A Sailor's Guide to Earth

Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2016 Ratings: #25 / 758
Year End Rank: #26
User Score
Based on 294 ratings
2016 Ratings: #37
April 15, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Atlantic / Label
Alt-Country, Country / Genres
Suggest a Genre
Add
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
Tags
Your Review
Sign In to rate and review

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Exclaim!

Simpson ... seems hell-bent on disassembling the genre and piecing it back together the only way that sounds right to him. While the best of the best learn to master country music, he's turning it into a whole new monster, one that's his and his only.

100
Pretty Much Amazing

Compared to the industry standard, A Sailor’s Guide feels at least five years too early. Artists spend decades working up to the level of instrumental variety and emotional awareness that Simpson seems to comprehend at his core.

91
Entertainment Weekly
Overall, the album is strikingly intimate. At times, it feels like you’ve somehow found yourself in the singer’s hallway, listening as he coos lullabies to his child in a nursery.
90
PopMatters

Afforded creative freedom many felt would be stifled, Simpson’s latest musical offspring is a love letter we can all cherish.

90
Uncut
Simpson hasn’t abandoned country – he’s just made it big enough to contain all he wants to do. The man’s only boundary now is the horizon.
85
Paste

As a whole, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is simultaneously eclectic and of a piece: It’s big and bold and sometimes messy, but never unfocused.

80
Slant Magazine

Even beyond the chances Simpson takes, A Sailor's Guide to Earth remains a sonically stunning album.

80
AllMusic

It's an old-fashioned concept album, one that tells a story -- it's a letter to his newborn son, telling him how to become a man -- and is dressed in garish art suited to the side of a Chevy van.

80
Mojo

Simpson invests this bold, widescreen music with such heartfelt and real pathos and joy that it announces him as a major talent, and makes A Sailor’s Guide To Earth so rewarding.

80
Rolling Stone

Sailor's Guide is classic album length – nine songs, 39 minutes – and best heard in one sitting; this is Nashville craft less as pop science than as expansive headphone storytelling.

80
The Guardian
It’s hardly a revolutionary album, but its melding of styles ... gives it a fresh, unsullied feeling.
80
Pitchfork
It's a deeply personal album that, while establishing Simpson as the defining songwriter of his class, displays an artistic growth that defies any sort of easy label.
80
The Independent

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth ranges over issues of love, depression and identity with hard-won wisdom. A skilled interpreter, Simpson’s bruised baritone murmur morphs to fit the contours of each song.

80
The Needle Drop
Singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson comes through with the classiest country album I've heard in a while.
75
Consequence of Sound

Written for one lucky baby boy, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth also welcomes the unmarried, infertile, abandoned, and middle-aged with unconditional love. If Father’s Day is just another Sunday, let Simpson be your proxy.

70
Spin

On Earth, Simpson continues to have fun flipping the genre’s tropes on their head.

zachthesnack
100
I can sincerely say that this is one of the best musical experiences I have ever had.

So rarely does a piece truly evoke raw emotions from within me and when one does so it is usually a singular, concentrated emotion like grief or anger, but this made me feel so many different emotions and they were all so strong and vibrant.

I avoided this album simoly because of the "country" moniker and this album has not only changed my opinion on the genre, but on music as a whole.

p.s. you ... read more
dearsongs
85
Been trying this album on and off for 2.5 years now 'cause it never REALLY clicked with me but I kept feeling like I was missing out on something by not getting more into it... not sure what hell I was thinking before, this thing is pretty great. I like the arrangements A LOT and Sturgill's twang is pleasant enough for me.

When I first heard In Bloom I was not a fan, but I've grown to enjoy it quite a bit (and its a nice reminder of what a great songwriter Kurt Cobain was). Luckily this album ... read more
EMR
76
Sturgill Simpson continues his rise as the most creative and distinct country artist of his generation, now with an interesting release that follows the idea of his previous album, while incorporating elements from other genres such as rock, psychedelic-music, folk and soul. The result is another solid record full of surprises, with a different approach to country in each track. It is quite varied, but very cohesive, nonetheless, and even though the final results may not be just as emotive and ... read more
Doofy
76
This is as close as I go to honeyed vocal radio country, but here Sturgill brings the required top notch song writing and musical twists and turns to win me over.
itsyahboinoah
82
We need artists like Sturgill Simpson to show us that country music can still be great.
Purchasing A Sailor's Guide to Earth from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

Track List

  1. Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)
  2. Breakers Roar
  3. Keep It Between the Lines
  4. Sea Stories
  5. In Bloom
  6. Brace for Impact (Live a Little)
  7. All Around You
  8. Oh Sarah
  9. Call to Arms
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.
In Library (60)
alvarobernal
LynnSmith
cargoculte
FleetwoodMatt
Az989
PatPike
pinio985
Dictarium
Matthew
Cober98


Added on: March 4, 2016