AOTY 2021
Julien Baker - Little Oblivions
Critic Score
Based on 35 reviews
2021 Ratings: #97 / 675
Year End Rank: #22
User Score
Based on 942 ratings
2021 Ratings: #345
Liked by 61 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club

With Little Oblivions, the singer-songwriter has made her most cohesive record yet. The resuscitation of a heavier sound works in Baker’s favor, while she still adds hints of the fragile gentleness that has captivated fans since her Sprained Ankle days.

100
Albumism

Little Oblivions is a huge leap forward for Baker.

100
The Young Folks

A towering achievement, Little Oblivions is devastatingly beautiful, a painful at times but still engrossing listen that doesn’t let the singer or her listeners off easily, instead pulling us along with her in her wake.

92
Paste

Even with booming guitars, pounding drums and soaring instrumentals, Little Oblivions feels just as intimate as Baker’s more, well, intimate albums.

91
Consequence of Sound

Little Oblivions does not uncover any secrets toward forgiveness or redemption, but despite having endless questions, Baker never sounds hopeless.

90
Clash

The Tennessee songwriter has built a catalogue of songs that explore the range of coloured bruises, grey zones, and emotional fractures sustained across a lifetime, observed up close in painful detail. On her third album, the view has swung from microcosm to breathtaking panorama.

90
DIY

A soundtrack for those searching for hope in difficult times, particularly when the wider world has removed easy distraction from the pain.

90
Exclaim!

Little Oblivions is generous and giving; it's not only a public display of personal catharsis, but also an act of collective commiseration and an invitation to heal.

90
Under The Radar

Ultimately, her recent period of artistic silence and personal trials results in Julien Baker’s most masterful work to date. The expanded sonic palette reimagines the possibilities of her music and makes for Baker’s most dynamic work yet.

85
Spectrum Culture

Blossoming her one-woman show into an overwhelming soundscape of loops and effects, Baker nonetheless remains one of the most lyrically direct and bracing acts in modern music.

84
GIGsoup

If your heart was won by Julien Baker following the release of Sprained Ankle in 2015, as long as you're open to changes in instrumentation, you will not be disappointed by Little Oblivions.

82
Sputnikmusic

On Little Oblivions, she's taken the spaces in her music that used to be empty and filled them with churning, beautiful noise.

80
Uncut

Everything on Little Oblivions will make you feel, and it’s the catharsis we all need.

80
The Skinny

Julien Baker's third album, Little Oblivions, is a record of often intense, sometimes perilously dark, self-reflection.

80
Slant Magazine

With Little Oblivions, Baker upgrades her erstwhile folk style to accommodate a harder rock approach, though lyrically she’s as vulnerable as ever.

80
Northern Transmissions

Little Oblivions shows she made the right call by stepping away to focus on herself and coming back stronger and more surefooted than before.

80
Rolling Stone

A fully realized artistic statement without a skippable track, even if a few songs trail off a bit toward the end — almost as if Baker knows the rush of cathartic energy has left everyone involved a little exhausted, including herself.

80
Gigwise

This album is an absolute triumph of storytelling and self-reflection which is made for small rooms to flood with tears upon hearing it.

80
Dork

As the long-awaited follow up to ‘Turn Out the Lights’, this album feels desperate to not retread old ground.

80
NME

Unlike her earlier work, the Tennessee musician's third album features a full band, taking her anguished stories to greater heights.

80
Evening Standard

On Little Oblivions, forensic self-examination is still a major element ... but the music is a whole new experience.

80
The Sydney Morning Herald

Filled with bolder musical choices, Little Oblivions reveals a mature, full-fledged sound that takes Baker from intimate club gig to – dare we say it? – the stadium.

80
musicOMH

This is sensitive, heartfelt and resolute rock music that shuffles its feet while looking at the stars.

80
The Observer
The writing here is bleak, self-excoriating and largely excellent.
80
Record Collector

Little Oblivions ... presents a richer, fuller manifestation of her talents.

76
Pitchfork

On her third album, Julien Baker’s self-lacerating storytelling gets a more expansive canvas to work with. The big, full-band sound makes all the small moments of pain surreptitiously devastating.

70
Loud and Quiet

In widening her sonic palette ... Julien Baker has given herself more scope for welcome emotional catharsis.

70
The Forty-Five

The Tennessee indie songwriter rewrites the book on her third record, adding drums and embracing turmoil.

70
The Line of Best Fit

Little Oblivions leaves questions unanswered and epiphanies freshly discovered and displays the beautiful moments the ugly times keep quietly hidden.

70
AllMusic

Despite the bigger sound on average ... Baker's brutal lyrical authenticity remains the main attraction.

70
No Ripcord

In Oblivions, Baker has undeniably tapped into her unexplored potential—though there's also a nagging sense that these changes feel like a lateral move and not a progression.

66
Beats Per Minute

Little Oblivions doesn’t so much feel like a step to a higher point as so much as a stumble that Baker has made to look as graceful as she can.

60
Mojo

Little Oblivions is the sound of somebody who has been on high emotional alert for so long their batteries are starting to run down: agitated but exhausted, a little fuzzy at the edges.

60
The Irish Times

The overall tone conveys something beyond Baker’s previous records, and sketches out an intriguing template for future work.

40
The Needle Drop

Though it boasts a grander sound than Baker's past work, Little Oblivions is laden with unremarkable indie-isms.

Doublez
75
Approaching a new Indie Rock aesthetic and releasing a more diverse and elaborate instrumentation, Little Oblivions sounds like a new, more pop turn for Julien Baker. In spite of the limits, she can always count on her particularly harrowing and hard-hitting writing.

Soon only 25 years old, Julien Baker has built a formidable career, especially because she started early, officially after she turned 18 and unofficially long before that with her first band The Star Killers. Marked by a rather ... read more
Scre4meh
83
I've been extremely excited for this album to come out. Every single was so damn great, and this didn't disappoint.

Julien Baker is, honestly, someone that i have mever listened to before this album has released, and the first time i've heard her was probably through "Hardline" and the other promotional singles leading up to this release. Time really passed so fast, it feels like yesterday when i've seen it getting announced for 26th and. Sheesh. My birthday was yesterday and now ... read more
BGL13
88
this was one of my most anticipated albums of 2021. and as of right now, it’s also my favorite album of 2021. Julien’s stripped down instrumentals with a focus on songwriting in vocals is nothing revolutionary, but she does it incredibly well. Julien has such a beautiful voice and her songwriting is just incredible. every song on this album is at least good, and the majority of the tracks are great. i got a bit worried that i would be disappointed because the singles were too good ... read more
Schmedess
77
Maybe its just because of my decaying emotional well being but this was great
TomBejoy
81
Julien Baker? What she be baking doe 😳😳😳😳😳

"Little Oblivions" assures Julien's now cemented status amongst singer-songwriter giants of the modern-day, and while she may lack the lyrical robustness of her bandmate and fellow artist Phoebe Bridgers, she makes up for it with solid production choices all around. However, it's quite clear that the glaring issue with Little Oblivions' newly adorned maximalist indie-pop sound is that it throws the emphasis off Julien's ... read more
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Track List

1Hardline
3:51
90
2Heatwave
2:44
86
3Faith Healer
2:54
88
4Relative Fiction
4:19
81
5Crying Wolf
3:29
77
6Bloodshot
3:47
82
7Ringside
4:00
85
8Favor
4:38
87
9Song in E
2:44
83
10Repeat
2:55
78
11Highlight Reel
3:36
82
12Ziptie
3:42
80
Total Length: 42 minutes
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Added on: October 21, 2020