The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,552 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
Lowest review score: 20 Collections
Score distribution:
1552 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Where they used to overlap neat pastoral melodies until the ground felt like it was churning beneath you, the landscape here is smouldering, godforsaken and explosive, their awkwardness untamed.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He appears to have been hoarding his best material for his first solo album since 2004's Bubblegum, because Blues Funeral has quality to spare.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It all makes for an excellent follow-up to 2012’s comeback album, One Day I’m Going to Soar.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Crown and Treaty is at times wonderful, particularly on "Blue Sky Falls", "Joyful Reunion" and "Brugada".
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although Mirrors requires several listens to fully appreciate its beauty, it is definitely worth the effort.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ejimiwe forgoes the disjointed electronic sounds of his first two records in favour of a hazy alt-rock backing, but he’s now at home in this style and his languid, sung-spoken monologues sound their most assured.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The thrush-like Natalie Prass, 28, has written a heartbreak album that reminds you why such albums are so wonderful and necessary in the first place.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The producerly hand of the National's Aaron Dessner and cameos by the likes of Beirut's Zach Condon only add to the conclusion that Tramp is one of the must-hears of early 2012.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The musical chemistry is undiminished on their third album where a languid kind of heartache holds sway.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When, as on Majesties Ranch and Iron Deer Dream, they use handclaps and harmonies to wonderful effect, imbuing psychedelia with a youthful glow.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s safe to say that though big sis Beyoncé has run her close recently, she’s once more the most intriguing Knowles sibling.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The reversals in the lives of African Americans are front and centre; this most conscious of hip-hop crews remain exemplary bellwethers.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    One of this even more classy album’s appeals is the juxtaposition between the elegance of the music and the grimness of the rhymes.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This debut LP is lit up by an imagination as huge and outlandish as her onstage wigs and it makes for songs that bloom.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brilliant, highly original album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If anything, the interplay between Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette is freer and more beguiling than ever.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wisely, they don’t ape the original, choosing instead to retain its core components while adding snatches of flutes and strings. It is these new details that give the set its charm, whether it’s the winding solos, the glorious interplay or the ravishing spoken interlude that emphasises music’s universal power.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The vocals--female rappers such as Chicago’s Tink make a strong impression here--are what fix us in the present moment: the party talk, posturing and sexual provocations pose an interesting counterpoint to the sci-fi soundscapes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The guests on Trouble Will Find Me are equally impressive (Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten), but the National, no question, are the real stars of the show.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This low-key treat finds space both for subcontinental rigour--classical Indian ragas are often categorised by times of day--and effortless prettiness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A refreshingly short, focused piece of work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Deradoorian’s world is as dreamy, hippyish and hipster as her album title suggests and it’s deliciously easy to get lost in it with her.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Delivering this mix of melancholy and optimism with their trademark storytelling panache, the band have created a compelling and moving record, with Enter Sylvia Plath and The Party Line offering an unexpected Europop divergence from their roots.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Melodies emerge strongly from these simple musical settings and there's little to distract from his lyrics, which explore solitude and regret--those hoary old staples of US road music - in rich and inventive ways.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The somewhat mainstream arrangements are meticulously crafted and played, but it's Cash's emotional, engaged vocals that carry the record.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Prolific songwriter Ty Segall and Californian rock/art collective White Fence are far from shy about their influences on this bold, brief (30-minute) outing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Spaciously produced, it’s a classy piece of modern Americana.