"Critical Acclaim" is the first single from Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album. A 2-minute teaser was posted on the band's MySpace to tide fans over until the iTunes release date, but on August 20, 2007, Avenged Sevenfold uploaded the full version on their MySpace. The full song was released on iTunes August 28, 2007.
Introduced by a twenty-two second long organ melody followed by a majestic, slow guitar solo, "Critical Acclaim" is based around two aggressive guitar riffs - One which is repeated during the verses, the second one after every chorus and before and during the third guitar solo - which pushes back the band's musical direction much more to the one during their earlier career, still without staying close to their original metalcore sound, but instead showing signs of a more matured heavy metal sound.
The song's lyrical meaning is a criticizing attack on people who, according to the band, are in their turn criticizing the soldiers of the United States of America for engaging in the Iraq War conflict, without trying to find a solution to end the ongoing war. Avenged Sevenfold lead singer M. Shadows has close friends who have experienced military service in Iraq.
The Rev provides the vocals for the chorus of the song, as well as some background vocals and screams.
The song is available as downloadable content for the music video game Rock Band.
Shadows (and Synyster Gates) about the song in a radio station interview: