Moses Sumney - græ
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2020 Ratings: #13 / 819
Year End Rank: #12
User Score
2020 Ratings: #23
Liked by 121 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
DIY
Equal parts elegant and antagonistic, it comes together to be every part the listening experience that he wanted it to be - complex, unconventional and ultimately, essential.
100
Entertainment Weekly

græ finds him trying to be, well, everything, and through a convergence of folk, jazz, classical, and art-rock, along with his probing lyricism, Sumney has managed to produce a sonic marvel

100
Dork
A polymath in the throes of love; Moses Sumney may still be searching for some of the answers, but his growth thus far is undeniable.
91
Beats Per Minute

Grӕ is so rich in content and so vast in musicality it would be impossible to unpack everything in a single review. It is complex yet universal – comforting yet unsettling. It lives in an incorporeal realm of its own, and somehow, Sumney has gained complete and utter command over it.

90
Gigwise
This intense experience of Sumney’s romanticism signs itself as his most mature, convincing, and dynamic piece of work to date. Compared to his lauded debut LP, here Sumney has produced a grittier, more complex listening experience underlined by improved production, well-rounded hooks, consuming vocal deliveries, and exploratory rhythmics.
90
Paste

Perhaps the only thing more exciting than græ will be seeing where Moses Sumney goes from here.

90
AllMusic

Scored by Sumney’s most vibrant array of instrumentals to date, the San Bernardino musician’s second set sees him push outward, swapping Aromanticism’s insular fragments for a set of more exposed, yet transient brushstrokes.

90
Louder Than War

Græ is, in summary, a quite astonishing achievement. You won’t hear anything else like it this year. You won’t hear a more extravagantly astonishing voice this century.

90
Albumism
Just as he offers the deepest introspection lyrically, so this album merits the same level of attention. It needs a listener’s focus to revel and delight in every one of it nuances. Put your headphones on, lock the door and slip into his world—you will be rewarded.
90
The Young Folks

He’s created, with grae, an album that demands you to look at it, and him, in totality. It is shapeless yet massive, a sprawling interrogation of who created the margins of normalcy, and whether one can reclaim their agency back from systems that have existed longer than they have.

86
Pitchfork
The sprawling second album from the crystal-voiced singer-songwriter is a riot of moods. Moses Sumney widens the scope of his work and takes full account of his self, warts and all.
85
The Line of Best Fit

On Sumney’s arresting and remarkable new double-album græ, he now challenges the idea of us as standardised, binary beings.

85
Spectrum Culture

Though Sumney’s fears of solitude still define much of the album, his embrace of the spaces between binaries opens up new possibilities for self-definition and actualization, and the album suggests that the artist might be rising out of the shadows he explores so tenderly.

85
Under The Radar
For all of the purposefully oblique subject matter, the album never once feels indirect or opaque, instead grounding the concepts of difference and performance in the familiar gestures that serve to make the most familiar behaviorisms suddenly alien and strangely devoid of the innate logic we—in our day to day haste—ascribe to them.
83
A.V. Club

Describing its music as ambitious is akin to labeling a stab wound a scrape. If Sumney’s fiery, spiritual 2018 EP Black in Deep Red, 2014 upended fans’ expectations, then Grae is a revelatory shock. Sumney’s music resonates most strongly when—like its lyrics—it destroys pre-established boundaries.

80
The Arts Desk
Despite a rarefied lack of tunes, Sumney’s swim in deeper currents is a gripping voyage of discovery.
80
FLOOD Magazine

The musical signals Moses Sumney’s twenty-track epic græ sends out are also vital. He brings shards of art rock, R&B, classical, electronic, jazz, and soul into one beautiful piece of musical kintsugi performed with the precision of a master potter.

80
The Independent
When pinned down, Sumney defines his music as “experimental folk-soul-jazz”, but it’s more complex than that. Under his masterful production, it sounds as though there are 20 musicians in the room with him.
80
NME

With ‘græ’, Sumney calls for a world that doesn’t expect easy answers and doesn’t judge or restrict individuals. This is a brave, vulnerable and ambitious work that asks us to recognise and celebrate our own grey areas. It’s an album full of possibility and startling scope, and which, ultimately, finds peace among the pain.

80
Clash
A powerful and probing collection of songs...
80
No Ripcord

Græ is a textural wonder, with soft electric guitars, Sumney’s beautiful voice, and glittering synths making up most of the album’s heavenly sounding songs.

80
Q Magazine
Radical future-soul voice's remarkable creative flowering.
80
Uncut

The complete 20-song incarnation of Moses Sumney's follow-up to 2017's Aromanticism comes awfully close to the masterwork he so clearly gunning to make.

70
Loud and Quiet

Split into two parts, the intent is for us to explore the “grey” in-between songs, spaces and words. It’s the kind of artistic abstraction that’s easily dismissed, but with Sumney’s energy sparking throughout this meandering collection of tracks, it’s hard not to be a little suckered in.

70
The Needle Drop

While none of the material is necessarily skip-worthy, græ feels a bit like a so-so album topped off with an excellent EP.

TreyLikesBands
90
Græ by Moses Sumney is a monumental piece of musical art. It is a piece of music - a piece of a life - no two ways about it. You will never get it out of your head, a phrase or a melody, as you walk through the uncrowded streets of your city, your street, your livelihood. The album as a whole is a masterpiece of cinematic mood.  He can do anything. He can create a scene. He can set the entire piece to an infectious hymn or a godlike prayer. He can compose a book of poems. He can ... read more
Rater
81
Moses Sumney had always been someone who sought to stand out from the crowd. Whether it was through his music, the way he had presented himself as a human being or mirrored in some of the disruptive events that may have preceded his long-awaited and merited breakthrough into the scene, the recipe was one to look out for, as it was implying success. He wasn’t an individual that was doing one’s utmost to conform to stereotypes or social norms; he was aiming to break the mould. He ... read more
Doublez
83
For some time now, a few years now, we've been observing this trend that some artists use to build an album by setting up parts that are spaced out and published over time like a TV Serie, I'm thinking for example of Denzel Curry, more recently Hayley Williams and of course Moses Sumney with Grae. Personally, although it's a very interesting approach that opens the door to a lot of possibilities for creation, narration and imagination, I generally prefer to have the whole album finished at ... read more
orangedroog65
100
Next to TPAB and Homogenic, this is one of the easiest hundreds I have ever given. While I’m grateful for the time I had to become acquainted with part 1 (at first I thought that Cut Me and Colouour were 9s instead of 10s, I was wrong), immediately upon popping part 2 on on vinyl, this album naturally comes full circle. In the vinyl Booklet, there is a page smack dab in the middle of part two which is only half the letters of an explanation of the meaning of the album, and there’s a ... read more
M3GAWATT
69
I will say right now, "Cut Me" is a fantastic song. Really captivating and a pleasure to all your senses. The problem is that the album falls off and is not as interesting as that song for the rest of the run time, which is a shame too cuz I went into this album expecting to like it a lot. I get why everyone is praising it but it just didn't stick the landing for me.
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Added on: November 14, 2019