How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The fifth solo album for The Boomtown Rats singer is his first since 2001's Sex, Age & Death.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Feb 17, 2011
    80
    It may have taken Geldof a while to get here, but as he prepares to collect his bus pass it seems wisdom and reflection have finally overtaken venomous splurge as his choice of artistic cloak. And it's a very good look for him.
  2. Dec 21, 2011
    70
    Much of the album is ruminative in a way that leans heavily on Dylan and Costello. Despite these echoes, the album is quite clearly Geldof's creation.
  3. Feb 25, 2011
    60
    If Geldof had been able to restrain his instinct toward baffling over-production, he might have come up with something that fulfilled the promise of its title. [Mar 2011, p.91]
  4. Apr 6, 2011
    60
    Giddy with excitement at times, his enthusiasm for life at 58 comes as a relief after 2001's Sex Age & Death. [Apr 2011, p.102]
  5. Feb 17, 2011
    50
    As such, the experimentations, and their hit-and-miss nature, doesn't make for an album you want to play over and over again; in fact, a fair amount of tunes are rather forgettable and don't really offer much.
  6. 40
    He doesn't care whether you want it or not, he's going to do it anyway. And How to Compose... confirms that he undoubtedly still loves music. The problem is, it's usually somebody else's music,
  7. It's coated in a layer of pseudo-authenticity, but ultimately it's a record which aims for Bo Diddley or Johnny Cash and merely attains Dire Straits.