The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 807 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 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Beautiful Africa
Lowest review score: 20 Love Is a Four Letter Word
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 807
807 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's an uneven departure.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    He sounds like Bob Dylan or Tom Petty when he sings – laconic, nasal, matter of fact – but his songs thrum and drone and hum like, well, loose ambient rock.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Only Rowland's female foil, Madeleine Hyland, overacts.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The London producer with the voice like a bruise remains perennially inconsolable here.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Silence Yourself reveals Savages to be a cross between the Horrors (fondness for black, allegiance to art-rock, time spent in Dalston) and Sleater-Kinney (devotion to Wire, lack of male members, stentorian vibrato) with a soupcon of the Knife (fondness for manifestos, tribal beats, forbidding glee).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Cut the World reprises 10 of his old songs, adds one new one (the title track) and Future Feminism, which is the kind of thing that will either get you punching the air as you did at Danny Boyle's Olympics opening ceremony, or crossing your legs and muttering about distrusting gender absolutes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His most assured record to date, this is also the Philadelphia rocker's most purely pleasurable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's a good deal to enjoy here.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Her fourthcorrect, country-tinged album is no mere musical mope, but features writerly vignettes and restrained introspection.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A dense, angry, complex rock album.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Banga is the 65-year-old's 11th album, one of the most satisfying of her latterday career.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The producerly hand of the National's Aaron Dessner and cameos by the likes of Beirut's Zach Condon only add to the conclusion that Tramp is one of the must-hears of early 2012.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The jumps between genres barely jar once you realise how good Doyle is at all of them.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It promises much but never quite delivers.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    AM
    There is a depth--a willingness to experiment, a refusal to be pigeonholed--that rewards repeated listens and makes this their most coherent, most satisfying album since their debut. Where they go next is anybody's guess.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Two of these cuts have already graced the top 10; the rest of Disclosure's debut album showcases a sound in which the echoes of two-step, UK funky and older house records recombine into a surprisingly timely and moreish soundtrack.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though a new fondness for electric guitar and Hammond organ adds buoyancy to material like A Whole Life Lived, the album too often trades his former wit for bitterness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Jarrett's piano and Haden's bass take an affectionate, inquisitive tour through a set of jazz classics and old ballads, revealing fresh beauties at every turn.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    So: slow going. It is emphatically not a record for people in a hurry. And all this dawning can feel a little like groundhog day if you're not in the mood to receive this rich album's central idea: that your load will probably become easier to bear when there is some light on the path ahead.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    James Holden has never actually sounded like BOC, but this time around he shares their penchant for analogue gear and mantric, pagan repetition.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Maturity suits the ever-articulate rapper, and his recollections of his early years as a Queensbridge hustler... have added resonance here.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Kimbie's levels of invention are such that this album still feels tricksy and cutting-edge.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a very good record indeed, just not the record the more hidebound Cave lifer would instantly press to their breast.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The commercial emo that has earned Tennessee's Paramore platinum sales is still present on their fourth album, as are the unremarkable ballads, but there's also a new willingness to try other genres. The results are mixed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There is a form of mania at work here, but the results are propulsive and ecstatic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Allelujah! picks up where Montreal's premier apocalyptic instrumental outfit left off, setting the collapse of the first world to wordless music.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    anyone fond of latter-day leftfield singer-songwriters such as Sharon Van Etten or Waxahatchee will revel in discovering a more buttoned-up, southern version of their hypnotic relationship exegeses.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If… is a joy, its 10 mostly instrumental tracks proving both intimate and powerful.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On close examination, his songcraft often stalls at the pupal (but promising) stage, but there is enough chutzpah here to steamroller such reservations.