The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 819 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 Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down
Lowest review score: 20 Some Nights
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 819
819 music reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Amid the homespun (often leaden) renditions of Hank Williams, Ian & Sylvia et al is a clutch of nuggets, among them the bluesy Silent Weekend and the country moan Wild Wolf. A still mysterious, wondrous chapter in Dylanology.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Combining the sounds and textures of jazz quartet and string quartet is a tricky business, and there are moments here when the two seem about to come unstuck.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It certainly gets close to chaos at times, but these live shows often did. From that point of view at least, it's truly authentic.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Only at two or three points in the album does it feel like Ocean is actively courting heavy radio play.... The rest of the album, however, feels too offbeat and diffuse to trouble the top end of the charts. Is this a bad thing? Not at all.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even when battering his piano strings with a toilet brush, Frahm creates something mesmerising.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Equal parts funky electro throwback and prog chanson monster, St Vincent's fourth album feels like the culmination of a trajectory from the margins to centre stage with a minimum of intellectual loss.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a downer, but timely and affecting, with moments of beauty.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Crown and Treaty is at times wonderful, particularly on "Blue Sky Falls", "Joyful Reunion" and "Brugada".
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a carnival of imagination with an intricate balance to its sequencing and a cohesion of sound and concept to die for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This, finally, is the stuff people have been waiting a young lifetime to hear. It more than passes muster.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Daft Punk have shone a laser beam into dark corners of the 70s and 80s and made them sing again, with timbres more human than ever before.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    She remains a real original.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Those happy to go with Van Etten will be rewarded by swooping pop noir, groaning organs and a sax solo, plus considerable hard-won wisdom.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    From the Sea comprises new versions of old songs, most of which sound just as powerful without Woolcock's arresting images.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At times, the whirl of ideas threatens to spin out of control, but more often, as on CIRCLONT6A, they cohere thrillingly. A welcome return.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brilliant, highly original album.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    These songs work a gentle charm, reflecting on life and mortality with an unhurried grace.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Everything just gets better and better with Marling.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At its centre is Lambert's ebullient personality and a classic Texan voice that can deliver ballads or arena rock with equal ease.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's more likely, though, that Shields is a grower.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    LP1
    Even if the sex-angst of millennials is not your thing, FKA Twigs can still satisfy, and that is why LP1 (the title oozes confidence) is so special.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What emerges from their empathy is a thoroughly great record that adds punch and groove to Rebennack's humid party music.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dig deep and there's powerful drama and enigmatic subtlety in equal measure as the Cumbrian four-piece once again embrace understated electronica and invite favourable comparisons with Talk Talk.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mostly, Popular Problems presents Cohen’s wry, wracked recitations against almost ascetic backings overseen by Patrick Leonard, famed for his work with Madonna.