Bish Bosch - Scott Walker
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. 30
    How anyone outside the walls of a mental asylum could genuinely enjoy the annoyingly repetitive industrial drum-throbs, aimless experimento-guitar crunches and lyrics about "reeking gonads" that characterise songs called things like 'Epizootics!' is beyond me.
  2. Jan 2, 2013
    70
    Bish Bosch is as much about challenging the people that absorbed and accepted Tilt and The Drift as it is challenging the rest of the world--and while that makes it consistent with all his work since Nite Flights, each subsequent album giving his fan base another hurdle to overcome, it also gives it a thrill that's unique to both his discography and the majority of the music you could compare it to. If, indeed, there is any.
  3. Dec 20, 2012
    80
    Bish Bosch is a wilder, more scattered (and scatty, in the case of Epizootics!, ten minutes of sax-driven jazz which could almost be seen as accessible, if it wasn't so dark and threatening) work than its immediate predecessors.
  4. Dec 11, 2012
    60
    Bish Bosch is an album even fans won't necessarily play often, but on those special occasions, as per title, it very much does the job. [Jan 2013, p.104]
  5. Dec 7, 2012
    80
    The album's primary emotion of disgust is cushioned by performances and production so luxurious as to be sinister. [Dec 2012, p.63]
  6. Dec 7, 2012
    90
    This is an album of a depth and ambition that should, frankly, set a standard for contemporary art music.
  7. Dec 6, 2012
    70
    It's not just that it's larded with harsh dissonance; the compositions, arrangements, poesy, and performances come at the listener in discrete shards.
  8. Dec 6, 2012
    80
    While Bish Bosch may not be the most easy album to digest, it doesn't lack for talent or shock value.
  9. Dec 6, 2012
    80
    Bish Bosch is Walker's most accessible (extremely relatively speaking) work since Climate.
  10. Dec 4, 2012
    80
    Scott Walker is one of the true geniuses of modern music and the treasures are as rich as ever for those prepared to go the distance.
  11. Dec 4, 2012
    52
    Tonally, however, Bish Bosch offers nothing dramatically new, just (a lot more) of what Walker's done before.
  12. 80
    The album can be heavy going, with or without a dictionary, but its sheer, lapidary obsessiveness provides its own rewards.
  13. The album is a widening and a deepening of the style we've come to expect of Walker – but it's also got elements of a brightening of that sound as well.
  14. Dec 3, 2012
    80
    Given time and patience, it will eventually unravel into a truly gripping that, although disturbing, is worth every minute of your time.
  15. Dec 3, 2012
    80
    As much as it can sound like it stands alone, Bish Bosch is part of a tradition of music that tried to find new ways to articulate that same old misery.
  16. Dec 3, 2012
    90
    With Bish Bosch, Walker creates a kind of Möbius Strip: by virtue of creating a less physical sonic landscape, he provides a way into his great trilogy on his way out of it.
  17. Walker is almost unique among his generation in continuing to provide mind-food instead of cosy nostalgia. If you go into Bish Bosch half-wishing he'd belt out a ballad, you leave it with absolutely no regrets.
  18. Dec 3, 2012
    70
    Bish Bosch may sound a little strained at times, but it's still a big, ballsy achievement, the work of a committed artist delving further into a land of vaguely sketched nightmares.
  19. 40
    Walker is much more interested in how the beauty of his voice can serve declamation and confrontation; but you sometimes recoil from this mannered anti-croon.
  20. Dec 3, 2012
    70
    It's an anti-spectacle, but also an anti-mystery. Because you drawn to return to it, to find the details and hidden gems that make you feel this music deeply-for better or worse-even as you know there's no clear answer.
  21. 80
    There is a strangely addictive quality to hearing something quite so aggressively sui generis as this.
  22. Nov 30, 2012
    80
    Listeners that can't stand the noise can just move on to the next pop record. Walker is in a whole different dimension. [Oct/Nov 2012, p.126]
  23. 91
    [Walker] is stronger and scarier than ever on his violently gorgeous 14th album. [7 Dec 2012, p.75]
  24. Nov 30, 2012
    80
    Bish Bosch really is his beautiful, dark and twisted fantasy made manifest.
  25. 80
    It's a bastard of a listen--a rare, tough piece of meat too savory to spit and toss aside.
  26. Nov 30, 2012
    100
    This very refusal to cohere, to make sense, to play the game of identity and otherness, of harmony and disharmony, makes Bish Bosch this year's only necessary work of art.
  27. Nov 29, 2012
    80
    It might not encourage repeat plays, but to dismiss it as a racket is to do it, and its maker, a huge disservice.
  28. Nov 29, 2012
    80
    Whichever side of the fence you fall on, you'd be hard-pushed to claim there's anything else remotely like the album itself.
  29. Nov 27, 2012
    70
    Throughout, there's evident delight in lexicographical obscurity that echoes James Joyce or Will Self: no bad thing in itself, though when allied to the sometimes impermeable, abstract constructions, the results can be frustratingly opaque. [Dec 2012, p.61]
  30. Nov 27, 2012
    80
    It's still one giant leap into the unknown, with all the notions of genre once again gleefully sidestepped. [Dec 2012, p.82]
  31. Nov 27, 2012
    70
    Whereas Walker seemed to grasp something on that album [The Drift], here he seems restless and inconsistent, but his continuing artistic quest remains peerless and fascinating.
  32. Nov 27, 2012
    82
    What's really amazing about Bish Bosch is that all of its myriad components are somehow pulled in to exist on the same insane planet.
  33. Nov 27, 2012
    37
    Call it what you want, just be prepared to call it something other than music.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. Dec 13, 2012
    10
    An album that has made this year completely worth it in terms of music. It is an elegant painting, with Scott as the artist. Lyrically, the album is extremely comprehensive. Don't expect to understand these lyrics unless you're well read. Even if you aren't well read you can just as easily look up the various unfamiliar terms and references Scott makes throughout this masterpiece. The music, however, can easily be appreciated through analysis of it's complex composition and unique use of various instruments. The percussion is especially of high quality here, and while many people were worried with Scott's use of various synthesizers and heavy guitar riffs on this album, they work great. The strings, as usual, are fantastic. This album is worthy of carrying the name "Bosch" as it's title, it is a portrait in itself, various pictures and images of humanities tyrannies, sins, and addictions. Scott shows us how it really is, in a cynical manner to be expected of the man who once sung songs about Gonorrhea and Dictators. The images and pictures may seem disconnected at first, but much like Bosch's paintings they come together to form one beautiful piece. Full Review »
  2. Dec 8, 2012
    1
    Even if this record is a clever one, it is, first of all, a boring one. It is hardly possible to listen to it through at one occasion and, moreover, after one time I could not find any will to listen again. Critics have probably listened to another record. This one is really bad. Full Review »
  3. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    He has broken the cycle. It is only 6 years since The Drift, 5 years earlier than expected. It is monumental, difficult, demanding, baffling, impossible and opaque everything to be expected from a Scott Walker record. It is also wondrous. The fact is exists and is released is incredible. I could give it 0 or 10, but it has to be a 10, because it must be heard at least once. Full Review »