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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Irish Times

This exceptional, empathic record reshapes that idea into a call to arms for the broken, and the devoured, so that a kind of purity might yet triumph over dissolution.

90
The Sydney Morning Herald

This collaborative record, of course, is not a Sufjan Stevens album per se, and yet such is its beauty that it stands up against anything the 46-year-old American has done.

85
Under The Radar

As art begets art, A Beginner’s Mind is both truly inspirational and a testament to what can come out of work-shopping with A-list performers

80
Loud and Quiet

For the most part A Beginner’s Mind sees Stevens shifting onto De Augustine’s territory, as well as returning to the psychedelia and folk influences of his earlier work.

80
Sputnikmusic
The result isn’t moving, per se, but it is at its best affecting and warm.
80
The Needle Drop
Sufjan and Angelo make beautiful music together.
80
Evening Standard

Sufjan Stevens still loves a concept album, and this film-inspired set of songs works seamlessly.

80
Spectrum Culture

At 14 tracks and a few missteps, the album could be trimmed slightly, but the pair’s first full-length collaboration shows both artists bringing the best out of each other.

80
The Independent
This duo have reflected on their classic movie binge-watch in sweetly harmonised acoustic tranquility, like a modern day Simon & Garfunkel with PhDs in psychotherapy.
80
Mojo
The gently ticking, lightly compressed acoustic instrument arpeggios will be familiar to fans of both songwriters, but it’s the pair’s half-whispered vocal blend that enchants.
80
Exclaim!

A Beginner's Mind will not wow you with grand theatrics but it will have you on the edge of your seat nevertheless.

80
Uncut
Though Stevens has long known the value of self-imposed creative restrictions, rarely before have they yielded music with quite so much vividness and imaginative power.
77
Beats Per Minute

A Beginner’s Mind proves the two are not only capable of making beautiful music as a duo, but bodes well for their solo work to come.

77
Paste

With A Beginner’s Mind, Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine have stumbled upon a beautiful vocal recipe.

76
Northern Transmissions
Though his lyrics are more concerned with matters like faith and existence than they are about flexing movie knowledge, Stevens as a cinephile is consistent with what he’s shown us.
70
AllMusic

A Beginner's Mind is intelligent and well-crafted, and will appeal to fans of either Stevens' or De Augustine's recent work, but it somehow feels less distinct than the music they create on their own.

70
PopMatters
A worthy, if occasionally over-ripe, outing.
70
Spill Magazine
Stevens is one of the most prolific composers of our time and the album is filled with excellent production and lovely instrumentation. However, because he has shown his ability to oscillate between intimacy and excess on previous albums, this one feels a bit restrained by comparison.
67
Pitchfork

With a collection of gentle duets inspired by great-to-iffy movies, the veteran songwriter and protégé uncover mythic resonances and ugly truths.

60
The Arts Desk

A Beginner’s Mind is an album of meditative ambience, with stylistic sound layers, vocal whisper hush and tingle of lo-fi folk that is recognisably Stevens.

Doublez
84

[I know that not long ago I had already made a parenthesis of thanks, but since the non-active followers were added... I am very honored to have passed the significant 2000 followers milestone! A gigantic thank you to all of you, those who follow me, those who were following me at the time. All your messages of support, encouragement and kind attentions since the beginning have only fed little by little the happiness to be able to share one's work and the passion around music. I'm proud of ... read more

Schmoobin
100

Perfect score because boobs

jxshmccabe
70

sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐
sufjan stevens = 🐐

angelo de augustine was ok i guess

edit: ok this is absolutely fantastic. i’m starting to appreciate angelo’s contribution with songwriting and backing ... read more

80

in general it is a very good collection of songs, at times it becomes inconsistent, but the essence of the album is taken up and felt in each song

Dissapointed2
91

I’ve never so many more feelings over an album cover. I love it btw. (Oh yeah, the albums pretty good too)

DillonLolly
89

Serving as my introduction to both Sufjan Stevens and Angelo de Augustine, A Beginner's Mind is a dark and mysterious experience that often masquerades as jovial, harmless easy listening. Although, the vast majority of lyrical content is certainly depressing, it's quiet impressive how the pair turn pain into soft etherealism. Stevens and Augustine's voices gel so well together that their frequent soft demeanor is reminiscent of a twisted Simon and Garfunkel fever dream.

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Added on: July 7, 2021