Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Happiness in Magazines feels like Coxon's first true solo album -- it's the first to present a complex, robust portrait of him as an artist, and the first that holds its own next to what he accomplished in Blur.
  2. 90
    The defining characteristic of ‘Happiness In Magazines’ isn’t its full sound, nor its sharp reminder of what a great band Blur used to be; its in the sheer imaginative scope.
  3. Happiness in Magazines is riddled with glorious pop songs, and in a sane world would yield several hit singles. [Amazon UK]
  4. It's not original or slyly crafted enough - a couple of songs could definitely have benefited from a quick edit from Damon - to feel truly classic, but it has a charm and a vibrancy that's impossible to resist.
  5. Bouncy punk, bluesy rock and boozy pop: this is the real Graham Coxon. [#7]
  6. 80
    An album of straight-up, dazzlingly well-realised British pop. [May 2004 p.92]
  7. 80
    His most accessible work since Parklife. [Sep 2004, p.101]
  8. The best Graham Coxon imaginable. [Jun 2004, p.97]
  9. An album which traverses exhilaration, desire, despair and loss and sees a songwriter finally completely on top of his game.
  10. Coxon's effortless cool comes to the fore, imbuing each song with a wiry, infectious energy.
  11. Happiness in Magazines is a huge stride forward for Coxon, who here seems to have jettisoned his scattershot aural experimentation in favor of meaty melodies that actually stick with you.
  12. Happiness in Magazines is the sound of a former sideman confidently flexing his muscles for anyone who's interested. More people should be.
  13. Exploring the vacated ghosts of stale forms, Coxon has breathed new life into some of rock's most bankable clichés.
  14. [He] never abandons his knowing, witty sense of lyricism. [28 Jan 2005, p.83]
  15. Happiness In Magazines is one of the best garage rock hybrids to have been released since The Strokes hit it big.
  16. Coxon undermines the record's momentum somewhat by filling Happiness in Magazines with too many Blur-light moments.
  17. 'Happiness In Magazines' is likely to make you smile, and may even have you remembering a bygone era when Blur provided the soundtrack.
  18. 60
    Coxon finally seems to be coming into his own. [Mar 2005, p.111]
  19. This solo album isn't dramatically less low-fi than his last four, but it does incorporate legible, likable tunes into his ragged guitar rave-ups.
  20. Coxon's solo career has long suffered from the Bob Pollard syndrome of self-indulgent quantity over quality--a setback that, unfortunately, also plagues much of Happiness In Magazines. [Mar 2005, p.132]
  21. Sounds more ambitious than Coxon's effortless riffs let on. [Apr/May 2005, p.131]
  22. Shouldn't he be trying something a bit more ambitious by now?
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Tuskaj
    Mar 9, 2006
    10
    the best artist rock of the year..... graham coxon is my all.
  2. [Anonymous]
    Apr 1, 2005
    8
    Pretty freakin' awesome! Classic Britpop from a guy who knows his stuff. A couple of tracks seem fillery, but there are enough great hooks elsewhere to make up for that. The US version adds the fantastic "Right to Pop!", so be sure to get that one. Full Review »
  3. OnionGravy
    Mar 22, 2005
    4
    Wonderful singles, dire album. I feel like many of the reviews I've read are willing the album to be good in the face of the cold, hard truth - 10 different versions of Coffee & TV and You're So Great, but without the hooks. Coxon is as lost without Allbran as he is without Coxon. Full Review »