Shade

Grouper - Shade
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2021 Ratings: #176 / 700
User Score
Based on 360 ratings
2021 Ratings: #387
Liked by 27 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Uncut

An album of differing intensities, of gentle revelations. Its varying recording quality reflects the length of time it took to assume its final shape — Shade changes spaces as often as moods.

90
musicOMH

They find Harris stepping away from the choral ambiance and glacial minimalism of the Nivhek era and retreating back to the nocturnal ebbs and crackling timbres of earlier albums.

82
Pitchfork
The chain reaction these nine songs generate together produces enough fog and smoke to keep the spell going strong—and to keep whatever secret she’s trying to tell us just on the other side of the speakers.
80
Mojo

Assembled from on-location recordings in Mount Tamalpais, Portland and Astoria, this album feels personal, contemplative, yet thanks to Harris’s blurred vocals, the meaning is never fully in focus, like notes sent back from the edge of a waking dream.

80
Loud and Quiet

The pristine gloom of Grouper is still here in places, but it’s tested on this new record. Harris has never been a static artist, but this capacity for self-questioning feels healthy and well-timed, and she still writes a despondent vocal hook better than almost anyone.

80
The Skinny

Liz Harris's latest album as Grouper contains some of her most and least accessible work, from more simplistic cuts to swirling rave-ups.

80
The Line of Best Fit

While Shade certainly holds no surprise, it’s an album that brims with substance and Harris’ longtime base won’t skip a beat in welcoming these tracks. Yet we’re reminded more than anything of the quiet strength these songs take on.

80
Exclaim!

Given time to breathe, to live, to coast, with Shade, Harris has found a new stream to navigate, but with distance, it's clear Grouper doesn't have to commit to one world or another to enjoy their comforts.

80
AllMusic

With its balance of eras, sounds, and short and extended songs, Shade has the depth of a career retrospective and the freshness of a new album, both of which make it especially appealing to new and longtime Grouper fans alike.

80
Crack Magazine
Within the carefully pared back framework, Harris creates a subtle tension and release that forms the emotional core of the album. And it’s in these moments that Harris demonstrates the height of her powers.
80
Clash
When the clouds of distortion that form the guard fall, you can hear the heart. As we listen through a time of enforced distance, it is a satisfyingly intimate stance for Harris to assume... and a courageous one, too.
80
No Ripcord

The ever-ethereal Grouper is truly a universe unto itself, and what music we’ve gotten from the project feels like glimpses as to what the night sky allows. Shade, Harris’ most varied release yet, feels like the broadest and most crisp view of this vista yet.

75
Paste

In its own gentle way, Shade nudges the audience to view Harris as an all-around musician, rather than as the consummate mood-setter she’s long been hailed as.

71
Beats Per Minute
It’s a little loose, a little shaggy, and sometimes simply unimaginative or rote, but it also provides an intriguing glimpse into the archives of one our most beguiling artists.
70
Spectrum Culture

While not a momentous leap forward, Shade is a welcome retrospective on Harris’ career that showcases how her uncoiled approach laid the groundwork for later artists to reanimate her fossils.

60
Record Collector
Unsettling atmospherics from the US artist.
CameronFriezer
39

Favourite: Kelso (Blue sky)
Worst: Ode to the blue

1. Followed the ocean - 3
[Far out just some Radio Buffering for like 3 mins]

2. Unclean mind - 3
[Am I supposed to be able to hear the lyrics? All I can is someone strumming that Guitar way too hard. Never thought I would have to go to Genius to listen to a damn pop song. It's literally the same thing over and over again on repeat with a 15 second loop]

3. Ode to the blue - 2
[This track has absolutely no direction whatsoever. Basically the ... read more

365WHATAPPLE
25

Less is not always more

Doofy
73

Imagine what the demo versions of these songs sound like

manicure
70

After the spectral piano ballads of "Grid of Points", Liz Harris picks up her acoustic guitar again and brings back the same vibes of albums like "Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill". Primitive yet delicate songs, sometimes surrounded by foggy reverb, sometimes smothered by drones to the point you will struggle to recognize the vocal melodies. I am generally liking the mood of what I am hearing, but do I want to hear it for 35 minutes straight? Not sure yet.

My favorite picks ... read more

78

lovely lovely

82

giving the chillest vibes ever, perfectly pretentious

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Track List

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Added on: July 27, 2021