No Depression (p.110) - "The record is more than pleasant.....The long-lost Whiskeytown tackles 'Give Me Another Chance', with Ryan Adams giving the song a nicely ramshackle reading."
Q (9/00, p.135) - Included in Q's "Best Alt.Country Albums Of All Time" - "...The last great alt.country album."Option (11-12/97, p.138) - "...Whiskeytown writes good songs, the kind you might actually find yourself singing. When they aren't pushing the cornpone...their garage-country has the warm glow of familiarity..."
Rolling Stone (p.79) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "On a set of howling rockers, frontman John McCauley pulls a genre jailbreak as impressive as the time that Ryan Adams ditched Whiskeytown to pledge his love for Morrissey and electric Dylan."Spin (p.70) - "There's a lot more Westerberg than Cobain in McCauley's ragged voice and loose-limbed commitment to boozy arrested development."Magnet (p.55) - "[I]t's the group's love for the Replacements that shines on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, particularly on Westerberg-penned bonus-cut 'Mr. Cigarette.'"CMJ - "DIVINE PROVIDENE is charged with a Git-R-Done attitude that lends the songs, most of which sound like they were recorded live, a fired-up energy."
Rolling Stone (7/8-7/22/99, p.154) - 4 stars (out of 5) - "...the artists on this collection...concoct the sonic stew that Parsons called 'cosmic American music'....There's not a bad track among the thirteen here....Parsons fans won't be disappointed..."Spin (8/99, p.152) - 8 (out of 10) - "...Because many of the acts on ANGEL share parson's love for country tragedy along with his remove from it...they take the same freedoms with his songs that he took with his source material..."Entertainment Weekly (7/23/99, p.67) - "...plays it straight, with most contributors confident enough to just play the songs, not reinvent them..." - Rating: B+CMJ (6/14/99, p.26) - "...a beautifully orchestrated collection of some of [Gram Parsons'] most influential songs, covered by artists who owe much to his powerful yet subtle brilliance..."Dirty Linen (12/99-1/00, pp.70-1) - "...once the list of the top 10 tribute albums of the decade is tallied up this one has a good chance of making the list."
Rolling Stone (p.60) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he record is remarkably polished, coloring Gram Parsons-style country with R.E.M.'s vocal drama and the Replacements' beer-breath blues."Rolling Stone (8/7/97, p.64) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "If there's to be a Nirvana among the bands that are imprecisely dubbed alternative country, look to Whiskeytown. Ryan Adams is a gifted writer who pens aching songs about alienation and love's lackings, and sings in a weary voice scuffed by hard luck..."Spin (08/01/97, p.74) - "...This Raleigh, N.C., quintet breaks away from the No Depression pack with a potent major-label bow that might be characterized as country & Westerberg. More tuneful and ruminative than their rowdy shows would suggest, Ryan Adams' America-soaked songs alternately rock and tiptoe through the space between apathy and regret..." - Rating: B+Uncut (p.109) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] still sounds like alt.country's high tide."Uncut (5/04, p.100) - "[S]tunning....[R]ocking like a primate and sad-balladeering like the loneliest barfly."Alternative Press (3/01, p.104) - Included in A.P.'s "10 Essential Alt-Country Albums" - "...Ryan Adams always seems to be singing at the end of a hard night of drinking, or at the end of a string of hard luck..."Option (11-12/97, p.125) - "...show[s] range beyond the band's trademark roughhouse, twang-tinged punk, but its honky-tonk heart still beats..."Melody Maker (1/24/98, p.37) - "Purchase immediately and file next to EVERYBODY HURTS and Big Star's THIRTEEN. It really is that good."Village Voice (2/24/98) - Ranked #23 in the Village Voice's 1997 Jazz & Pop Critics' Poll.Paste (magazine) (p.64) - "STRANGERS ALMANAC is the beating heart of Whiskeytown's catalog and one of the best albums of its genre and era."Record Collector (magazine) (p.100) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Flitting between dustbowl desperation and inner city ennui on slacker anthems such as 'Losering,' Adams soundtracked a subculture with quiet reserve and filmic imagery..."
Spin (12/99, p.232) - 7 out of 10 - "...The songs are campy-loose, and the performances sufficiently spirited, most notably 99 Tales' 'Baby Out of Jail'....It's one big 3.2 beer hootenanny...a squinting, post-punk Sunday-morning hangover that lingers - in this case, for 15 years."s
Option (7-8/97, p.130) - "...the songs range from honestly faithful...to updates...to pure rock'n'roll....Even if you have doubts about the heavily hyped insurgent/alternative country scene, this compilation will make you rethink them."