The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 748 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 8.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Big Inner
Lowest review score: 20 Nothing But the Beat
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 748
748 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not all of 4everevolution shines--tracks such as "First Growth" feel like Manuva by numbers--but there are some gems here, and it's good to hear the veteran south London rapper adapting his gruff tones to such a wide variety of material.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those who like their Will Oldham albums straight-up, sparse and intimate will find Wolfroy--the Kentucky singer-songwriter's 16th-odd album--right up their street.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Biophilia is no clever-clever cacophony. Like the natural world from which it draws inspiration, the album has structure and convention. And there is always the anchor of Björk's voice and her words, which conjoin emotional forces and elemental processes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bad As Me's 13 tracks fairly rip along, alerting a new generation that there are few as fine as Waits.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Four years on and they have made a witty, hooky dance record in thrall to the rock operatics of Led Zeppelin and Queen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The album] is an intriguing work: dark, seductive and as hard to pin down as its creator.