The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 760 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 65% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Strange Mercy
Lowest review score: 20 Love Is a Four Letter Word
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 760
760 music reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The mood is open and playful.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A keeper, a goodie.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Except for all the bits about getting high, and the bit about begging his best friend not to kill him, Lysandre is a composite love story as old as the hills, but this retelling is surprisingly refreshing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fade returns to familiar territory so intuitively that it feels less like a return to form than a homecoming.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arc
    Another tour de force.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Dubliner's follow-up, though no less literate, is more adventurous and electronic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The tunes and recriminations seem to cut deeper than ever on their seventh album.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Opener You & I setting the tone, all unhurried melancholia topped by Kelcey Ayer's soaring vocal. Elsewhere, they show they're equally adept at the euphoria in which Arcade Fire deal.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Light but deep, it [Of The Mother Again] helps this shimmering solo effort knock the last three MMJ albums into a cocked hat.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The resultant soundscapes stretch invitingly on tracks such as the lilting Hondo, while Kalahari summons up an appropriately threatening desert atmosphere.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Musically we're in familiar folky, country territory, with long-time collaborator Mitchell Froom on production duties; the bluesy Snake Road and the ethereal string and French horn arrangement on Blind Eye are particularly good.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This, finally, is the stuff people have been waiting a young lifetime to hear. It more than passes muster.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The rapport among the five of them, especially between Miles and Shorter, is beyond belief. The sound quality is excellent throughout.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yet beneath the noise, the songs seem more fully realised, more memorable, than on their at times fragmentary debut.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a very good record indeed, just not the record the more hidebound Cave lifer would instantly press to their breast.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With archaic language updated by transatlantic twang, it's a winning addition to the canon.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The record is beautiful but brief at 26 minutes; roll on Vol II.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Taylor's vocal presence is gruff and minimal to a fault, but musical textures that entwine banjo, mandolin and cornet are often arresting.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lambert is a consistently thoughtful songwriter and this is an exhilarating blast of ideas as well as heady Alpine air.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their soundtrack for supernatural French drama The Returned is just as good [Mogwai's music for the extraordinary football movie Zidane]; no less absorbing whether you encounter it through headphones or on TV.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As ever, it's the gorgeous harmonies of husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker that make these sparsely decorated songs take flight.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her strange, fluting voice twines elegantly around sparse arrangements of piano, acoustic guitar and the charango lute.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Here On In, which with its motorik rhythm sounds most like the Horrors, is the only weak link on a gorgeously immersive album.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's an ambitious step forward for the band (who hail from Oxford, not the Outer Hebrides) and, though only 44 minutes long, it feels like a bit of an epic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A welcome time warp.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Weary then, but, as ever, authentic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This Timberlake record may not boast as many rocket-propelled singles as before. But it finds the two Tims going back to the future without so much as a sideways glance at the rave-pop fashion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their fifth album finds them playing it relatively straight, and it's no bad thing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At its most compelling, Shaking the Habitual is racked with lust, anger and urgent, quaking rhythms.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Suave in its mastery of its chosen style, it still teems with ideas and smuggles in lyrical barbs among the sumptuous melodies.