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Aviary Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length release for the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter was inspired in part by a 2009 short story by Lebanese-American poet and essayist Etel Adnan.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Oct 30, 2018
    90
    If you’ve enjoyed Holter to this point, it is worth investing the necessary time. Aviary touches every corner of her sound, resulting in an enchanting, if slightly dizzying, fifth album.
  2. Oct 29, 2018
    90
    It represents an astounding step forward in its scope and ambition. The claustrophobia of Loud City Song and the self-imposed aesthetic limitations of Have You in My Wilderness have given way to wide-screen, exploratory, celebratory triumph.
  3. Oct 30, 2018
    86
    Holter has always taken pop and presented her own masterful version of it. But her desire to break through the distressing clatter of the present is what makes Aviary her most captivating album yet.
  4. Oct 26, 2018
    80
    The mayhem, the confusion, the hysteria, Holter has learned to embrace all of it, and by reflecting it honestly in her music, she has shown the rest of us that whilst we live in alarming times, empathy and love continue to stand strong. Aviary will be a challenging listen for many, but its message needs to be heard.
  5. Oct 26, 2018
    80
    Despite Holter's all-around meticulousness, Aviary never comes across as careful or rigorous. She engages in artful replication, seeking to understand those voices she successfully reconstructs with a feeling of apprehension and anticipation. And in the process, leaving her own imprint for others to also discover in centuries to come.
  6. Oct 26, 2018
    80
    Works of art like these elevate us beyond the material world, if only for an afternoon, and for that Holter remains worth her weight in gold.
  7. Mojo
    Oct 24, 2018
    60
    It's all so sad, and surrounded by 80-plus minutes of restless, questing uncertainty. [Nov 2018, p.90]

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Oct 31, 2018
    10
    Most important album of the year or maybe 10 years. Most cohesive sound i've heard since In Rainbows by Radiohead
  2. Nov 1, 2018
    10
    Julia Holter has created with Aviary a completely uncompromising album, one that takes a totally different approach from her previous and moreJulia Holter has created with Aviary a completely uncompromising album, one that takes a totally different approach from her previous and more accessible Have You in My Wilderness. Here she embodies her full spacious, moody, ethereal persona, apparently not caring if it will appeal to most people (see the 4 minute bagpipe extravaganza opening of Everyday is an emergency), though inviting us nonetheless to share her songwriting bliss, carving an elegant space, with lots of hidden details so that we can discover every time we listen to it a new piece of it. Just marvellous! Expand
  3. Oct 28, 2018
    10
    What a beautiful mess! Julia worked hard, but the listener has to work even harder to find the order in this music. Or do we need the order?What a beautiful mess! Julia worked hard, but the listener has to work even harder to find the order in this music. Or do we need the order? Anyway, this album is her mix of Aerial/Dreaming - two albums by Kate Bush that remind me of Aviary´s beautiful madness. Expand
  4. Nov 1, 2018
    10
    Not as good as HYIMW but I think it's still a pretty solid record, the time is not a contra for me, as a matter of fact is a pro
  5. Oct 29, 2018
    8
    As always, she's exploring new sounds. As a whole, it sunds beautiful but if may become a little like.. mmm again?
    You must hear this album anyway.
  6. Oct 26, 2018
    8
    Could be Holter's most unorthodox effort thus far, and probably its length has something to do with it (excessive for some). Nevertheless, itCould be Holter's most unorthodox effort thus far, and probably its length has something to do with it (excessive for some). Nevertheless, it remains somehow pure and truthful. It's a creature grandiloquently parading its inner visions and thoughts throughout the vast density of a forest-like darkness, making a guiding light of itself for us to endure the ninety-minute tour de force it lasts, and bringing us several moments of awe, unsettlement, relief, joy and self-contemplation along the way. It grows on you. Not as fast as you'd might want it to, but it grows. We shall love. Expand
  7. Oct 28, 2018
    1
    Quite the bummer after the superb Have You In My Wilderness. I’ve not been a huge fan of hers in the past, but I loved her catchy and etherealQuite the bummer after the superb Have You In My Wilderness. I’ve not been a huge fan of hers in the past, but I loved her catchy and ethereal chamber pop tracks. There wasn’t a single bad song on that album. Here, though, I struggle to even finish a track. All of them are long and drawn out. They’re very sparse and have very little in the way of hooks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want ALL hooks, but I’d like something to keep me around. All of these songs could be condensed down to a minute or less and lose no merit. It seems like she just pranced around a studio in a flower halo while randomly hitting random instruments while quietly whispering over them. After her last album, I couldn’t wait for more material, but as the singles rolled out, I quickly lost hope. I think the only redeeming track here I found was “Another Dream.” It was one of the ones I found less painful. Kinda spacey and engrossing. Can’t say the same for much of the rest. It was way too long. Expand