Albums to watch

C'est La Vie

Phosphorescent

C'est La Vie

Seventh studio LP by American singer-songwriter Matthew Houck recorded at his own Spirit Sounds Studio in Nashville

ADM rating[?]

7.6

Label
Dead Oceans
UK Release date
05/10/2018
US Release date
05/10/2018
  1. 9.0 |   Uncut

    ["Around The Horn"] inflates over a final few minutes into something uniquely epic. ... Lyrically, it's pretty baffling where "These Rocks," one of the albums' standout tracks, is the most openly confessional song Houck has written, set to a churchy musical swell, congregational and healing, the sound of a lifetime burden lifted by love. Print edition only

  2. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Phosphorescent’s C’est La Vie is devastingly honest and uncompromisingly beautiful
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  3. 8.2 |   Paste Magazine

    Houck sounds bemused but happy, like a man still learning to navigate and appreciate a whole new existence. No doubt, his beautiful and affecting music will grow with him—and help guide him
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  4. 8.0 |   The 405

    Rather than being a tearjerker, C'est la Vie instead serves as something of a safeguard, a protective companion, a generous friend down paths of memory we may never have intended to traverse again, and that we'd shudder to travel alone. Phosphorescent's music is as giving and truly kind as ever
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  5. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    C’est La Vie is a record to bathe in
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  6. 8.0 |   music OMH

    Everything you loved about the last few Phosphorescent records is still here, in abundance, but C’est La Vie seems more streamlined, more emotionally sincere
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  7. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Some listeners may find the album a touch monotonous, and whilst there are certainly no disco breakdowns, there are wrinkles in the formula
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  8. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    Billed as Phosphorescent's most reflective album yet, C'est La Vie features some of his most intricate arrangements to date
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  9. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Phosphorescent's latest is nothing less than a moody celebration, an album that gives a jubilant new meaning to the saying "c'est la vie"
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  10. 8.0 |   Mojo

    C'est La Vie is as potent, visceral and concise a sonic expression of this act of courage [step up and be an adult] as you could hope to find. Print edition only

  11. 8.0 |   Q

    The result is his slickest and best-produced record yet: all warm beats, electric piano and weeping, reverb-y pedal steel. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    This may well be the career-defining album that earns Houck the many fans he deserves
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  13. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    C’est La Vie is not to be missed
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  14. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    For his first album in five years, Matthew Houck puts fatherhood and a move to Nashville to good use on songs that are sly and wry and allow his voice to cut through intricate arrangements
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  15. 7.0 |   Clash

    Gilded Americana that dwells on self-reflection to find peace
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  16. 7.0 |   All Music

    At first this can feel less immediate than previous work, but much like Phosphorescent's winding journey, C'est La Vie burns slowly and leaves impressions both spiritual and sonic that merit repeat listens
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  17. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    In finding a sense of serenity and calm in whatever life throws at him, Houck strikes a balance between happiness and longing that’s often nothing short of sublime
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  18. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Americana misfit finds happiness
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  19. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    An Americana-tinged record that doesn’t reveal the secrets to happiness but celebrates the milestones that make a life
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  20. 5.8 |   Consequence Of Sound

    C’est La Vie has moments of real beauty and depth while reflecting on fatherhood and settling down. But Houck should keep pushing into the strange, uncomfortable places where his best music gets made; now’s not the time to shrug it off
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