The Center Won't Hold Image
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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Summary: The ninth full-length studio release for the rock trio was produced by St. Vincent and is the final one with drummer Janet Weiss, who announced her departure from the band in July 2019.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. 100
    The Center Won’t Hold is a revolution for Sleater-Kinney, an amazing act of artistic bravery, Sleater-Kinney’s best album to date, and my new favorite album of 2019. This is a cultural moment that should not be missed, and I highly recommend you listen to it immediately.
  2. Aug 16, 2019
    90
    The Center Won’t Hold is by far their most stylised, radio-friendly work to date; produced by St Vincent, Annie Clark’s icy sheen and dark seduction is all over the record.
  3. Mojo
    Aug 12, 2019
    80
    The Center Won't Hold sounds like a band urgently resetting their course, putting their fury and fear ona war footing. At times., it's on a industrial scale. ... There are gorgeous pop songs here, too. [Sep 2019, p.84]
  4. Aug 30, 2019
    80
    It’s more polished than most S-K albums, but it’s still a flurry of frenetic chords, caustic drum beats and yelps and hisses from Carrie Brownstein and Tucker. Clark gave The Center Won’t Hold a very modern filter and sheen, but Sleater-Kinney still set the tone.
  5. Aug 20, 2019
    79
    Even if tracks like “Can I Go On” or “RUINS” don’t manifest themselves as solidly as some of the others, they’re still interesting, well-constructed, complete thoughts. The Center Won’t Hold is a Sleater-Kinney record not only because their name is on the cover, but because all of the elements you first fell in love with are still here.
  6. Aug 15, 2019
    75
    The album is successful in displaying where Brownstein and Tucker (as the band's dual-mouthpieces) are in 2019, encapsulated beautifully on the album's piano-led closer "Broken." Elsewhere, "Reach Out" and "Can I Go On" provide the kind of anthemic rallying calls we collectively get behind Sleater-Kinney for.
  7. Aug 14, 2019
    50
    Too many of the new songs sound diligent and derivative, as if Sleater-Kinney were working through a pop apprenticeship. It’s good to know that the group doesn’t want to repeat itself, that the band is also out to master 21st-century digital tools. But on “The Center Won’t Hold,” Sleater-Kinney hasn’t found its version 2.0.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Aug 31, 2019
    10
    I absolutely love this album! I think it's great how they are always evolving and changing sound. St. Vincent is a genius. So many powerfulI absolutely love this album! I think it's great how they are always evolving and changing sound. St. Vincent is a genius. So many powerful and talented women on this record! This album truly speaks to today's political climate. They did a great job addressing issues. Broken gets to me every time. Expand
  2. Aug 25, 2019
    9
    Fantastic evolution for one of music’s best bands. More technical than previous releases, the album is still undeniably Sleater-Kinney and oneFantastic evolution for one of music’s best bands. More technical than previous releases, the album is still undeniably Sleater-Kinney and one of their finest outings. Expand
  3. Aug 16, 2019
    9
    With production by St. Vincent, Sleater-Kinney have crafted an album that's strong in its center.
  4. Aug 20, 2019
    7
    I find at times Sleater-Kinney to sound repetitive but overall they have always been a good band. On 'The Centre Won't Hold' I applaud themI find at times Sleater-Kinney to sound repetitive but overall they have always been a good band. On 'The Centre Won't Hold' I applaud them for trying a more radio friendly direction. The tracks feel more the left over b-sides of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and St. Vincent, which makes sense as it was produced by the latter. Overall a decent effort, I'm just not feeling the usual oomph they deliver.
    Listen to: Hurry On Home, Reach Out, Ruins.
    Expand
  5. Aug 17, 2019
    6
    Seductive but a little bit lethargic. St. Vincent's production really took effect. At some point, it felt like Janet Weiss' strikes got ultraSeductive but a little bit lethargic. St. Vincent's production really took effect. At some point, it felt like Janet Weiss' strikes got ultra lifeless contrasted to Sleater-Kinney's past projects, noting that her departure might has something to do with it. Expand