It's Up to Emma - Scout Niblett
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. May 20, 2013
    80
    The naked emotion expressed here doesn't exactly make for an easy listening experience, but it's a brave, welcome, and perhaps even necessary one.
  2. May 20, 2013
    76
    Even as harrowing and discomfiting an experience as Emma is, it's the most listenable record Niblett has made since her debut; caustic in a totally different way than usual.
  3. May 16, 2013
    70
    She hasn't acquired any other new weapons here, though, sticking to her usual palette: intimidating, sludgy-but-spare garage that builds like someone surreptitiously tightening a thumbscrew. [Jun 2013, p.76]
  4. May 16, 2013
    60
    It's Up To Emma feels like eavesdropping on someone's post-break-up revenge fantasy. [Jun 2013, p.104]
  5. 60
    This album compares favourably to Smog, or PJ Harvey at her most skeletal--not least in the confessional lyrical sexuality.
  6. Jun 13, 2013
    75
    Few records this year are likely to come from as emotionally stark territory as Scout Niblett's harrowing It's Up To Emma. [Jun-Jul 2013, p.89]
  7. May 17, 2013
    70
    This album changes nothing in terms of her previous work; if anything it’s more minimal and darker, but as long as she continues to feel the pain expressed here, her hurt is our gain.
  8. May 21, 2013
    84
    Though cast from Niblett’s typical primary elements, It’s Up To Emma sounds richer and fuller than past records, the lyrical directness adding one more driving force in a mix balanced out by taut strings, bone-shake tambourine and railcar blasts of EBow.
  9. Aug 9, 2013
    80
    On It’s Up to Emma, her sixth album, songs like “My Man” and “What Can I Do” are a bit of a shock--lusher, denser, subtler, their gut-punching intensity smoothed with sustained sounds.
  10. Jun 12, 2013
    80
    It's Up To Emma is as blatant an intimate reckoning with betrayal, anger and pain as it gets and yet it's Scout Niblett's most sonorous, most beautiful album to date.
  11. 75
    Imbibing such personal performances with a universally relatable humanity is the greatest strength to a record that makes fragility sound pretty devastating.
  12. May 16, 2013
    60
    Throughout, Niblett’s lonesome, PJ Harvey-like voice and grunge-bitten guitar are central, while disorientating snare cracks serve to underline her forlorn tales of domestic crises.

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