Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Choir of The Mind
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2017 Ratings: #536 / 887
User Score
Based on 50 ratings
2017 Ratings: #257
September 15, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Last Gang / Label
Emily Haines / Primary Artists
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The Line of Best Fit
It's a beautiful piece of work from an artist who is destined to walk among Canada's elite singer/songwriters.
God Is in the TV
On Choir Of The Mind, her second effort as Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – the name she gives to credit her helping hands – she thankfully keeps her style but expands upon the simplicity of her piano and gauzy vocal combination with stunningly effective production layering and also focuses on the topic of female identity.

It all drifts along at an unhurried pace, but if you've been waiting a decade for more of Haines' most intimate music, you'll be rewarded for taking the time to let Choir of the Mind sink in.

It may take Haines another ten years to make her third solo album, but hopefully when she does it will be as richly melodic, subtly dynamic, and emotionally powerful as this one is.
Alternative Press

Haines delivers urgency and depth without having to shear off her throat lining, and she can convey vulnerability and uncertainty with a brave face.

NOW Magazine
Though melancholy, the album never wallows or gets stuck or even treads water, largely due to all the movement constantly happening in the vocal and piano lines. It feels like an exploration rather than a sealed-up document of the past.
Northern Transmissions

Like many of her previous solo records, Emily Haines constructs some dark magic on her piano with Choir of The Mind. Through all the piano, Haines starts to bring in some ambitious instrumentation that pays off far more often than it doesn’t, and sometimes even emulates parts of Metric.


Most of the tracks on Choir Of The Mind were recorded on a grand piano dating back from 1850, over which Haines multi-tracked her voice and laid some skittery beats down. It’s this mix of the antique and modern that lends the album much of its charm.

While she often presents a very insightful, poetic vision of the harder-edged nature of life, ‘Choir of the Mind’ could have done with a little bit of reining in.
Drowned in Sound
Ultimately, this is a sometimes-glorious release that can’t get out from under its own feet.
There’s no doubt that Haines has continued to derive cathartic value from these songs over the years, and there’s nothing inherently egregious about morose material, but they aren’t life-affirming hymns either.
Really perfect
Amidst earthly, social domains and constructs, Emily returns with the very loose purpose of singing (softly) about the "pure nature" of the feminine. Choir of the Mind reflects upon some of her most inner feelings toward being a woman in a big, overwhelming world where women hardly "reign" upon anything.

While the idea may sound sweet on paper, and, yes, her new solo record does sound pleasant, there is much of an indeterminacy to her speech on Choir of the Mind. Whereas ... read more
Emily's voice is amazing, piano sounds very good too. But I feel Emily can offer so much more.
Fav Tracks: Statuette, Strangle All Romance, Planets
- A bit too long
- Too much homogeneous
- Predictible at the first tracks

+ Lyrics are not bad
+ Cool voice
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Year End Lists

#43/Drowned in Sound

Track List

  1. Planets
  2. Fatal Gift
  3. Strangle All Romance
  4. Wounded
  5. Legend of the Wild Horse
  6. Nihilist Abyss
  7. Minefield of Memory
  8. Perfect on the Surface
  9. Choir of the Mind
  10. Statuette
  11. Siren
  12. Irish Exit
  13. RIP
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Added on: July 22, 2017