The Unfairground - Kevin Ayers
The Unfairground Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The ex-Soft Machines band member returns with his first solo studio album since 1992.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. If The Unfairground doesn’t quite qualify as a "stunning" return to form--"stunning" never really being Ayers’ stock in trade--it certainly represents the delightful and unexpected renaissance of a perennially undervalued artist, whose quiet but significant influence is long overdue for re-assessment.
  2. Ayers' revealing account--his first album in 15 years--stands with his best '70s works of besotted, droll sophistication.
  3. The Unfairground features ten strong songs without filler or flab. All have melodies that rapidly lodge in the brain, the kind that the paperboy could whistle on his round.
  4. Nudged out of retirement, the singer-guitarist has returned with The Unfairground, his first album in 15 years and best in more than three decades.
  5. The Unfairground is a short and sweet collection of ten tunes, rich with strings, original ideas, lovely melodies and a whiff of what used to be.
  6. 80
    The Unfairground finds Ayers rejuvenated and stands comparison with his best work. [Oct 2007, p.98]
  7. The Unfairground maintains no connection whatsoever to jazz, once a mainstay of Ayers, The Whole World, and The Soft Machine, and even the album’s affiliations with other black art forms are strained at best.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. MarkR.
    Mar 25, 2008
    This is a wonderful album and does indeed stand with Ayers' finest. Everyone can ignore the ignorant review from Popmatters. Ayers left Soft Machine after the first album he largely wrote (a psychedelic masterpiece) when the other members wanted to take the band in a jazz direction -- so downrating The Unfairground for not being jazzy enough is absurd. I love Robert Wyatt as much as I love Ayers, but I would never compare the two or critisise the one for not being like the other. Expand
  2. JMan
    Apr 3, 2008
    It is so bad.