The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 924 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 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Lese Majesty
Lowest review score: 20 Coming Up for Air
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 924
924 music reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    anyone fond of latter-day leftfield singer-songwriters such as Sharon Van Etten or Waxahatchee will revel in discovering a more buttoned-up, southern version of their hypnotic relationship exegeses.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Its repertoire of tricks--piano and falsetto sob-rock, yodel-along backing vocals, hands-in-the-air breakdowns--is entirely predictable, but generally redeemed by strong, surging melodies.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are some more adventurous diversions, including a guest spot from Kendrick Lamar.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like salted caramel, they become seriously moreish, once you lock into Crutchfield's delivery, which is more sophisticated than it first appears.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's an uneven departure.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As the album warms up and moves from the personal to the politicalit grows teeth, building to MC Mystro's rap about the 2011 riots on More Money, More Fire.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Happily, their music is less predictable than that geographical inevitability.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The quality tails off quite dramatically, with a string of unremarkable ballads closing the album, but this is still a pleasing return to something approaching their best.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For all these derivations, however, Life After Defo convinces, its downcast, sweet-bleak beauty becoming more individual with every play.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    These spare, bluesy arrangements don't always sustain the mood, occasionally drifting towards torpor, despite cathartic bursts of noise on Don't Swim and Kronos.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Full of clever sounds, with melodies butting up against countermelodies and more laughs than you might think, Comedown Machine is by no means a bad record. It just has the misfortune of being the record that few Strokes fans want from them.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Terror is by no means a bad record. It's just the low that comes with the highs.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The London producer with the voice like a bruise remains perennially inconsolable here.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is fine internationalist guitar music.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A skilfully aerated record in which loneliness, the far east and naff cologne all play a part.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Album number two ramps up the risibility factor even further and will make most sense at one of the group's barnstorming live shows.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    His debut works far better than it should.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The problem is, for a band whose name echoes with the affirmative, none of this feels like a definitive lunge towards some loftier height, either artistic or commercial.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The commercial emo that has earned Tennessee's Paramore platinum sales is still present on their fourth album, as are the unremarkable ballads, but there's also a new willingness to try other genres. The results are mixed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    English Electric acts as a rejoinder to those who think that synth-pop is best left to the young.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tape Deck Heart is curiously parochial, betraying an obsession with London, from Shoreditch to Battersea power station and the late Charing Cross Road Astoria.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite being crass and ill-judged, RTD is actually fun in parts, retaining vestiges of the band's visceral youth, but leavened with the perspective more behoving of men of a certain life-stage.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What Praxis Makes Perfect might lack in fresh musical directions--their percolating analogue-digital pop remains little altered--it makes up for in apposite italophile detail.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The soul vocals of 22-year-old Yorkshire lad John Newman helped send the hit ["Feel The Love"] into anthemic stratospheres. The rest of this debut doesn't quite take off in the same way.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While unlikely, Mvula's fusions aren't aurally threatening: this remains a woman musing on the vicissitudes of love, while heavenly instrumentation shimmers around her.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Silence Yourself reveals Savages to be a cross between the Horrors (fondness for black, allegiance to art-rock, time spent in Dalston) and Sleater-Kinney (devotion to Wire, lack of male members, stentorian vibrato) with a soupcon of the Knife (fondness for manifestos, tribal beats, forbidding glee).
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Their fourth is a satisfying blend of youth and experience, at its best when raw feelings and twenty20-something anxieties chafe against its smooth, midtempo rock.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Throughout the suite of nine pieces, inspired by The Odyssey, the spare lyricism of Potter's playing sometimes diverts attention from his sheer technical brilliance and the acuteness of his band is quite remarkable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    His debut album has too much going on.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    His voice may be sounding a teeny bit thin these days (although he still has all the high notes) but if you like Rod Stewart, you will love this album; if not, there are high points which may win you over.