Blueberry Boat

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Blueberry Boat
Studio album by The Fiery Furnaces
Released July 13, 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Indie rock, Progressive rock, Experimental rock
Length 76:09
Label Rough Trade
Producer Matthew Friedberger , Nicolas Vernhes
The Fiery Furnaces chronology
Gallowsbird's Bark
Blueberry Boat

Blueberry Boat is the second album by The Fiery Furnaces, released on July 13, 2004. It is the follow-up to their debut, Gallowsbird's Bark, which was released only ten months earlier. Blueberry Boat was a polarizing album with music critics due to its long, complex songs and esoteric lyrics.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Quay Cur"   10:25
2. "Straight Street"   5:00
3. "Blueberry Boat"   9:09
4. "Chris Michaels"   7:53
5. "Paw Paw Tree"   4:39
6. "My Dog Was Lost But Now He's Found"   3:29
7. "Mason City"   8:14
8. "Chief Inspector Blancheflower"   8:58
9. "Spaniolated"   3:21
10. "1917"   4:52
11. "Birdie Brain"   3:05
12. "Turning Round"   2:13
13. "Wolf Notes"   4:51
Total length:

Music and lyrics[edit]

More than twenty different instruments were used in the creation of this album, including the sitar, which was substituted for guitar on some songs. Keyboards, guitars, and drums are the main instruments used. As with all Fiery Furnaces releases, Eleanor Friedberger provides most of the vocals, with her brother Matt adding to a few songs. Matt is considered the main instrumentalist for the band, while both Friedbergers share lyrical duties. The album is more structurally complex than the band's debut, Gallowsbird's Bark, and most of the songs have distinct movements that sound like multiple songs combined.[1]

The song "Straight Street" references the biblical "street called straight" in Damascus. "1917" features references to the 1917 World Series, the most recent series that the Chicago White Sox had won at the point this album was released.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blender 2/5 stars[2]
Delusions of Adequacy (9/10)[3]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times (8.8/10)[5]
Pitchfork Media (9.6/10)[6]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[7]
Stylus Magazine B+[8]
Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5 stars[9]

The album garnered polarized but generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 70, which indicates "generally positive reviews," based on 34 reviews.[10] On the positive side, Pitchfork Media gave it a rating of 9.6 out of 10, calling it "a record for the overgrown part of our brain that craves engrossing complexity";[11] At Allmusic, Heather Phares wrote that "Blueberry Boat can be appreciated in the same way you would a puzzle box with intricate, endlessly shifting parts: you can spend a lot of time trying to unlock (or describe) its riddles, or just enjoy the artfulness behind them."[1]

NME was less enthralled, giving the album a rating of 1 out of 10 and calling it "toe-curlingly unlistenable."[12] At The Guardian, Dave Pleschek wrote that the Friedbergers "don't know when to stop" and called the album "a crashing disappointment."[4]

Pitchfork placed Blueberry Boat at number 145 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s.[13]


  • The Fiery Furnaces – Packaging
  • Eleanor Friedberger – Group member
  • Matthew Friedberger – Producer, group member
  • Samara Lubelski – Violin, engineer, mixing
  • David Muller – Drums on 3,4,7
  • Emily Scholnick – Artwork
  • Nicolas Vernhes – Engineer, mixing, computer editing, drums on 2,4,13


  1. ^ a b c Allmusic review
  2. ^ Blender review
  3. ^ Delusions of Adequacy review
  4. ^ a b Pleschek, Dave (September 3, 2004). "CD: The Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  6. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  7. ^ Rolling Stone review
  8. ^ Stylus Magazine review
  9. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes review
  10. ^ "Critic Reviews for Blueberry Boat - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Blueberry Boat Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  13. ^ Pitchfork staff (September 28, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200-151". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 

External links[edit]