Albums to watch

Tip Of The Sphere

Cass McCombs

Tip Of The Sphere

Ninth studio album from the California-born singer-songwriter, produced by Dan Horne

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  1. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Represents McCombs' practised skill as a shaper of his own world, with pride in his craft, a deep respect for tradition and the drive to refresh it via his own, idiosyncratic iteration. Print edition only

  2. 9.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

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  3. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    McCombs' guitar has never sounded so subtle. The way he weaves around it his vocal lines is often exquisite
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  4. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    He maintains a sense of worldliness and top-tier deftness as a songwriter
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  5. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Tip of the Sphere's greatest riches, though, lie in McCombs' mystical, questing songcraft. Print edition only

  6. 8.0 |   Q

    There are moments in early listens of the album when the attention begins to meander, only to be drawn back in by a lyrical quirk, or a sudden musical volte face, so that by the sixth roll about the turntable this seems a wholly differently textured record to when you began. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   DIY

    A near-flawless documentation of the end of times
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  8. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Tip Of The Sphere’s captivating spontaneity is enough to keep fans content for the next two years until McCombs re-emerges from the studio
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  9. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    The reserved bandleader incorporates more classic rock references than usual, but they’re the frames for subtleties and surprises within
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  10. 8.0 |   The Observer

    This former skateboarder, long keen on mind-expanding substances, is no longer playing the role of wastel busker with a guitar and a piercing stare, but rather settling into a new one – that of road-wizened seeker, deep-seated musicality to the fore
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  11. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    As intricate as any of his work before it
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  12. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    A charmingly rough-edged collection of sincere alt-country rambles and experimental grooves
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  13. 7.5 |   Paste Magazine

    Great for both the casually-interested listener or the seasoned listener looking for something to slowly melt into and later pick apart
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  14. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    McCombs’ music is in some ways difficult to define, since he at times sounds like he holds the listener at arm’s length, with music at once intimate and impersonal. But Tip of the Sphere, as with so many of his albums, is a mystery well worth contemplating
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  15. 7.5 |   The 405

    Whilst not standing toe-to-toe with the very best of McComb’s discography, Tip of the Sphere is as good a soundtrack to The End Times as anything he’s done
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  16. 7.0 |   American Songwriter

    Another impressive notch in the belt of a talented artist whose unusual, often offbeat approach is what makes him so distinctive, entrancing and appealing
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  17. 7.0 |   The Music

    All in all this feels like an intimate set of creative and explorative musical expositions. Eloquent, contemplative and for the most part intriguing and absorbing
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  18. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    It’s deceptively chill music that, like most of McCombs work, honors the past while steeling itself for the future
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  19. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    McCombs is one of the most masterful proponents of Americana working today, although that’s not to say there aren’t surprises here
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  20. 6.0 |   Clash

    This album is a black-belt in terms of song writing and instrumentation…but when McCombs’ lyrics can’t match up, ‘Tip Of The Sphere’ sounds like it’s limping
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  21. 6.0 |   NME

    He’s a unique talent, no doubt, and has once again made a work on his terms. It’s at times an exasperating listen, but that’s kind of the point
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  22. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    A record that never quite seems to find its feet, despite having a plethora of creative and interesting ideas
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