The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 864 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 8.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Beautiful Africa
Lowest review score: 20 Weird Kids
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 864
864 music reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their eighth outing reaffirms their wordless eloquence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On first listen, their third album sounds undercooked but dig deep and, gradually, the five-piece are revealed as a tranquil indie-rock outfit whose songs evoke the innocence of your early 20s while shot through with a sadness that imbues them with depth.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This follow-up, an intoxicated, stylistically varied stretch of rigid drum beats, repeated riffs and odes to melancholy, doesn't hide its influences either.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You want this record to sell by the barrowload, but you might not actually want to play it that often.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The musical arrangements, laden with pianos, brass, synths and strings in occasionally strained approximation of Arcade Fire, aren't always so nuanced. Still, in its more understated moments, such as slow-burn closer Black Nemo, music and memory chime beautifully.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sun
    Aided by woozy, expansive production many of these songs shimmer with warmth and light. There's a brittleness here too though.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The playing crackles with live-in-studio spontaneity and Hiatt emerges a hard-travellin' hero.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In the Silence remains deeply pleasant, if a little polite.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The more it changes with the times the more its essential spirit comes through. And it's guaranteed to cheer you up.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's a multitracked theatricality to songs such as Gold and Looking Out, which costs him some of the shiver factor of more understated peers, but delivers moments of magnificence too.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At its best--Know Yourself is a standout-- Drake turns grumpiness into an art.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A hushed, thoughtful collection.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The standard remains high throughout, from neo-soul man Mayer Hawthorne's strong vocal on the opener and title track to the blues jam with Jones's son, Ted which closes the album.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The band fails to sustain the album's early momentum, but there's still much to enjoy here.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Her voice remains the main attraction on this second album but its prettiness often sounds thin against the sort of arrangements that invite the description "plinky-plonky".
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The [resulting album] is an engaging collision of styles.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This latest iteration is above par, as tongue-in-cheek and wise as it is acerbic and frill-free.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    II
    To impugn such a fundamentally glazed record for losing focus as it nears the out-groove is a little like berating a shark for being snaggle-toothed. But as II unfurls, there are longueurs where Nielson can get a little vague and inward-directed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a classy, dialled-down performance in an American radio studio around the time of this year's Coachella festival.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its contradictions and eccentricities, Matangi (the title links MIA with her near-namesake deity, a ghetto-dwelling Hindu goddess of music) feels more fully realised than the previous albums.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Fans of long standing might actually find The Rip Tide a bit too restrained now that Beirut sound more assured and less like a tipsy string quartet stumbling around an accordion factory, egged on by a hopeless romantic in his lowest register.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Much of this record deals in warm West Coast pop, its hair-rock extensions grafted on to hazy melodies and harmonies
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The album] is an intriguing work: dark, seductive and as hard to pin down as its creator.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's an unmannered honesty to Watt's singing and lyrics.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On the self-produced Revelation Road she's gone minimalist and acoustic, most of its songs documenting the pain of lost love, veering between southern soul ("Even Angels") and MOR country ("The Thief").
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Admittedly, at times it’s a little saccharine, but deep house-driven albums are rarely this much fun.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You can have too much gauze and balm; if only Legrand and Scally could find a slightly different gear.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Her third album has plenty of likable qualities: mild lyrical quirkiness (making doe eyes at Banksy), moderate eclecticism (dabbling in 70s MOR and breathy electropop), and an unerring knack for hummable melodies.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The record is beautiful but brief at 26 minutes; roll on Vol II.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tucker is on her second solo album, a return to rocking ways after 2010's quieter 1,000 Years.