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The Great Awakening by Shearwater


The Great Awakening

Release Date: Jun 10, 2022

Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock

Record label: BWSCD


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Album Review: The Great Awakening by Shearwater

Fairly Good, Based on 3 Critics

Sputnikmusic - 90
Based on rating 4.5/5

Your patience will be rewarded. The Great Awakening sounds like anything but. It's a very slow-to-unravel piece that simmers at a low burn, occasionally sending a spark flaring into the night sky only to see it parachute back to the Earth and dissipate. Still, there's something mysterious - and almost sinister - about Shearwater's tenth album. Its folk atmosphere gives it a lush beauty which can't be denied, but there are little moments scattered about that make the whole thing deeply unsettling - eerie pauses, discordant synth lines, ritualistic drums, a choir of howler monkeys (no, really - they're credited as backing vocalists) - and it's strange enough to draw you in a little more each time you listen.

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Austin Chronicle - 40
Based on rating 2/5

Six years ago, Shearwater delivered a terrified and pulsing personal-political manifesto so urgent it practically demanded to be scrawled in Technicolor blood on highway overpasses throughout every exurban hellscape in a country full of undecided voters clueless that their MAGA-sized indifference would pop the cork on a four-year populist American tragedy. Jet Plane and Oxbow, chock full of dark vibes, torment, and teeth-clenched vitriol, found the band as grand and compositionally ambitious as ever, riding far outside its familiar creative art rock lanes with loads of synths and New Wave dance rhythms that took musical and thematic inspiration from David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans" claustrophobia. Pack up and stow away any expectations that the tragicomedy of the Donald Trump presidency or the two-year strain of the COVID-19 pandemic would cause primary songwriter Jonathan Meiburg to venture further into the world of agitprop on The Great Awakening, which sounds like a retreat into the fragile intricacy of past records in its best moments, though the bulk of the album's nearly hourlong run time lulls with fragmented song ideas and half-formed melodies.

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Dusted Magazine
Opinion: Excellent

Photo by Bryan Parker The Great Awakening (2022) by Shearwater Although it's been six years since Shearwater's last album, Jet Plane and Oxbow, Jonathan Meiburg has been busy in the interim. He formed an excellent new band called Loma with Emily Cross (Cross Record) and Dan Duszynski (Any Kind), who released their self-titled debut in 2018, and Don't Shy Away in 2020. Meiburg also published a non-fiction book entitled A Most Remarkable Creature in 2021, which details his ornithological quest to study a unique bird of prey called the caracara.

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