Smith Westerns - Soft Will
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2013 Ratings: #447 / 955
User Score
Based on 75 ratings
2013 Ratings: #153
June 25, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mom + Pop / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

83
Pretty Much Amazing

Ultimately Soft Will is Smith Westerns’ contemplative love letter to their past, laden as much with affection as it is with melancholy.

80
The Fly

One chorus may be enough, but ‘Soft Will’ is studded with so much more.

80
DIY

‘Soft Will’ marks Smith Westerns moving into another realm of quality and experimentation, and, to put it quite simply, this album is just a complete pleasure to listen to.

80
Under The Radar

On Soft Will, the travails of being young pass through a lens that refracts them into something equal parts analytical and wistful.

80
NME

It wholeheartedly succeeds, and it’s pure nostalgia.

80
AllMusic

With Soft Will, they should gain back some people who like thoughtful, melodically rich indie rock that isn't sleepy or clichéd or boring. This album is none of those things and, thanks to their actual growth as artists, it may be their best yet.

80
Beats Per Minute

Soft Will is certainly not as immediately infectious as Smith Westerns’ previous outings, but that does not make it a weaker album. There are still many injections of fun in the wordless gang vocals and theatrical guitar solos.

80
The 405

They're full of uncluttered and focused optimism, and that shows in their freshly exfoliated music - there are pop hooks galore, twinkling astral riffs and effervescent beats. 

79
Pitchfork

Smith Westerns aren’t interested in changing up their formula, they’ve merely found a way to utilize it more thoughtfully.

70
The Line of Best Fit

For all its faults, the heart and maturity at the centre of Soft Will feels more vital and important than their showy genre tourism ever did.

70
Drowned in Sound

As a closing chapter to the early days of Smith Westerns' careers, Soft Will is an excellent record - there is just a lingering feeling that their unique sense of fun and abandon, is all but over

70
musicOMH

It’s unlikely that the demise of the younger, brattier version of Smith Westerns will be mourned by anyone who comes into contact with this lovely record.

70
No Ripcord

Soft Will won’t enter the annals as album of the decade, but it showcases the tools and talent to make it happen one day. 

64
Paste

Even if this sudden maturity results in deeper sounds, it doesn’t always result in deeper songs.

60
Consequence of Sound

They don’t sound like teenagers anymore on Soft Will. They sound like they’ve been in the world long enough to get broken by it.

60
PopMatters

Soft Will, like previous Smith Western albums, still brims with hooks but it never quite resolves if it’s still just good-time summer pop, dark-night-of-the-soul rumination or some sort of Summerteeth-esque middle ground.

50
A.V. Club

The tempered songs of Soft Will, however, don’t feel thoughtfully restrained as much as deflated of enthusiasm.

40
Tiny Mix Tapes

The album’s stubborn insistence on mourning something that it never really grasped in the first place makes more complex what would otherwise be a boring affair.

soundsnaive
73
Very good album, not much to dislike. Tunes are catchy and lyrics are consistently good and interesting, just not near as much fun as Dye It Blonde
steviedub
74
Smith Westerns continue to sound less like a garage band from their debut, but still carry an edge with them. Their most mature album by far.
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Track List

  1. 3am Spiritual
  2. Idol
  3. Glossed
  4. XXIII
  5. Fool Proof
  6. White Oath
  7. Only Natural
  8. Best Friend
  9. Cheer Up
  10. Varsity
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Added on: March 5, 2013