Tim Hecker - Virgins
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2013 Ratings: #22 / 942
Year End Rank: #29
User Score
Based on 175 ratings
2013 Ratings: #25
Your Review



As much as a ton of work goes into his records, both sonically and conceptually, it never stops Tim Hecker records from being tremendously exciting and enjoyable, and from feeling like Hecker is enjoying himself. That’s not to say Virgins isn’t a serious, complex, often challenging work; it’s all of those things.


It convulses with a sense of limitless possibility; it rolls up everything Hecker has done before this and, as is his wont, pulverizes it into a fine mash. What's new is the thing he molds from the dampened ashes.

The Needle Drop
Canadian music producer Tim Hecker returns with a stunning collection of tracks that make for some of the most beautiful music I've heard this year.
The 405

When before we had anonymous landscapes and lonely rides through unknown dystopias, we now have an identity, purpose and meaning to the bleak and emotional sounds, and it's really quite astonishing.


Hecker’s music has always been eerie, but never this forceful. Some sections of Virgins feel like soundtracks for horror-movie climaxes when the camera fixes on a sickening image and refuses to turn away, fascinated and trapped at the same time.

FACT Magazine

This volatility is Virgins’ most intriguing feature; where on previous albums you would expect Hecker’s songs to soar, now they teem with internal energy. The result, unexpectedly, is his most ambitious record yet.

Drowned in Sound

Another essential release then, but a step towards theory-over-content that Hecker never really needed.

The Line of Best Fit

The layers of noise, which at first may seem intimidating, are so harmonically rich they immerse the listener as the sounds interact creating new and unexpectedly mellifluous sounds.


Hecker's sound signature may still be instantly recognizable, but there is no denying that he has moved significantly farther down the path toward something else with Virgins.

Resident Advisor

That Hecker manages to layer such full, independent sounds over and across each other without ever losing the emotional heart of what he's building is evidence of his increasingly unique understanding of texture and mood.


‘Virgins’ is Hecker in less-noisy-than-usual mode, and the album’s opening and closing tracks – ‘Prism’ and ‘Stab Variation’ – sound so out-of-body and celestial it’s like a trip to church after four days without sleep.

Aug 30, 2014
Hecker releases his most haunting album to date and possibly the most beautiful one as well. He really hasn't sounded this ghostly or bleak since 'Mirages.' Using minimalistic piano pieces and heavy drone, the album presents itself as something bigger than most people would see. It's so beautifully gut-wrenching with moments like 'Live Room' sounding so emotionally damaged. Tim continues to show no sign of stepping down in quality because this just might be his best work yet.

Favourite tracks: ... read more
Dec 14, 2017
Tim Hecker crafts dense, rich, and desolate ambient soundscapes like no other out there. It's always interesting to revisit an album like Virgins due to that; each and every listen reveals new layers of sound to the listener that are always bound to impress and immerse.
Jul 1, 2014
One thing that Virgins does best that Ravedeath, 1972 couldn't do, is capture the rawness of its storyline with the help of its acoustic aura. It dives into a pool of sadistic pleasure that not only basks in its own sublimity, but also gives off a heavy and enigmatic atmosphere, even in its calmest moments.
Dec 17, 2017
Very uninspired
Jun 6, 2016
I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not that into Tim Hecker's music. From a sound design perspective, he's obviously at the very top of his craft. Melodically, however, I find most of his stuff rather average at best.

It is drone music yes, but whereas groups like GY!BE or Stars of the Lid are able take a memorable melody, stretch it out for several minutes, and then switch it up to another interesting melody, Hecker often takes an underwhelming melody and stretches it out for ... read more
Purchasing Virgins from Amazon helps support Album of the Year.

Added on: July 17, 2013