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 Strange Mercy
Lowest review score: 20 Moon Landing
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 834
834 music reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Pink has melody to burn, but the unevenness of Pom Pom is a stumbling block, even allowing leeway for lysergic non-linearity.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For every hit... there are a couple of misses.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Expertly tweaked synths sit on a bed of complex beats mixing house and techno with subtle nods to sundry other genres.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's even prettier and easier on the synapses than D--also released this year--without sacrificing any of the complexities for which the Texans are renowned.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Bibb's tone is characteristically dignified.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The tunes and recriminations seem to cut deeper than ever on their seventh album.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While every single track on their debut album is beautifully constructed and impossible to dislike, it lacks the imperfections that excite.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On standout tracks such as "Disparate Youth" and "Big Mouth", the collision of nagging pop and neon polyrhythms often feels like a halfway party-house between MIA and Florence Welch.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This album takes anxiety as a theme, but it sounds materially less neurotic than their previous records, for good and ill.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Too much of this music is just hip, well-connected (you can Google their amorous partners, current and former) aural wallpaper, gossamer and murky by turns, undoubtedly very pleasant in an altered state but frustratingly unmemorable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Musically we're in familiar folky, country territory, with long-time collaborator Mitchell Froom on production duties; the bluesy Snake Road and the ethereal string and French horn arrangement on Blind Eye are particularly good.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    French pop in its purest form hasn't really got its groove back since the 60s, but, wisely, it's this very era that this Perpignan duo mine, marrying fuzzed-out psychedelia and agreeably rambling rock with the pop sweetness of that decade's chansons.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The 90s electronic titans use vintage analogue synths, subtly retro-fitting their sound in a way that, ironically, brings it bang up to date.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ultimately it just makes for frustrating listening.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Its sound design may be impeccable, but World… sorely lacks grit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tough, visceral stuff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It is tempered and classic-sounding. But the sounds are as itchy and oppressive as they are tasteful.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A little string-plucking, some groaning cello and the odd beat adorn Obel's tightly focused set of songs, which approximate the sound of snow falling on a disused chapel while a solitary candle burns inside.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Nearly half its tracks have seen the light of day already, not least the standout Waiting Game. The remainder offer up a more conventional take on the sound than Banks's British counterpart, FKA Twigs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    These slow-building, shivery washes of sound are what the band do best, proving worthy of far more listening time than those incidental moments soundtracking nature programmes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Singles are by nature the juiciest bait, but what's cheering is that so many of these tracks match Lariat for sheer breeziness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    having traded in all their early attitude for non-stop blissed-out jamming, the Horrors' default mode--equable lassitude--is beginning to pall a touch.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Blige’s co-writers, including UK-to-US success stories Disclosure, Emeli Sandé and Sam Smith, find striking ways to frame Blige’s voice without distracting from its richness and emotional range.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The album is more interesting sonically in the tension between questing guitars and straightforward song structures than it is in terms of lyrics, which aim to be down to earth but end up middle of the road.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    No question his lyrics are smart but they can sound studied, valuing intricacy over flow.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The mood is open and playful.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Every so often, Gibson's evil Elvis bent can become a little comedic but the pitch-black pitch suits his material down to the ground.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Folila, packed with western friends, mixes the inspired and mundane.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Colin Elliot, who has worked with Richard Hawley, is a good match for the material, and his production skills make a cohesive whole of the diverse strands.
    • 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.