The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,206 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Modern Country
Lowest review score: 20 Collections
Score distribution:
1206 music reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The modulations and switches in pace remain as bold as ever, and Clark has a knack for memorable melody and a winning voice with shades of Kate Bush and Leslie Feist.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The humour is often savage--a sprightly accordion heralds a story of damaged troops--but Cooder's aim is true. He's become a Woody Guthrie for our times.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's plenty to like about Neil Young and Crazy Horse's first work together for nine years, a collection of cover versions of essential American tunes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The playing and recording, needless to say, are immaculate.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Over seven elegant tracks, White and his musicians achieve the kinds of loveliness that Spiritualized, Lambchop, Cat Power and the Beta Band have tilted at, at different times in the past, and quite often missed.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    She remains a real original.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There is a form of mania at work here, but the results are propulsive and ecstatic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Small Town Heroes may mourn victims of violence but it is emphatically a record stuffed with good times.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hip-hop is constantly being tweaked and nudged in new directions, but rarely is it reconfigured as radically, and thrillingly, as on this second album from Shabazz Palaces.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a carnival of imagination with an intricate balance to its sequencing and a cohesion of sound and concept to die for.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While Lamar’s extended metaphor of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly begs for greater self-knowledge and transcendence. That bit might get old quickly. The rest won’t.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (as his mum knows him) has as intuitive a grasp of how to punctuate a thought process with musical trigger points as any rapper in history.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Summer is traditionally the season for unearthing treasures from the jazz archives, and this is a real prize.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Cynics will cry foul, that Beyoncé remains an entitled superstar, raging at a paper tiger. Those cynics will be ignoring one of this year’s finest albums.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Modern Country is a beatific and expansive ambient record daubed in acoustic and electric guitars, analogue oscillations, some really scary bells and no words; its meaning can be fluid.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nashville-based duo Joy Williams and John Paul White have crafted a bewitching debut album of sparse, spectral Americana.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    4
    Only the syrupy "I Was Here" disappoints, its corny bluster at odds with the laid-back feel of her most accomplished album yet.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's better than West's last, impressive album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. With fantastically varied production, Watch the Throne marches hungrily forward, belying its genesis in a series of swanky hotel rooms.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On paper, its influences--surf punk, Prince, oriental pop, minimalist dance--smack of hipster posturing, but on record, they blend beautifully.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout, Fool's Gold lollop along confidently, Top's husky croon offset by Lewis Pesacov's guitar lines, like dewy spider's web.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The title may be misleading: if there are hearts on this stirring debut they're the blood-racing, pulse-quickening kind rather than any idly-doodled kitsch.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their second album once again combines the muscularity of 80s post-hardcore types Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr with the dynamics of breezily sunny three-minute pop songs, this time to even better effect.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their fifth album sidesteps the rolling, electric style that's made them world-conquerors for a return to acoustic campfire camaraderie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wild Flag sees Brownstein reunited with S-K drummer Janet Weiss, plus Helium's Mary Timony and keyboard player Rebecca Cole in an effervescent celebration of the fun of being in a band.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Press-release comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin are misplaced-Lenny Kravitz, maybe--but this is still a good album.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His first album as Neon Indian was sun-struck and woozy; the mood, on the follow-up, has grown a little darker and on "Future Sick" the wooziness veers into nausea. Which makes the sunnier moments, when they come, all the more heightened.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Its louder moments--and there are plenty--are even better and feature stomping incantations that demand air and company.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bondy gives his songs plenty of room to breathe, the results being quite often spellbinding.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their third album has less of a home-produced feel though offers the same mainstream mash-up of indie-pop and dance, the beats and synth lines slightly more souped up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Coinciding with his turning 85, Bennett's latest sounds like a fantasy birthday party in full swing, one where an outrageously starry array of guests share the mic with a host as twinkling as ever.