Joanna Newsom - Ys
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2006 Ratings: #8 / 608
User Score
Based on 218 ratings
2006 Ratings: #1
Your Review


Drowned in Sound
It’s a vivid and beautiful painting that you can walk into; a magic window into another world that I'd be happy to get lost in, and never come back.
The result, I believe, is a singular work of art whose power will only grow over time.
Slant Magazine
The album is a precious—in every sense of the word—masterpiece.

Ys offers an endless wealth of substance, teeming with dense, well-mapped beauty.


Yes, Ys is a demanding listen, but it's also a rewarding and inspiring one. Letting it unfold and absorbing more each time you hear it is a delight.

Sep 23, 2015*
This is not my personal favorite album of all time. But, it might just be the best album of the 21st century. Bold statements for bolder music. This is the only album I've ever listened to that, no matter what I am doing or where I am, I will eventually end up looking up to the sky in a vegetable-like state before the end of it. And if you aren't entranced by this beautiful human's use of brave, thought-provoking, and flat out insane imagery and morals in her lyrics, then you're not listening ... read more
Mar 23, 2016
this album portrays a beautiful, childlike fantasy while remaining perfectly realistic at the same time. joanna newsom croons some of the most abstract and cryptic lyrics over her flawless harp playing. the unorthodox nature of this project is enough to make it stick out, but the tremendous amount of work that must have been put into these songs is what makes it a masterpiece. these lyrics are likely the best i have ever heard, and possibly the best of all time. this is one of the few ... read more
Jan 17, 2018
The beauty of Ys in in how Joanna’s narrative and poetic lyrics float on top of the arrangements never getting lost; as lengthy and cumbersome as the tracks can appear on paper… her storytelling, like the best storytellers, demands attention. It’s definitely not effortless, this is the kind of record that takes pride in its ambition. It requires some effort on the listeners part too. What may be missed on the first listen will reveal itself in time if you give it the chance, ... read more
Jan 10, 2018
On Ys we see Joanna utilizing her harp as a loom, weaving a colorful tapestry of an ornate fairytale world and the textured characters that inhabit it. With her debut: The Milk-Eyed Mender, Newsom managed to catch some critical praise despite her vocal quirks—however, Ys managed to not only validate Newsom's talent, it's cemented her as one of today's most vital musicians. We can only hope that inspiring albums such as Ys are not lost in today's oversaturated oft pandering industry.
Sep 1, 2017
I've tried many, many times over the course of the past 7 years to enjoy this record. I even had it in my library for quite a while, though I never really played it. I do deeply appreciate Joanna Newsom as a performer and songwriter. Have One on Me is a fantastic album for me ("Go Long" is one of my all-time favorite ballads), and I really enjoyed a live show of hers I caught in Knoxville back in 2010. But man...this album just does nothing for me. And I know it just comes down to my ... read more