The Milk-Eyed Mender
Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
Critic Score
Based on 6 reviews
2004 Ratings: #7 / 286
User Score
Based on 106 ratings
2004 Ratings: #14
Your Review

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
No Ripcord

From the ambling, country-style folk tale of Sadie, to the hearty, galloping piano sing-along of Inflammatory Writ, The Milk-Eyed Mender is like a travelling scrapbook of Americana, varying wildly in pace and tone, but with not a single bad song among them.

90
Tiny Mix Tapes
There isn't a poorly written song to be found, both musically and lyrically. Moving effortlessly from soft, gorgeous balladry (the stunning album closer "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie") to lively, bubbly tunes (the strident and animated "Inflammatory Writ"), Newsom's ability to give life to her mesmerizing, heartfelt narratives never falters.
Jan 26, 2017
EMR
78
Before Joanna Newsom became the mystical, timeless music icon she is today, she was a shining, raw gem of an artist, and her debut record, The Milk-Eyed Mender displays that facet just perfectly. This album's structure is far from the majestic, epic transcendental pieces of both Ys and Have One on Me, where she offered powerful visions of her many talents in full-form. Here she sounds much more like an innocent, but incredibly prodigious little girl exposing for the first time her enchanting ... read more
Jan 17, 2018
PJ_0707
83
Easily Newsom’s most traditionally singer-songwriter/folk album. In comparison to her subsequent releases, The Milk-Eyed Mender is her most accessible album; free of the longer compositions and cryptic lyricism of Ys and Have One on Me. A fan of traditional folk should be able to find something to love here. Her voice is at its most childlike and wonder some here, but she had yet to fine tune her craft, that shouldn’t suggest that The Milk-Eyed Mender is an amateurish mess, ... read more
Dec 24, 2017
CheapandLethal
80
Good
Oct 3, 2016
NR
An excellent debut and an almost great album. The best thing is that there's much more to come from this musical genius.
Apr 21, 2016*
MarkCooper
92
EDIT: I think all of Joanna's albums will eventually become 100's for me. Every time I come back to one of them, they each become a little better, and a little more timeless. This started out as a 73, then an 80, then an 85, then a 90. Seven years since I first heard it, and it's still growing.

A really young record. Joanna doesn't quite have a full grasp on her vocal range and delivery, which is why it's such an important album in her discography. It's a recorded moment in her artistic ... read more
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END OF YEAR LISTS
#10/Pitchfork
#40/SPIN
#48/NME
Track List
  1. Bridges and Balloons
  2. Sprout and the Bean
  3. The Book of Right-On
  4. Sadie
  5. Inflammatory Writ
  6. This Side of the Blue
  7. "En Gallop"
  8. Cassiopeia
  9. Peach, Plum, Pear
  10. Swansea
  11. Three Little Babes
  12. Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie
Contributions By
erik