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 Beautiful Africa
Lowest review score: 20 Famous First Words
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 760
760 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [On Election Special] the first world is in dire straits and it's all the fault of Republicans – architects of Guantánamo and unfeeling people who tie their dogs to the roofs of their cars then drive off (Mutt Romney's Blues).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The arrangements are sharp and witty, the singing deceptively easygoing, and the guitar playing just terrific.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At its best this is the sound of a band rediscovering what made them so special in the first place.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their fifth album is rich and intoxicating: billows of brass, sinuous guitar hooks and squiggles of hammond organ bubble up pungently from the stew.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sun
    Aided by woozy, expansive production many of these songs shimmer with warmth and light. There's a brittleness here too though.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An 11-track galumph through feelgood rockularisms.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's his strongest album since Love and Theft in 2001, and still there's no pinning him down.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This second outing presents a richer, more percussive sound, albeit one still shot through with the zinging pyrotechnics of tin-can guitar.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Coexist is yet another masterpiece of lush asceticism.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hield's command of her material is unerring and the outcome compelling.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Their collaboration] makes for a consistently delicious contrast between the unruliness of sound... and the cool affectlessness of both their voices as every song bursts with the interplay of these two eccentrics' ideas.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their debut album is a delight, from the uncomplicated bluesy strut of Tickin' Bomb to the brass inflections on the knowingly tongue-in-cheek Hail Hail.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If anything, they seem to have gained funkiness on workouts such as Get Your Pants Off and the loose, classy closing instrumental, Zimgar.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The more it changes with the times the more its essential spirit comes through. And it's guaranteed to cheer you up.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Everything he does is good: melodic, enervated and loud. Twins, though, is a record that goes out of its way to court the floating rock vote, upping the melodies and toning down Segall's more wayward psychedelic digressions.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The production of his debut is appropriately epic, its echoing acoustic guitars and yearning, Fleet Foxy vocals mixed with cowboy cattle calls and Pawnee chants.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He has a warm, wistful voice and keen observational eye, pitching his songs beautifully between youth and experience.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These are punchy pop songs with immediate, uncomplicated appeal.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Red
    As ever, Swift seems to know just the right phrase to pull you inside her break-up narratives.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lamar's major-label debut, probably the year's most significant hip-hop release, proves his talent to be as prodigious as his online output.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tracey Thorn's fourth solo set, though, is the best of the bunch [of Christmas albums], its sparse songs home to a seasonal standard, choice covers of Dolly Parton, White Stripes and Randy Newman songs and, in Joy and the title track, two fabulous self-penned tunes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lux
    It is an engaging antidote to all the frantic maximalism that the future keeps springing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The production sounded great to start with, and the new material is unexceptional, but if you didn't pick up the mixtapes when they were going free, and can handle 160 minutes of beautifully crafted nihilism, this is an essential buy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Allelujah! picks up where Montreal's premier apocalyptic instrumental outfit left off, setting the collapse of the first world to wordless music.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their warring improvisations are intriguing, unsettling and often exquisite.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It might lack some of the energy of their youth (best captured on the How the West Was Won live set, recorded in 1972 and released in 2003), but this is still a mightily impressive monument.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Every note is perfectly placed, the sense of bygone breeziness lovingly accurate.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Carry On sticks to familiar virtues; Mason's gravelly tones are set to rootsy guitars and Carey exercises a light touch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nookie Wood finds him in rude creative health; a gruff, Pan-like affirmation of continuing musical restlessness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This second album finds them in incendiary form.