The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 834 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.3 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 Old Sock
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 834
834 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lost maintains a kind of motorik languor throughout, turning 80s arena rock into something much more intriguing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At its most compelling, Shaking the Habitual is racked with lust, anger and urgent, quaking rhythms.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This album is rather better when it is winking at you, rather than seeking to cryogenically preserve emotion.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kozelek, it seems, has nothing left to hide, or lose: the effect is utterly riveting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Throughout, these 11 songs give the impression of being sweet nothings. They are, instead, substantial and salty with tears.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The 71-year-old Texan returns with a striking set of songs that typify his drollery and open-heartedness, all delivered with easy-rolling grace.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A triumph.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is not wild hyperbole to say that he might be the finest master of his craft alive today.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ode
    Absorbing.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tomorrow's Harvest is another intriguing Rorschach blot of a record from a splendidly arcane band.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In this super-charged debut, which harks back to early-90s hip-hop, she delights in speeding it up.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The best surprise of all, in an autumn in which Beyoncé's closest competitors--Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus--made underperforming bids for the throne, is how thoroughly assured, immersive and substantial this album is.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Across 32 tracks it tries to capture the experience of an era from all sides.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Listen in and the lyrics soundtrack a mid-youth crisis ("I've been starting over for a long time," Cronin croons as the album opens), but not so as to dent the overall impression of an ozone high.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is fine internationalist guitar music.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The closing Ragtime offers a happy ending of sorts, but this is too honest a record about unhappiness and grief to deliver a neat, redemptive conclusion.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is a lot of heartbreak on Burn Your Fire For No Witness, as well as a lot of pleasing anachronism; a lot of hard-won resignation and what you might call stern vulnerability, a quality that Olsen shares with Joni Mitchell without sounding at all like Mitchell.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fine line between euphoria and melancholy is negotiated brilliantly on tracks such as Can’t Do Without You.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's not cutting edge, but it does mean business.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their erudition, musical and lyrical, remains a pleasure, but what convinces on Modern Vampires are their beating hearts.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tugging profoundly on bittersweet 60s soul and Motown, Heaven is a fine album.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In revving so hard, though, the Black Keys have perhaps left behind in the dust the subtleties that made Brothers such an intriguing ride.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The arrangements on Dream River are almost as eloquent as his lyrics.