The Staves - Good Woman
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2021 Ratings: #110 / 605
User Score
Based on 249 ratings
2021 Ratings: #347
Liked by 15 people
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The Irish Times

For all of the jaded frustration that drives Good Woman, hope returns to the surface and the sisters comfortably sit with who they’ve become.


The Staves’ latest studio collaboration ... picks up where 2015's Justin Vernon-helmed If I Was left off, as their three-part blood harmonies form the shimmering centre ofan elaborate, album-long soundscape.


The sisters have turned that pain and drama into this elegantly nuanced third album.


‘Good Woman’ is a wonderful blend of simple folk staples and modern indie-pop sounds that underpin three golden voices.


It’s The Staves finding their voices, stepping out from a shadow cast on them by an industry of expectations, together in their fearlessness – and it makes for their most seamless and affecting release to date.


For all the trials bestowed upon the trio in the past few years, they emerge positive and victorious, changing and creating music on their own terms.


Soulful but never morose, and thoughtful on the passing of time and the importance of cherishing these tiny moments, it’s a sophisticated return to form.

The Independent

In essence, Good Woman is a thirty-something reset, a look at three women processing the nature of femininity and a lot of personal change all at once.


Still in place are the ubiquitous beautiful harmonies, clever, sometimes sweet and sometimes biting lyrics and the deceptively powerful musical flourishes that make the band so special, but added to the mix is a dash of increased musical power.

The Forty-Five

For a band who have always possessed a subtle power and defiant streak, ‘Good Woman’ is a particular testament to resilience and the surprising strength found in the wake of heartbreak, motherhood and bone-deep grief.

The Guardian

Good Woman proves the Staves now slot effortlessly into that roster of intelligent, interesting artists, interrogating life, love and womanhood on their own distinctive terms.


Good Woman is not a depressing album. On the contrary, it’s a bracing listen, with the sisters’ trademark harmonies giving each song a degree of warmth that becomes comforting to listen to.

Spectrum Culture

Good Woman proves that The Staves are a band worthy of all the praise that has been given to them over the years. If you haven’t heard them yet, it’s time to sit up and take notice.

Under The Radar

The Staves have once again succeeded in enchanting listeners with a unique ethereal euphoria that remains unmatched. Good Woman may be a little different than the band’s previous works, but it reinforces what makes them so special in a marvelous way.


There’s no evidence of emotional overcrowding on their new project Good Woman. Rather, an assured mood stretches out across these 12 songs, which celebrate or contemplate every chapter of womanhood The Staves have faced or are facing.


Despite subtle shifts in arrangements, the songs of Good Woman share a certain world-weariness that's balanced with a refreshing self-assurance that -- like the sisters' elegant, blended vocal harmonies -- never loses its composure.


While Good Woman is not the most notable stop on the Staves' journey, it retains all of their most delectable elements — heart-hitting harmonies, lovely melodies, and moments of lyrical spark — that have come to define their work.


Working with John Congleton, the folk trio makes their most personal and energetic statement yet, sacrificing some of their clarion intimacy along the way.

The Arts Desk

A sonic quilt that offers moments of minimalism amid the big production, with patches of Kate Bush, Blondie and much besides.

I’ve kind of loved the Staves for a long time, back when they were way folkier. The singles leading up to this were different, but incredible, and the rest of the album didn’t disappoint. Every single song builds so well and just explodes towards the end. There’s not a bad song here, and this will definitely get played a lot throughout the year. First vinyl record I’ve bought from 2021 as well.
Sounding like the polyamorous love-child of Wye Oak, Grizzley Bear, and First Aid Kit, The Staves' lush folk-pop album takes me back to the early 2010s. With strong harmonies but rather flaccid songwriting, Good Woman sounds great but doesn't give much more than that. I wanted to fall head over heels for these melodic ladies but felt let down by anemic choruses that float in one ear and exit without leaving a mark. The album is so successful at capturing that warm glow folk/rock production that ... read more

"Good Woman" is the first thing I hear from the trio "The Staves", which I like their music a bit, however there is something about this album that I don't really want to get hooked on. I think it is an enjoyable country / folk album, with a pleasant vocal performance, only that in some songs I felt extensive, with a production that takes me out of the way on the album. But yeah, it leaves me intrigued to hear a little more from these girls.

Favorite tracks: Good ... read more
I think it's cool. Pretty much it. No other comments.
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Added on: October 20, 2020