North - Darkstar
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Nov 9, 2010
    80
    Remorselessly absorbing debut from stars in waiting on dub-step's Def Jam. [Dec. 2010, p. 107]
  2. Nov 4, 2010
    80
    Not all of it convinces; Buttery's vocals can stray into a chill-out. But this is still an absorbing record that deserves to break hearts beyond the confines of the dubstep scene. [Dec. 2010, p. 108]
  3. Nov 2, 2010
    80
    North is an album intended to be accessible, and it embodies its time and place more honestly than most records released this year--which is a risky thing to say while also acknowledging that the title refers to a time as well as a place: the Northern England of Joy Division and The Human League.
  4. Oct 28, 2010
    80
    North not only blurs the lines of genre, but it does so both effortlessly and convincingly. Darkstar took a risk in straying from a template that had already served them well, but nobody ever made a great record by playing it safe.
  5. Oct 28, 2010
    80
    While the first of these musical qualities is readily apparent on North, the album is also full of emotion-sometimes brooding, sometimes thoughtful and reflective.
  6. While North is a far cry from Darkstar's previous releases, it's a nice addition to the world of electronica. This album sets the duo apart from their label mates, but retains the dark atmosphere that Hyperdub artists are known for.
  7. Oct 27, 2010
    75
    For evidence as to why labeling subgenres of electronic music is tedious, look no further than this debut LP from UK collective Darkstar.
  8. Oct 28, 2010
    70
    It's a downbeat record that reclaim's dubstep's original dark energy and experimental imperative.
  9. 70
    Ultimately, Darkstar's maturation from dubstep's next big things into modern pop classicists continues to intrigue.
  10. Oct 22, 2010
    70
    Like a virus-ridden PC vainly trying to upload lovelorn messages over dial-up to its neglectful owner, this side-stepping of the usual Hyperdub format is most welcome. We want more.
  11. Oct 28, 2010
    66
    North is definitely Hyperdub's most pop-friendly release, but it's also one of its most conservative-- not a bad thing, just an interesting one given the importance label integrity plays in the electronic dance music world.
  12. Dec 22, 2010
    60
    These are worn vintage sounds, but the songs here lack the choruses and hooks to invest them with fresh life, and Buttery's voice is forgettable. [Dec 2010, p.46]
  13. Dec 21, 2010
    60
    The main problem is that the songs too often feel like sketches. The punchline is sold too quickly, the finish too abrupt.
  14. Oct 29, 2010
    60
    The result is a promising record that's much closer in tone and sentiment to an act like Hurts than they'd presumably be comfortable with. [Dec 2010, p.88]

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