The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 713 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 8.6 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 Collections
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 713
713 music reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The instrument [carillon] affords Weber a chance to expand his hibernal sound in various interesting ways, but ultimately this feels more like a scholarly exercise than a fully realised album.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It all might sound like a terminal case of record-collector rock, but there's a charm and ramshackleness at work here that carry these old ideas with ragged verve.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ragtime and country, jazz and swing; all swirl together on this collection of expertly formed roots nuggets.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a qualified success.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The bulk of Love Letters, though, backs off from the glittering mainstream superhighway on to a road less travelled.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their warring improvisations are intriguing, unsettling and often exquisite.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Their debut album certainly has its moments... But too many of their songs float prettily by without making an impact, gossamer-light and gossamer-memorable.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Francis glides along, deliciously unresolved about a relationship. The hype was not wrong.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Forty-four years as a recording artist have not diminished Parton's sass.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Their songs are surprisingly melodic; sweet, even--well, with the possible exception of Whore.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While one man's easeful rock odyssey is another's slow descent into torpor, it'd be hard to deny how expertly Robinson and his band negotiate the trip.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The arrangements are sharp and witty, the singing deceptively easygoing, and the guitar playing just terrific.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Tonra's voice is breathy and sweet and unremarkable, breaking sometimes into a wrenched whisper, that should be heartbreaking but, more often than not, is just a bit grating.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Hyde's stream-of-consciousness lyrics are more rambling than visionary.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Appleby lays it on a bit thick, which is why Faye O'Rourke's powerful, bruised vocals on three songs out of 11 prove a welcome respite.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Eve
    Inveterate collaborators Dr John and Kairos 4tet also add variety to a somewhat one-paced set.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The heights reached by the band members' day jobs are never scaled.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    They're such pretty songs, sung with sweet simplicity.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Still the most electrifying acoustic act around.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A record that settles into a nicely crafted, twinkly retro rut without really grabbing you by anything more vital than your lapels; tweedy, bespoke, second-hand.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The songs on Fwends swing between rejoicing and dread, sometimes within the same piece of music. The sky is falling, the Lips want to remind us, and it might not be just an acid flashback.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Turn Blue is less immediate than its predecessor, more sprawling and--according to the band--designed to be savoured in headphones.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A keeper, a goodie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If ever the record's appeal wanes due to the generic feel of the backings and melodies, it is given a lift by Legend's fine piano playing or little production tweaks.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Curiously, it gets better as it goes on.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Full marks for devotion to "authenticity", but, sadly, authentic doesn't necessarily mean interesting.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are occasional flat spots (Paolo Nutini, the Secret Sisters) but ease, exuberance and quality easily outweigh any faux moments.