Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
Buy On
  1. Classic Rock Magazine
    Feb 8, 2019
    90
    This is a beautiful record, a reflection on an extraordinary 50-year career that's more a memory of life than a memento mori. [Mar 2019, p.89]
  2. 85
    If there’s any justice at all, the future ahead after the release of this deeply moving, often mesmerising, sparse yet still richly nuanced album will see Chapman conclude his much-overdue journey to wider renown from the shadows he’s operated in for far too long.
  3. The Wire
    Mar 7, 2019
    80
    These aren’t stoical songs; nor are they blandly defiant. They speak a deep truth about ageing, and one that spikes several more humdrum cliches: age isn’t just how you feel, but an ineluctable fact; it isn’t just a matter of numbers, but very much a felt experience, and Chapman has delivered a beautiful continuum of musical experience since he emerged in 1969 with Rainmaker and Fully Qualified Survivor. [Mar 2019, p.48]
  4. Feb 7, 2019
    80
    Here Chapman obviously revels in his continued ability to mine the emotional, psychological, and spiritual terrain he did in his younger years as a songwriter, while adding experiential depth to his approach through a lifetime of profound musical development. In an enormous catalog, True North stands straight-up alongside his finest recordings.
  5. Feb 7, 2019
    80
    Chapman's latest studio album, True North, produced by contemporary guitar guru Steve Gunn, is his bleakest effort to date, a sparse reflection on aging and deeply nuanced literature.
  6. Q Magazine
    Feb 4, 2019
    80
    More earthy than his contemporary Richard Thompson, Chapman shows younger pretenders a clean pair of heels with impeccable guitar-picking and tunes that veer from moist-eyed remembrance to defiance at times's relentless passage. [Mar 2019, p.112]
  7. Feb 4, 2019
    80
    Michael Chapman’s songs are gorgeous, dark-tone places, full of the work of musical collaboration, but also haunted and spare. Lovely stuff.
  8. Uncut
    Feb 4, 2019
    80
    A glowering inferno. [Mar 2019, p.24]
  9. Mojo
    Feb 4, 2019
    80
    True North feels both stoic and positive in outlook. [Mar 2019, p.91]
  10. Feb 7, 2019
    74
    He gives himself over to memory’s full sway, until the project feels a little like thumbing through a souvenir album, Chapman singing about the postcards that help remind him of places held dear.
  11. Mar 6, 2019
    72
    The mood can be a lot to endure for the course of one album, especially in comparison to the lighter, looser touch that Chapman took on his ‘70s albums like Millstone Grit and Rainmaker. But the music that he and Gunn (with some assistance from B.J. Cole and Sarah Smout) designed has an openness and a ramble that befits these songs. It would be dishonest to try and slather these tunes with effects and or electronic intrusions.
  12. Feb 4, 2019
    70
    Chapman's singing is True North's major shortcoming. ... His music takes the more difficult path towards what is constant. He's bound to what really exists.

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