The House


Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
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  1. With sophisticated grace and evocative lyricism, Melua has made a brave reinvention that raises her already lofty artistic bar.
  2. Orbit's production doesn't find as forceful a match as it did with Madonna on Ray of Light, and Melua's style still seems too thin to support true greatness, but The House is a promising start, a sporadically grand album that finds another talented artist rescued from mediocre pop oblivion.
  3. The songs and arrangements on The House recast Ms. Melua as an arty girl gone wild.
  4. As with most of The House, songs like the folk-inflected opener "I'd Love to Kill You," the Eastern-tinged "The Flood," and the yearning and pretty "Red Balloons," take time to build and grab you slowly with deft, biting lyrics and Melua's lilting, burnished vocals.
  5. A mixed bag of atmospherics that somewhat justifies Melua's chart-topping popularity back home.
  6. When Melua reveals this sensitive side she's amongst the best artists in her easy-on-the-ear field, and she could yet surpass several of her own idols. But The House contains enough forgettable filler to suggest she's some way off delivering a career-defining canon classic.
  7. Despite a few moments of middle-of-the-road excess, The House is a shockingly good album--that is, not actually amazingly good, but just shockingly by Katie Melua.
  8. The House is one small step for mankind, one giant leap for Katie Melua. At least half of the record is fragrantly classy and, occasionally, even beautiful. Despite lacking William Orbit's trademark sound, it's got sparks of invention and wonder.
  9. Musically, there's much to impress, with Orbit utilising admirable restraint on first single The Flood and the jaunty A Happy Place, while Melua's voice is at its fragile best on the stately Red Balloon. Unfortunately, the lyrics let her down, especially on Plague of Love, which features couplets so banal they make Kate Nash seem like a surrealist poet.
  10. Q Magazine
    The result is a mighty leap forwards. [Jun 2010, p.128]
  11. Mojo
    On her fourth album, Melua does her damnedest to break out of her self-imposed schmaltz trap. [Jun 2010, p.94]

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