Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Q Magazine
    A limited vocalist,... he's a far better pianist and arranger. [May 2003, p.104]
  2. Opener "Glisten" is anybody's masterpiece.... This instrumental brings so much anticipation to the rest of this record, it's no wonder I'm partly disappointed with The Listener: Gelb can't and doesn't deliver a dozen more songs like "Glisten".
  3. The overall mood is casual, laidback, and relaxed.
  4. "The Listener" is a low-key, early morning album, perhaps something Lou Reed would have created had he spent his career playing saloons in Tucson, Ariz.
  5. Too much of The Listener finds Gelb bridging his inspired moments with monotonous jazz piano and dusty crooning.
  6. Uncut
    At his best he sounds spontaneous, fresh and unexpected. Yet at other times his quirky ideas can sound half-baked and his songs undeveloped. [May 2003, p.102]
  7. The Wire
    It all sounds very loose and off the cuff, but any positive sense of spontaneity is sabotaged by a delivery so careless it borders on the sloppy. [#229, p.68]

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