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The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2013 Ratings: #545 / 955
User Score
Based on 23 ratings
August 5, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sensibility / Columbia / Label
Folk / Genres
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thecivilwars.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

83
A.V. Club

The Civil Wars isn’t a great leap forward—it’s significantly front-loaded for one thing, fading through the back half of the album.

80
Consequence of Sound

Taken as a whole, The Civil Wars is a more consistent collection than Barton Hollow. Chances are these songs will endure, but hopefully the hiatus won’t.

80
Paste

Working with producer Charlie Peacock, in spite of discord, the pair refine and expand the sound they architected into a more intense take on their tortured (implied) sexual tension.

80
PopMatters

This new one’s more intricate, though, but it isn’t more careful. The edge is a little sharper, a little more electric. You might think about how pretty this record is, but you’ll feel how demanding its resonance is.

70
AllMusic

The Civil Wars are impeccable craftsmen, taking weathered elements and repurposing them for something that feels new and never haunted by what came before.

60
musicOMH

An album which begins by brilliantly capitalising on its history ultimately ends up exposing how it was derailed by it.

50
Drowned in Sound

This is a limping, bloodless version of The Civil Wars, and if the band is to have a future they need to fix their issues, or else learn to channel the damage better.

50
Spin

Williams and White seek solace in an adult-contemporary folk music that's as artificial a veneer as the truck anthems and Child ballads their uncouth Nashville cousins adore.

30
NME

The result is 12 songs that wear their beaten but still-beating hearts on their sleeves. Sometimes those heightened emotions work well ... but too often their over-earnest delivery is unbearable. 

71
It suffers some inevitable diminishing returns resulting from an essential duplication of their strong debut, but the chemistry between Joy Williams and John Paul White is, if anything, tenser and more convincing than on Barton Hollow. This tension largely drives the album, making up for somewhat less impressive lyrics that would otherwise lead the second half to drag. But if it's a less consistent effort than Barton Hollow, they're still really, really good at their best, and in these moments ... read more
Felindie
70
Fav Tracks: Oh Henry, Dust To Dust
rapmartin12
80
Stand-out Tracks:
- In This Valley
- The One That Got Away
NR
Enjoyed the first to songs but then they all started sounding the same.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#14/Amazon
#19/American Songwriter
#23/Slant

Track List

  1. The One That Got Away
  2. I Had Me a Girl
  3. Same Old Same Old
  4. Dust to Dust
  5. Eavesdrop
  6. Devil’s Backbone
  7. From This Valley
  8. Tell Mama
  9. Oh Henry
  10. Disarm
  11. Sacred Heart
  12. D’Arline
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Added on: July 30, 2013