55
82
Big Thief successfully compliments the beautiful UFOF with the equally compelling Two Hands. The distinction between the two is pretty apparent. Where UFOF played with lush atmospheres and more existential thoughts, Two Hands feels significantly closer and grounded in personal physical experience. Lenker's vocal performance is quite impressive and the band's guitar work remains top-notch. With such a heavy output over the past five years, it's pretty amazing that the quality of songwriting has ... read more
JoaoSantos
64
U.F.O.F was a big disappointment for me. I felt like the band was able to create something much more memorable and monumental like they did with Capacity. To me, U.F.O.F was just them trying to upgrade their sound while sacrificing the things that made them great. Well, they were never that unique from the start but they had personality and they still have it but it doesn't shine as much in these. Two Hands is a step up from U.F.O.F but it still sounds very bland. There are more memorable ... read more
Plats
93
Yet another pleasant little album! In fact, I found "Two Hands" to be even better than "U.F.O.F.", as it felt more raw. Otherwise, the strengths I had with their previous record applies to this one. The songwriting is great, the production is gorgeous, Adrianne Lenker's voice is bone-chilling and the lyrical content is just straight-up depressing.

Fav Tracks: Not, Forgotten Eyes, Cut My Hair, Wolf, Two Hands, Rock and Sing, The Toy

Least Fav Track: Those ... read more
92
first impressions:

TWO HANDS >= U.F.O.F

Rock and Sing [9.2/10] - WHAT AN OPENER OMG
Forgotten Eyes [9.6/10] - god damn this track is so lovely. her vocals seem so "raw" and full of emotion. gud shit.
The Toy [8.8/10] - now thats just,,,,,depressing....
Two Hands [9.5/10] - one of the most memorable tracks from the whole LP, adrianne sounds magnificent and mesmerizing here
Those Girls  [8.4/10] - gets a lil repetitive/draggy but still a dope track
Shoulders [9.4/10] - if the ... read more
laz456
85
Crazy that I wasn't a fan of this band until this year and now they've dropped 2 albums I'd consider some of the best in recent memory.

This time, the group delivers a record that is equally sad as it is soothing. It's an album for solo listens late at night. Two Hands is raw and powerful.

I'm generally not listening to this genre and I can understand those who find this to be just another cliche indie rock album. But for me, this album resonates. Big Thief has a distinctive take on folk ... read more
Tsareena
83
Good follow up to UFOF but it felt less like a sister album to UFOF and more like a live session of leftover songs. The rawness works on the heavier tracks with melodies but the lighter ones felt dull in comparison. Still pretty good, lovely writing and vocals as expected.
Faves: Forgotten Eyes (the chorus hits like a truck for some reason), Two Hands, Not
Kanye
78
i’m admittedly not a huge fan of indie nor folk music, i find the genre uninteresting and mostly bland. However, Two Hands was actually very enjoyable. The soft rock instrumentation was blissful and the vocals perfectly complemented it with the beautifully laidback delivery. I really liked it, despite it getting a bit monotonous at points. Maybe I was too quick to generalize an entire genre :)
MasterCrackfox
82
Big Thief present yet another stunning release for the year in grand fashion, some how even surpassing their release from earlier in the year. U.F.O.F and Two Hands share multiple similarities but somehow this album simply presents songs that feel more essential.

Lenker once again stuns the listener with intimate vocalization and an impassioned performance that weaves between soft and delicate tones to fierce and sometimes even pained singing. This is most evident on Not, when Lenker even ... read more
Tielur
86
Big Thief never fully grabbed my attention until the release of some of the singles off of "U.F.O.F.", yet that album seemed to divide me some. Here on "Two Hands" the group is more organic and in touch with their sound. Songs such as the title track, and one of my songs of the year, "Not", are brilliantly arranged and puzzling.The problem I had with their previous work is that I felt it did nothing for the folk genre...the emotion was sealed tight but the musical ... read more
chutbarn
90
Feels like the earthly sister to U.F.O.F. Weather-worn and tender where it’s predecessor was ethereal and shrouded in mystique.
amelietur
88
What a year for Big Thief honestly. I've been in a funk for the passed few days, and their music is exactly what I needed to escape from it. This one is in my opinion even more riveting than their first of the same year, although both are tremendous achievements. Each song is downright gorgeous comprising lush melodies and softly-spoken meticulously-written lyrics. Big Thief, I thank you.

Absolute standout: Not
I have no words.
thomasuic
81
It's not the instrumentals, nor the shivering vocals, nor the rawness of it all, nor the poetry presented.
It's not the vulnerability, nor the intimacy in the songs, nor the honesty of the content.
It's not the sadness, nor the depressing feels, nor the darkness and coldness.
It's not the youth, nor the youthful innocence.
It's not love, nor the heartbreak.

It's Big Thief it's all of the above.
Emme_Strt
71
I don't understand the hype
JohnLouisHoward
94
it does not seem possible, but somehow they keep outdoing themselves. color me amazed and thankful.
KengojiUltamYT
85
I like this much more than U.F.O.F. That album got very boring at points but this one keeps my attention for the whole time. "Forgotten Eyes" is lots of fun even with the rough vocals. "Those Girls" sounds like a disco song in my head, the tempo sounds like one of the lowkey bee gees ballads. The second half is a bit weaker than the first half. "Replaced" is easily one of their worst songs even though it's not bad. "Cut My Hair" is a sweet ending. I've ... read more
dearsongs
83
A lot of new releases came out in the past few weeks, and I don't have the time or desire to score and review everything all at once. I spent some time with this and I'm still listening to several other newer releases that I hope to really get to. Glad I didn't stop with my initial ambivalent reaction to this album, because its actually really darn good

The A side is especially flawless for me. Nice little touches of doo wop, coupled the perfect vocal melodies. These songs definitively took ... read more
76fex
NR
Indie Rock albums like these are about as meritable as a mumble rap mixtape. There's no real innovation going on here except maybe the lead's vocals, which are grating to say the least. Not that I expect original composition or experimental aesthetics from this genre, but I don't understand the praise these bands get when their selling point is a scraggly voice and ambiguous lyrics that don't have real meaning until someone posts their own misguided interpretation on Genius.

To each their ... read more
Aoaystheory
88
How? How did they release another one of the decades best indie folk records in the same year?

I'm currently on the side of UFOF being the better of the two, but I don't think that matters much since both are great and together they form a complete 360 of Big Thief's sound. I feel UFOF is a more unified project and this one felt less "poppy" since its more sparse and they're are not as many hooks but I'm rating this off of first impressions (2 listens) and records like this I need ... read more
nullsethope
50
End me folk
amygoodall
60
good
WildChameleon
87
After the beautiful yet sad UFOF, Big Thief delivers Two Hands, also a very sad album. These two albums could have been one album, the two faces of a coin.

While UFOF is about dealing leaving the past at different stage of your life, Two Hands is about loneliness and the process before beginning your present. This review will include some elements of UFOF, so I suggest to check UFOF songwriting lyrics/process.

Adrianne Lenker was and is always very open about her feelings in her songwriting. ... read more
PatrickL0419
89
Big Thief return with what I consider to be one of the best albums I've heard all year.
braztom
60
Is Indie Rock the most bland and boring genre of music ever conceived?
marmaladejacket
90
UFOF for me was like "yeah sure." Nice, subtle, quiet, pensive. Very pretty record. Don't have much to say about it. Just a same note throughout, but a pretty note.

Two Hands, for me, is like "hell yeah." It has UFOF style songs but also some straight bangers like "Not" and "The Toy" (contextually speaking). I feel this flows better generally; also read that this is comprised of various songs Big Thief had been playing live previously now in studio form, ... read more
sanfordfriedman
85
something abt this album rly clicks w me but idk what. maybe it’s the lo-fi aesthetic, maybe it’s Adrienne’s voice, maybe it’s the songwriting, maybe the instrumentation. i can’t exactly pinpoint it but i think Big Thief has rly captured something special with this project. there’s something appealing about the constant hum in the background, and it’s rare to see such raw beauty in the modern indie scene.
fav tracks: Forgotten Eyes, Shoulders, Not, Cut ... read more
ChaseSab
99
Earthshaking album. That's the most appropriate descriptor for this masterpiece I can find. It reveals the love and destruction that we're capable of in the same breath. It sees the destruction of the planet, the horrors we inflict on each other, and our daily inaction as forms of murder. Adrianne screams at many point on the album, but no single moment is as affecting or telling of the entire collection of songs than wen she cries out "And the blood of the man who's killing our mother ... read more
88
What an album, even better than UFOF
kappachino
76
I like UFOF more. This one is just uninspiring imo
usedtobe
92
Filled with warm guitar tones and unabashedly distinct vocals from Adrienne Lenker, they've completely captured a turn of season record that sounds like a live recording, or intimate small room performance filled with undeniable talent and artistry. The tracks Wolf and Cut My Hair are special gems off these just with its warm, tangible atmosphere. A quite and devastating piece that aches and uplifts.
bitterblossom12
86
I rate this album as the stronger of Big Thief's pair of 2019 LPs. The band obviously sounds very cohesive, together, friendly and tight, reflective of the album's cover. Songs like Forgotten Eyes and Shoulders bring back some of the uptempo rock which I missed on UFOF. Shoulders and Not are pretty ridiculously good lyrically, and as always Adrienne Lenker's vocal performances are up there with the best in the indie space, along with Francis Quinlan of Hop Along. Not sure why this band is ... read more
Corey_Larkin
87
To say 2019 has been Big Thief's year would be both understated and cliche at this point. However it still stands that this band has tapped into something mystical and they're love and emotional vulnerability with one another is something that permeates their records in a way that provides the audience with a sense of communal humanity that is so uniquely rare in music. The band's decision to record this album almost completely live shows just how much their confidence as a band has grown, and ... read more
DukeEman
73
For me it's not a complete album, with the first and last few tracks as stand-outs, but it's Lenker's authentic emotional vocals that draws you in...
83
A vast improvement on UFOF. Big Thief really come out of their own on this record, delivering an incredibly well produced and emotionally compelling record. Aside from the great folk rock instrumentation is the wonderful lyrical and vocal performances from Lenker, letting her voice shine, inflections of anger and grief adding enthralling depth to the album. I also enjoy the far more rock oriented approach, electric guitars doing the bands sound wonders.

Best track: Not- Probably the best Big ... read more
Sappy
85
Top Favorite: Wolf
Other Favorites: Not, The Toy, Forgotten Eyes
Least Favorite: Those Girls
Gaspurga87
78
Destaco de este disco el precioso tema folk "Wolf" y los que hay de semejante estilo.
WittyMiki
70
Ok I am twisted on this album quite a bit: I can tell the songs quality is absolutely high, but it just can't catch my mind. I won't call this album bland, but I do feel a little flat.
NR
Undoubtedly one of the most talented bands i have witnessed develop throughout these past years. Their compatibility as both artists and friends makes clear why the music is so transient and spiritually-inclined. I had attended a concert years ago following the release of capacity and can say their presence on stage is incomparable to any other group. This new album speaks subtly and gently on politics, experiments with new production sounds while maintaining the musical roots of their previous ... read more
VividAids
76
quite improved over ufof

and yet, i wont listen to it through again.
67
"Two Hands" is a suitably subdued album, with a handful of nice songs. My patience did wear thin a bit throughout but there was just enough variation in style to stop me from pressing pause. Pretty enjoyable, best songs are
Rock and sing, forgotten eyes, two hands, wolf
93
Rough and true, Big Thief’s magnum opus is both grounded and ethereal, shifting through naturalistic visages like a kaleidoscopic telescope.
Lennyoconnor
80
Boy have they done well. Big thief comes through an emotional and subtle folk album about love, loss, and so much in between. The passion and subtlety in the leads voice is so great, and she even displays some vocal prowess near the end of the track list. I enjoyed U.F.O.F. and now am looking forward to their next release.
imgroot
90
groots: Not, Shoulders, Wolf, The Toy
imimesis
87
The 90s are back baby and in a BIG (Thief) way.

Each time I come back to their previous record U.F.O.F., I become more convinced that it’s the album of the year. The fact that Big Thief returns in the same year with a potentially better record is an event and achievement in and of itself.

Three tracks in, this is clearly a more stripped down affair, almost reminiscent of the best folk rock efforts of the MTV Unplugged era in the 1990s.
81
Rec Tracks:
Not (5 out of 5)
Two Hands; Forgotten Eyes

But seriously, Not is such a beautiful track.
40
it sounds too much to be honest
80
Solid, entertaining
linkz02
70
When in comparison to U.F.O.F, it's an improvement upon their composition, songwriting, and sound.

Best Tracks - FORGOTTEN EYES, THE TOY, TWO HANDS, THOSE GIRLS, SHOULDERS, NOT, REPLACED

Worst Tracks - WOLF
willcurtis101
80
This album made me want to go on a car drive in the country. Such a nice, beautiful album. These songs are made for the outdoors. They have a very earthy, unfiltered yet simple and sweet tone I found myself getting lost in. Very touching.
showing 1 - 50 of 57 user reviews

RATING DISTRIBUTION
90-100
 
50

80-89
 
110

70-79
 
61

60-69
 
33

50-59
 
12

40-49
 
3

30-39
 
1

20-29
 
3

10-19
 

0-9
 
1

81%of users like this album
1%of users don't like this album
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