The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 920 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 I Don't Like Shit: I Don't Go Outside
Lowest review score: 20 Collections
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 920
920 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While it’s a nice retro bagatelle, a regrettable lack of originality really hampers Foil Deer.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    It promises much but never quite delivers.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Why Make Sense? finds the London indie house outfit more or less as they always have been, with only minor aesthetic variations disrupting the dulcet flow of their electronic pop. Those variations, though, are beguiling.
    • 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
    Ultimately, Goon is a very good album, one further elevated by its terrific tale of redemption. Here, victory is belatedly extracted from the digestive tract of defeat.
    • 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
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sprinter combines the raw energy of Torres’s 90s forebears with modern minimalism; the result is captivating.
    • 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
    The result is a minor country-soul gem, full of lovely and deeply atmospheric instrumentation gilding Ford’s alluring vocals.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Short Movie’s best songs are all about Marling’s ongoing voyage of self-discovery; an indulgence we not only permit musicians, but pay them for, on the condition we can listen in and pick up tips. There are plenty of those here.
    • 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
    • 100 Critic Score
    Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (as his mum knows him) has as intuitive a grasp of how to punctuate a thought process with musical trigger points as any rapper in history.
    • 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
    • 60 Critic Score
    Carry on the Grudge is a big step up in craftsmanship, but at no point do you feel this London troubadour might stray into realms as high as another London product of the Clash, grime poetics and the US--King Krule--does.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If… is a joy, its 10 mostly instrumental tracks proving both intimate and powerful.