Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
Buy On
  1. Sep 9, 2013
    It's hard to tell if the album feels angrier and grittier than its predecessor, or if peeling off the layers of lo-fidelity actually reveal an artist more raw and without rules than we first perceived.
  2. 70
    It’s not a mulligan by any means, but more a second round of laying all his raw talent out on the table before the unraveling of his mystery begins.
  3. Sep 9, 2013
    Consistent it may not be, but during its finest moments Nobody Knows is unequivocal proof that Beal's artistry is more than capable of surpassing his legend.
  4. Sep 4, 2013
    With Nobody Knows Willis Earl Beal has rescued soul from the depths of the X Factor's Motown week.
  5. Sep 13, 2013
    What unifies the record is Beal’s ability to create concrete images within his abstract menagerie of sounds, which he then animates through his oddly charming and less paternal Screamin’ Jay Hawkins persona (also a good thing).
  6. Mojo
    Oct 11, 2013
    A masterful song cycle of raw confessionals, ghostly R&B and gritty stompers, all channelled via intense vocals that razor and soothe. [Nov 2013, p.94]
  7. Sep 9, 2013
    Nobody Knows should be the start of a brilliant career, not the conclusion of a merely promising one.
  8. As a whole it’s a bold, beautiful and uncompromising record.
  9. Sep 12, 2013
    There’s no denying that the elements that make up Nobody knows. are profoundly captivating, from the album's rich sonic detail to Beal’s reliably powerhouse vocals and personality. But as refined as these elements are, they still don’t quite add up to make the excellent record that many of us are still waiting for Beal to finally make.
  10. Sep 12, 2013
    Nobody Knows is a more complete, fleshed-out version of Beal’s vision, replacing his former no-fi folk with ominous, gritty blues and soul (not to mention a guest spot by Cat Power), but it’s still a work-in-progress.
  11. Sep 10, 2013
    On Beal’s first album, he moved between child-like ambience, songs suitable for weird film scores and stomping blues.
  12. Sep 12, 2013
    The real irony of Nobody Knows is that it makes him sound like a more fully realized artist, but a more conservative one, too.
  13. 75
    Although Beal has demystified his sound, the notion that Nobody Knows is more a passing sight than a rest stop is pretty unshakeable.
  14. Q Magazine
    Jan 27, 2014
    There's enough here certainly, though, to suggest he's one to keep an eye on. [Oct 2013, p.97]
  15. Sep 10, 2013
    At its best, Nobody reveals Beal as an old soul deploying the genre of old soul, not so much as an exercise in nostalgia as a surge protector to best contain his electroshock persona.
  16. 80
    It’s an overwhelmingly dark album.
  17. 60
    It’s possible to like this record in theory while imagining one that’s 50 percent more enjoyable.
  18. Uncut
    Sep 4, 2013
    More polished than 2012's ragged debut, Acousmatic Sorcery. [Oct 2013, p.63]
  19. Sep 4, 2013
    Whether or not Nobody Knows finds its way to radio, the string-smeared melancholia of "Blue Escape" finds Beal touching a universal nerve that only the most meaningful soul singers seem to reach. [Aug-Sep 2013, p.88]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 19, 2013
    The man loves TOM WAITS so do I and I LOVE this album.
    More produced and fuller than his amazing debut there's still a really nice
    The man loves TOM WAITS so do I and I LOVE this album.
    More produced and fuller than his amazing debut there's still a really nice experimentation and home-made feel I can really hear PJ Harvey in there too which goes beautifully with his other influences Beefheart, Dylan and I'm guessing Stax soul if you love any of these buy it it's a charmer
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