Rook (album)

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Rook
Shearwater rook.jpg
Studio album by Shearwater
Released June 3, 2008
Recorded November 2007, Echo Lab, Argyle, Texas
Genre Indie rock
Length 38:18
Language English
Label Matador Records
Producer Jonathan Meiburg
Shearwater chronology
Palo Santo
(2006)
Rook
(2008)
The Golden Archipelago
(2010)

Rook is the fifth studio album by American indie rock band Shearwater. It was released on June 3, 2008, on the Matador Records label. The track "Rooks" was the first single from the album. The album was previewed on May 5, 2008 and May 29, 2008, at two special concerts in Manhattan and Austin, Texas.[1] The band toured in support of the album later in 2008. The album gained the band a spot on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" on May 28.[2]

Shearwater released the album on both CD and vinyl, with the vinyl version having a bonus track called "North Col".[3]

Co-founder Jonathan Meiburg said he chose the title for the sound of the word and the fact that it has multiple meanings.[4] The theme of birds recurs frequently with the band, from their name to titles of songs and albums (for example, "Sing, Little Birdie" and Winged Life).[4] Meiburg is an ornithologist.[4]

Music[edit]

The album features harp, glockenspiel, woodwind and a hammer dulcimer among more conventional instruments such as guitar and piano.[3][5][6]

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics of Rook are mainly focused on themes of nature and fairy tale.[7]

Critics[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 85/100[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[9]
The Austin Chronicle 4/5 stars[10]
The A.V. Club A−[11]
Blender 4/5 stars[12]
MSN Music C−[13]
Pitchfork Media 8.0/10[6]
PopMatters 9/10[14]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[15]
Spin 3.5/5 stars[16]
Uncut 4/5 stars[17]

The response from critics has been very positive. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 85 - indicating "Universal Acclaim" - based on 20 reviews.[8] Pitchfork Media called it "impressive and uniformly gorgeous" and gave it an 8 out of 10 rating.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jonathan Meiburg.

No. Title Length
1. "On the Death of the Waters" 3:08
2. "Rooks" 3:21
3. "Leviathan, Bound" 2:52
4. "Home Life" 7:15
5. "Lost Boys" 2:24
6. "Century Eyes" 2:18
7. "I Was a Cloud" 5:12
8. "South Col" 2:35
9. "The Snow Leopard" 5:08
10. "The Hunter's Star" 4:00
Total length: 38:18

Singles[edit]

  • "Rooks" (May 27, 2008), 7" vinyl
  1. "Rooks" – 3:21
  2. "The Rainbow" (Talk Talk cover; recorded live at the Crocodile Cafe, Seattle) – 9:47
  • The Snow Leopard EP (October 14, 2008), digital download
  1. "The Snow Leopard" – 5:02
  2. "So Bad" (Baby Dee cover) – 4:55
  3. "North Col" – 2:17
  4. "Henry Lee" (Nick Cave cover; recorded live from KUT) – 5:00
  5. "Rooks" (live from Radio K) – 3:14
  6. "I Was a Cloud" (live from Radio K) – 4:48
  7. "South Col" / "The Snow Leopard" (live at Florence Gould Hall, NYC) – 5:56

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shearwater (7 April 2008). "SW Presents Rook Live May 5th (NYC) & May 29th (Austin)". Shearwater Music. 
  2. ^ Adrienne Day (28 May 2008). "The Must List: Shearwater's flights of fancy". Entertainment Weekly. 
  3. ^ a b "Shearwater Move Their Rook Out". Chart Attack. 21 May 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Matthew Solarski (27 March 2008). "Shearwater's Meiburg Talks Rook, Birding, Okkervil". Pitchfork Media. 
  5. ^ Matthew Barnhart (2007-11-15). "Shearwater "Rook" recording, days. . . uhh. . .". 
  6. ^ a b c Crock, Jason (June 4, 2008). "Shearwater: Rook". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Shearwater — Rook". Retrieved 20 September 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for Rook by Shearwater". Metacritic. Retrieved July 1, 2008. 
  9. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Rook – Shearwater". AllMusic. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  10. ^ Haupt, Melanie (June 6, 2008). "Shearwater: Rook". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  11. ^ Gordon, Scott (June 2, 2008). "Shearwater: Rook". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  12. ^ Eells, Josh. "Shearwater: Rook". Blender. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 2009). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  14. ^ Loar, Christel (May 29, 2008). "Shearwater: Rook". PopMatters. Retrieved June 4, 2008. 
  15. ^ Clark, M. (July 2, 2008). "Shearwater: Rook". Slant Magazine. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ Young, Jon (June 2008). "Shearwater: Rook". Spin. 24 (6): 116. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Shearwater: Rook". Uncut (135): 98. August 2008. 

External links[edit]