Cardinal

Album Review of Cardinal by Pinegrove.

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Cardinal

Pinegrove

Cardinal by Pinegrove

Release Date: Feb 12, 2016
Record label: Run for Cover Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock

80 Music Critic Score
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Cardinal - Very Good, Based on 10 Critics

DIY Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Evan Stephens Hall could be a pop-punk frontman, a country hero or an experimental drone artist, if he put his mind to it. The Montclair, New Jersey musician’s voice treads strange territory - a tightrope between different worlds - without any sense of finality. It’s a trade that suits Pinegrove, whose ‘Cardinal’ album is a stream-of-consciousness, philosophical take on life’s big questions.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Cardinal, the label debut by Montclair, New Jersey's Pinegrove, is an album redolent with long-nurtured disappointment and world-weariness that somehow manages to rise up and succeed in spite of itself. The band has been around since 2010, consistently releasing various D.I.Y. efforts that were eventually collated into a hefty collection appropriately titled Everything So Far.

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Spin - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

In the mid-2000s, Pinegrove’s openhearted indie rock could have been huge. Over the course of the Montclair, New Jersey quintet’s five years of existence, frontman Evan Stephens Hall has developed a great many qualities that would have endeared him to alt-minded fans of a different era. A string of EPs and one-offs, compiled in last year’s appropriately titled Everything So Far, demonstrate the 26-year-old songwriter’s tremendous breadth.

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Punknews.org (Staff) - 80
Based on rating 4/5
80

Pinegrove's ambition continues to grow. After extensive touring and a few EPs, the New Jersey band shows just this on their debut LP. Cardinal finds itself perched as a remarkable blend of country and folk rock with bits of indie and pop strewn in here and there, and it's pretty captivating. A bit of it feels familiar if you were a fan of them over the years but nonetheless, it's, as expected, full of energy and passion.These are reiterated on the opener "Old Friends" and closer "New Friends" which don't have that stark a contrast but feel like such a dynamic story.

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Exclaim - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

The emotionally charged Cardinal begins with wistful twang and the all-too-common existential dilemma of the young-but-swiftly-aging: the falling away of a past that was once forever. On "Old Friends," singer Evan Hall drawls, "I should call my parents when I think of them / Should tell my friends when I love them."The Montclair, New Jersey's band's sound — off-the-cuff, loose heart-on-sleeve indie-rock cut with Americana — is the perfect vessel for that kind of premature twilight, anxiety and loss. Above all else, it feels so goddamned natural, with songs like "Then Again" and its wild, guitar noodle beauty hitting some invisible bullseye of rock'n'roll purity.

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Pitchfork - 80
Based on rating 8.0/10
80

Montclair, N.J. band Pinegrove's debut LP Cardinal doesn’t initially come off like a hefty work. Its eight songs, which never move at too hurried of a pace, recall some of the most consistently likeable rock bands of the past 20 years in their most easygoing phases: There’s the rootsy shamble of early Wilco, the wiggly guitar solos and general guilelessness of pre-prog Built to Spill.

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Consequence of Sound - 79
Based on rating B+
79

It’s a blessing that Cardinal, the debut album from DIY alt country outfit Pinegrove, runs only eight songs deep and clocks in at just over half an hour. It would be difficult, though not quite unpleasant, to spend any more time in the same space as Evan Stephens Hall’s cracking falsetto. Imagine being at a house party at which half the guests are apparitions from your past, floating into your periphery just long enough to register their presence before disappearing into the next room.

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Boston Globe
Their review was positive

With so many channels clamoring for our limited attention now, the test of an album’s worth is not its novelty or its singles, but its ability to keep a listener engaged. Hit songs and clever videos are all well and good, but a record that keeps you locked in from beginning to end is the commodity we all clamor for. “Cardinal,” the sophomore set from Montclair, N.J.’s Pinegrove (and its debut on Boston label Run for Cover), is exactly that kind of album.

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Pretty Much Amazing
Their review was positive

It seems as if Macklemore anticipated the coming of his second album more than hip-hop fans. This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, judging by the title, is an incredibly poignant piece on the artist and the issues his success has caused among various communities. Or, I should say, that’s what Macklemore wanted it to be. The final result is one that aspires to achieve more than it actually does.

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Pretty Much Amazing
Their review was positive

It seems as if Macklemore anticipated the coming of his second album more than hip-hop fans. This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, judging by the title, is an incredibly poignant piece on the artist and the issues his success has caused among various communities. Or, I should say, that’s what Macklemore wanted it to be. The final result is one that aspires to achieve more than it actually does.

Full Review >>

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