Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Words and Music, the first full studio album in an aeon from Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, is a masterclass of pop theory and practice in perfect harmony.
  2. Her male partners Bob Stanley and Peter Wiggs provide reliable disco-inflected pop or vice versa that the remixers on the optional bonus disc trick up with more wit and fidelity than we who avoid remixes sagely expect.
  3. Q Magazine
    Oct 12, 2012
    They have made an amazing album about how amazing pop music can be. [Jul 2012, p.106]
  4. Jun 7, 2012
    It has the vitality of today's top 40 dance-pop but is full of the kind of wisdom, wit and warmth that can only come with age.
  5. Jun 5, 2012
    This deft new album [is] a delight.
  6. Jun 4, 2012
    When it gets it right, it gets it absolutely spot on, but a little more variation wouldn't go amiss. However, the album's highlights – and there are many – are just so fantastic that you can forgive it an awful lot.
  7. Jun 4, 2012
    The dizzying succession of beats per minute paired with thoughtful lyrics about music's role in shaping memories gives Saint Etienne a chance to create a rare entity: Dance music for the thinking person.
  8. Jun 1, 2012
    This is easily Saint Etienne's best album since 1998's Good Humor.
  9. May 29, 2012
    Words & Music turns out to be one of the band's most enriching albums, both musically and emotionally.
  10. May 29, 2012
    Words and Music further demonstrates this while helping us realize just how lucky we are to still have them around.
  11. May 25, 2012
    What makes Words and Music stand out is that it's both polished and personal, a prime example of how a big pop sound can reach out and connect in the most intimate ways.
  12. May 22, 2012
    Words And Music By Saint Etienne is an album that reaffirms all that is glorious and brilliant about pop music.
  13. 80
    While Saint Etienne will always sound like Saint Etienne, these songs are their sharpest in over a decade.
  14. May 21, 2012
    There is perhaps no band with a greater appreciation of the sheer joy and thrill of pop music in its purest form than Saint Etienne. 'Words And Music By Saint Etienne' is not only their own unique take on what pop means to them it is also an incredibly fine album.
  15. Uncut
    May 14, 2012
    This is a beautifully executed love letter to the eternal pop rush. [Jun 2012, p.82]
  16. May 14, 2012
    Words And Music isn't just a celebration of popular music, but a hymnal ode to a loss of innocence, an end to the passions of our childhood.
  17. May 14, 2012
    Words and Music frequently sounds as dizzy with the joy of pop as Saint Etienne did 20 years ago.
  18. May 24, 2012
    Saint Etienne's best LP since 1994 masterpiece Tiger Bay.
  19. May 24, 2012
    Words And Music expertly explores the intoxicated love of music and the sheer joy of being a music fan: feelings so universal that they will never be confined to particular eras.
  20. Jul 19, 2012
    Words and Music amounts to little more than an attempt to scale the same heights; sweet vocals, minimalist keys with the odd guitar thrown in.
  21. Mojo
    Jul 18, 2012
    A gloriously unviable alternative to dullard R&B/X Factorism. [Jun 2012, p.92]
  22. May 22, 2012
    The only maturity in their sound is towards a more ambient quarter. Elevator music not quite, but rising out of the background might be an issue.
  23. May 30, 2012
    Words and Music by St Etienne really brings it on itself, and the result is totally vapid.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Jul 13, 2012
    Modern pop doesn't get any better. Equal parts euphoria and melancholy. If relevancy is important in the pop world then the band continue toModern pop doesn't get any better. Equal parts euphoria and melancholy. If relevancy is important in the pop world then the band continue to be as important than any on the contemporary scene. Full Review »