Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Mar 27, 2013
    90
    The North Borders is a triumph--each listen is a revelation; seemingly it’s a breadth of work that marks a new, exciting era of electronic music.
  2. May 10, 2013
    80
    It’s an accomplished record.
  3. Apr 10, 2013
    80
    It might be dismissed as dinner party music by those with a hunger for more experimental fare, but The North Borders is charming, fascinating and a touch mysterious.
  4. Apr 9, 2013
    80
    This is the sound of someone learning, brilliantly on the job. [May 2013, p.96]
  5. Apr 8, 2013
    80
    As distinctive as it is complex, is as much about the journey as its component pieces, commanding all the familiar electronic music components with ease, but infused with the warmth of soul and a kind of cross-continental sophistication.
  6. Apr 4, 2013
    80
    The music sounds slightly repetitive on its own, so he’s smart to collaborate with vocalists.
  7. Apr 3, 2013
    80
    Bonobo has given us a great collection of interlacing melodic songs that have real depth and distinction.
  8. Apr 1, 2013
    80
    Fine song structure and an overall album flow that's nearly perfect are things Bonobo regulars might expect at this point, but his discography hasn’t offered up a rainy day soundtrack so fitting until this one, so hope the weatherman has bad news and plan on staying in.
  9. Mar 27, 2013
    80
    The British producer’s fifth full-length is a worthy successor to his celebrated 2010 set Black Sands.
  10. Mar 27, 2013
    80
    The result is not, unlike many of his peers, a symphony of interlinking tracks, but a collection of individuals that, together, tell a unified story of emotion.
  11. 70
    Whilst The North Borders is hardly a stylistic leap of faith into the unknown there’s definitely a more confident and varied use of textures and instrumentation than on Black Sands, and it marks a new, very much worthwhile chapter in Bonobo’s continuing story.
  12. Apr 2, 2013
    70
    A cursory listen to The North Borders may give a "been there done that" impression at points, but a closer listen reveals just how much he's carefully pushing his own boundaries.
  13. 70
    The North Borders now finds Green secure enough in his craft to command the talents of his guest vocalists and create emotional harmonics.
  14. Mar 28, 2013
    70
    The North Borders is as ambitious a record as its predecessor, and it’s just as successful.
  15. Mar 27, 2013
    70
    The North Borders introduces a host of vocalists to accompany solid arrangements.
  16. Dec 5, 2013
    67
    You have to wonder whether this is Bonobo appealing to the mass market he's engaged, building atmospheric pop that works better than his rumbles and snorts in a live setting.
  17. Apr 23, 2013
    60
    Unfortunately, while the singers add some variety to the down-tempo dance stew that Green comes up with, they also fade into his lounge-like, bare-bones background all too well without adding much flavor, not to mention bite, to the proceedings.
  18. Apr 12, 2013
    60
    The North Borders is not a bad album--for the most, it’s as inoffensive as those decade-old chill-out compilations--yet a frustration persists because Bonobo is better than this.
  19. Apr 3, 2013
    60
    Perhaps the album will prove to have long-term potential, but for now, The North Borders might be too modest for its own good.
  20. Apr 1, 2013
    60
    By no means is The North Borders sterile, but there isn’t a notably invigorating spark either--at least not of an obtuse or intense gesture.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 3, 2013
    10
    Literally the best album I have ever heard for this style of music, Bonobo without a doubt has become my favourite artist. Though this album is almost entirely instrumental tracks each track has it own identity and is full of emotion while felling relaxed Full Review »