London Zoo

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 72
  2. Negative: 22 out of 72

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  1. OllieH
    Mar 11, 2009
    9
    Outstanding. The production is second to none and the vocals are innovative. I have to warn anyone listening to this though, it isn't easy listening; the production is very bass-heavy and the vocalists' performances are very obnoxious at times (in terms of ego, tone and swagger). It's successful for the same reasons Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers was: they're both Outstanding. The production is second to none and the vocals are innovative. I have to warn anyone listening to this though, it isn't easy listening; the production is very bass-heavy and the vocalists' performances are very obnoxious at times (in terms of ego, tone and swagger). It's successful for the same reasons Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers was: they're both intentionally gritty, have amazing production, and are driven by strong and diverse vocalists. Skeng and Poison Dart are the two best tracks. Expand
  2. MikeG
    Oct 3, 2008
    10
    I put this album on to read to, but immediately had an urge to dance. Solid sounds from start to finish.
  3. AlanR.
    Sep 10, 2008
    10
    Totally underrated. More!
  4. FilmoreH.
    Sep 10, 2008
    10
    Makes No Doubt's "Rock Steady" look like the banal pop turd it is. The Bug owns 2008.
  5. AaronB.
    Oct 12, 2008
    10
    Masterpiece. Incredibly creative.
  6. EricC.
    Aug 31, 2008
    9
    The sound of the backlash is deafening. I can already see the angry user reviews from people who aren't in to dubstep, but who bought this anyway because it's one of the top albums of the year. It happened to Burial and ambient albums from Field and Stars of the Lid. It will happen again.
  7. CailyD.
    Sep 11, 2008
    10
    Judging from what they play in clubs these days, I'd say this album is tremendously underrated. I've never felt more like dancing than when this album is on. I can't explain it.
  8. OlaoluJ.
    Sep 24, 2008
    9
    People will call it overrated and employ as much hyperbole as those they decry simply because it's hip to do so. Ultimately, London Zoo still remains an excellent entry into the dubstep (or whatever sub-genre you want to place it in) genre, with its great mix of lyricism and bass-heavy energy. It's personally the only album released this year that I've had this much fun People will call it overrated and employ as much hyperbole as those they decry simply because it's hip to do so. Ultimately, London Zoo still remains an excellent entry into the dubstep (or whatever sub-genre you want to place it in) genre, with its great mix of lyricism and bass-heavy energy. It's personally the only album released this year that I've had this much fun listening to. If you don't like dubstep at all then why bother reviewing this album? Expand
  9. MrA
    Sep 8, 2008
    9
    The energy of this album is fantastic, I get lost in the textures, awesome!
  10. michaelR
    Aug 1, 2009
    9
    The songs on this album have an amazing abilty to pump me up. It helps me in the gym.
  11. BrandoS.
    Aug 28, 2008
    9
    The vocals took a bit to get used to, but gradually i fell for the album. the music is great and even better if you have a good stereo to crank it up. it's a grower not a shower.
  12. ElliottM
    Sep 13, 2008
    9
    Ditto Eric C.
  13. May 2, 2011
    10
    An absolute masterpiece. The songs are innovative and interesting, but most of all, they contain a whole f**kload of energy. And I mean ALL of them. Some, like "Angry", are energizing in just a plain agressive, let-it-all-out style, while others, like "Skeng" or "Poison Dart" (which is, by the way, one of the very few true diamonds in this music style, in my opinion), are sophisticated andAn absolute masterpiece. The songs are innovative and interesting, but most of all, they contain a whole f**kload of energy. And I mean ALL of them. Some, like "Angry", are energizing in just a plain agressive, let-it-all-out style, while others, like "Skeng" or "Poison Dart" (which is, by the way, one of the very few true diamonds in this music style, in my opinion), are sophisticated and complicated compositions, not only appealing to the wild parts of our natures, but also the more civilized ones.
    And, of course, if you want to upset your neighbours just enough to move to a different country, buy yourself a decent sub to go with the record.
    Collapse
  14. Tyler
    Nov 16, 2008
    3
    It's incredibly annoying.
  15. MattH
    Nov 24, 2008
    10
    Brilliant, unrelentingly dark and - somehow - fun. "London Zoo" is a masterpiece of menacing beats, gloomy atmospherics and talented guest vocalists.
  16. PitchforkmediaR
    Oct 30, 2008
    0
    "Angry" is the worst song of all time, truly horrendous music. Sounds like reggaeton, avoid at all cost.
  17. JodieL
    Dec 10, 2008
    2
    I couldn't even give this album away for free, BEWARE. I actually might listen to it again if it had a companion disc of just the music, minus the vocals, the vocals are just terrible, one of the worst albums I've ever listened to. It's not entirely surprising to see that the highest rating albums each year are only reviewed by a select few places (this one only ten, I couldn't even give this album away for free, BEWARE. I actually might listen to it again if it had a companion disc of just the music, minus the vocals, the vocals are just terrible, one of the worst albums I've ever listened to. It's not entirely surprising to see that the highest rating albums each year are only reviewed by a select few places (this one only ten, whereas Radiohead was reviewed by 42 different places, last year). Expand
  18. KeiJ.
    Sep 3, 2008
    2
    I hate this, sounds like a bunch of angsty nigerian scam artists trying to make music to scam dumb white kids out of their money. Some of the production is decent. I give it a 2. AVOID.
  19. kilas99
    Oct 29, 2008
    4
    Really hard on the ears. I think if the pace and tempo was quicker I could handle it, but after several listens I still hear abrasive MC's over very, very grime-y beats that never really take off. Really depends on what you're looking for from electronic/hip-hop/producer etc.
  20. PaulC.
    Sep 1, 2008
    3
    One of the examples of how metacritic's overall ranking system needs to be re-tooled. Perhaps this album is the greatest dubstep album ever, but the second or first best album of 2008? Not ever.
  21. DomB.
    Sep 2, 2008
    5
    Totally overrated. Next!
  22. JamesM.
    Sep 20, 2008
    0
    This album is awful. I could no listen to it more then once.
  23. TomP.
    Sep 9, 2008
    5
    As I said in regards to DragonForce, that many critics just can't ball up to without sounding biased and losing their jobs. Is that a great album, in a garbage genre, is still garbage. Nuff said.
  24. TImA
    Apr 17, 2009
    5
    I am a big fan of Ninja Tunes (the label this was released on) and have an incredibly broad taste in music so consider myself open minded to most stuff. I am also from London and therefore not unfamiliar with the style of vocals that are used here. That all said however this album is horrendously over rated where the critics got the ratings from I will never know. It is essentially some I am a big fan of Ninja Tunes (the label this was released on) and have an incredibly broad taste in music so consider myself open minded to most stuff. I am also from London and therefore not unfamiliar with the style of vocals that are used here. That all said however this album is horrendously over rated where the critics got the ratings from I will never know. It is essentially some decent (and only decent) dub-step style tracks with reggae/Rasta vocals over it. The vocals do not work at all Expand
  25. KirkVN
    Apr 19, 2009
    0
    How this one is called good music is beyond my comprehension. Strange ideas + electronic = utter bullsh*t.
  26. AdamP
    Nov 18, 2008
    2
    Overall, good beats/instrumentation do not a great album make. Take a listen to "Dear Science" by TVotR if you want a similar album with original music but the worst lyrics you've ever heard. Things that make me angry: -Musicians who think they know what they're talking about but really get their lyrics from Cynthia McKinney quotes on CNN -When people complain about tragedies, Overall, good beats/instrumentation do not a great album make. Take a listen to "Dear Science" by TVotR if you want a similar album with original music but the worst lyrics you've ever heard. Things that make me angry: -Musicians who think they know what they're talking about but really get their lyrics from Cynthia McKinney quotes on CNN -When people complain about tragedies, place the blame on those who aren't at fault, and then *do nothing about it! Expand
  27. [Anonymous]
    Sep 14, 2008
    2
    Overrated, of course.
  28. RaeR
    Apr 12, 2009
    1
    There was a time when I believed Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music' was the worst album ever recorded. I've revisited my opinion and have come to the conclusion that it is the second worst album ever recorded. Poo-poo to all those arty poseurs who actually see artisitic merit in this shite DVD.
  29. BC
    May 19, 2009
    2
    I cannot believe this is rated 90...I saw them live with Nine Inch Nails and all the singer could do was touch herself and scream HARDCORE. Live: the singing sucked, but the dj was awesome so it gets a bit better then 1 for me.
  30. GuyH
    Sep 22, 2008
    8
    This is the grower of the year for me so far. At first it sounds like a collection of stand alone tracks but give it time and you suddenly realise that it is a very scary document to the current state of urban insanity that surrounds many of us. There is something undeniably seductive about the feeling you get in your gut of impending danger, violence and chaos and 'The Bug' This is the grower of the year for me so far. At first it sounds like a collection of stand alone tracks but give it time and you suddenly realise that it is a very scary document to the current state of urban insanity that surrounds many of us. There is something undeniably seductive about the feeling you get in your gut of impending danger, violence and chaos and 'The Bug' taps into that. You almost welcome the apocalypse - bring it on! Expand
  31. AnthonyC.
    Sep 13, 2008
    8
    Slightly overrated. still excellent, though.
  32. WesM.
    Sep 3, 2008
    8
    Uniformly strong if not consistently groundbreaking dancehall.
  33. AndreaD.
    Sep 25, 2008
    8
    I've listen for the first time the dubstep and this genre has impresse me very positively! Basses are incredible on all the cd! Skeng, Angry, Judgment get 10/10, Warning , Fuckaz, Jah War 8/10, all the others 7/10..then... all the cd get an 8.. A particular mantion to the song Skang.. the rap on this song is amazing!
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. The cumulative effect--somewhere around being lifted into the heavens by sunrays--is at odds with the continuous black clouds that come before. Yet it’s a necessary chink of light to conclude a journey so oppressive you may just forget to breathe through its duration.
  2. Considering the host of absolutely killer tracks, London Zoo might just be Kevin Martin's finest album, which is astounding considering the man has been making music for two decades.
  3. London Zoo provides the perfect showcase for its colourful menagerie of MCs and singers. And the Bug's no-nonsense clank and grind production fosters a rare intensity of focus on this album's higher purpose, which is to take the eloquence of Linton Kwesi Johnson and Michael Smith's Eighties dub-poetry, and blast it into digital hyperspace.