The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 900 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 900
900 music reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arcade Fire's fourth album is pure death disco: a pulsating, electronic work, heavy of theme but light on its feet.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Subtlety is, of course, the first casualty in the stampede for the folk mosh pit, and singer Jon Boden sometimes strains too hard for drama, lapsing into hamminess on murder ballad Greenwood Side.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As this bold magpie of an album flies past, its swagger falters occasionally as genre pastiches gain the upper hand.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At its worst this understated quality [astral rambling] produces the drear muzak of "Gar", but at its best ... it's sublime.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is Wagner's second album, and that was the backstory of her 2012 self-titled debut. This follow-up is no less enigmatic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's enough crunch to their hooky electropop to dispel accusations of unwarranted hype.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fresh Blood refines the Spacebomb MO, darkening themes and expanding their range.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Borderline silly at times, it is nonetheless a carefully crafted piece of work with a distinctive sound.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The 50-something from Brooklyn is her own diva and sounds at once wounded, defiant and exuberant. Producer-bassist Bosco Mann runs a tight band with its own tricks and which purrs along so joyously the influences fade to leave a core of unadulterated soul.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Every rhythmic lurch and stylistic shift, though, remains in the service of the band's greater groove, giving these 10 tracks an ease that belies their ferocious complexity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Small Town Heroes may mourn victims of violence but it is emphatically a record stuffed with good times.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You would fully expect to find strings and piano on an Elbow track, but these can be any scoundrel's knee-jerk shortcut to gravitas. Much better are Guy Garvey's sloshed 40-nothing aper├žus, playing off beautifully against a slinky organ melody.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This Canadian trio dispense a slow, seductive blend of blues and country that skulks in the shadows, whispering sweet nothings before baring its fangs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Harmonious one minute, turbulent the next, Club Meds is an album rich in sounds and moods.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Dubliner's follow-up, though no less literate, is more adventurous and electronic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Everything he does is good: melodic, enervated and loud. Twins, though, is a record that goes out of its way to court the floating rock vote, upping the melodies and toning down Segall's more wayward psychedelic digressions.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result, improbably, is their best set in years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As the album warms up and moves from the personal to the politicalit grows teeth, building to MC Mystro's rap about the 2011 riots on More Money, More Fire.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Each song is coloured with a knowing intelligence and it all comes from her voice.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lazaretto, named after a place of quarantine for sailors, hurtles between moods and tempos, often within the same song.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A beguiling decoction of pretty much everything going on in hipster musical circles, sweet and savvy and scary at the same time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is an album for frenziedly colouring outside the lines. But there is calm, too.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On the band's gorgeous sixth album, there's a new directness to the songs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He has a warm, wistful voice and keen observational eye, pitching his songs beautifully between youth and experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    You can only marvel at where they will go next.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As ever, it's the gorgeous harmonies of husband and wife Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker that make these sparsely decorated songs take flight.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Variations within repetition is what distinguishes the best drone music, and Slow Focus soundtracks some unnamed disaster with time-lapse photography for the ears.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The production sounded great to start with, and the new material is unexceptional, but if you didn't pick up the mixtapes when they were going free, and can handle 160 minutes of beautifully crafted nihilism, this is an essential buy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's no straightforward confessional, but a paradigm shift from squalling electricity to intensity of a different sort.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The only fusion too far here is Paper Trails, a blues-funk digression from this otherwise elegant experiment: closing track Metatron marries blues and sci-fi much better.