The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 881 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 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 To Pimp A Butterfly
Lowest review score: 20 Collections
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 881
881 music reviews
    • 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
    • 60 Critic Score
    Contemporary, ancient, tropical and cosmopolitan: Ibeyi’s debut album pulls off an audacious series of culture clashes.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Walker is much more interested in how the beauty of his voice can serve declamation and confrontation; but you sometimes recoil from this mannered anti-croon.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Earle's vocals are often a cryptic Texan growl, but the playing is immaculate and the songcraft admirable.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A little more of the funk on How We Be might help stem the wafting, but there is loveliness here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The longer you listen, the more these disparate influences and structured elements coalesce into a very cogent record.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For the most part it’s the more delicate moments that suit her best, particularly on the pleasingly acerbic Cold and the lovelorn sigh of This Time, but overall the immaculate sheen smothers the emotional honesty.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Terror is by no means a bad record. It's just the low that comes with the highs.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This third solo album is her most accessible yet.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Banks immerses herself in 90s nostalgia, spitting darkly and sharply over tracks full of elements of UK garage, deep house and trap (an aggressive strain of hip-hop).
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The first half of their joint endeavour is hugely stoned, with the more strident sounds of the Americans cutting across the chants and rhythms of their hosts. Vocals become more prominent on the second half.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Direct and austere, there is little fat here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The results are undeniably classy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Perhaps rabble-rousing reels, big, dumb, bruising guitars and flag-waving, roared choruses of bromidic triumphalism just make more sense after several pints of Guinness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Having lost the shock of the new, this more tuneful follow-up privileges Krauss's pop instincts over Miller's mayhem.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [On Election Special] the first world is in dire straits and it's all the fault of Republicans – architects of Guantánamo and unfeeling people who tie their dogs to the roofs of their cars then drive off (Mutt Romney's Blues).
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Their collaboration] makes for a consistently delicious contrast between the unruliness of sound... and the cool affectlessness of both their voices as every song bursts with the interplay of these two eccentrics' ideas.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is another fine entry into their parallel universe. It's not the break-out record that they might have gone for, though.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though tracks such as Flip and Pools are undeniably cool, you can sense the quartet straining to tick the right boxes rather than pursuing a sound that's theirs alone.