The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 968 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.8 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 Old Sock
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 968
968 music reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    936
    Dunis's flat tones can let the side down, but otherwise, the swoon is in the details.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Forty-four years as a recording artist have not diminished Parton's sass.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Now 64, Ely still sings with agility and swagger, though retrospection and mortality tie together the songs here.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sadly, much of the material is generic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You could argue retro soul and R&B are two of the decade's hegemonic sounds, but there's no vamping here. Rather, songs such as "Go On Easy" glide by in an opiated glaze, while "Strange Attracter" makes unexpectedly groovy use of the bagpipes.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Souther sings in a mid-70s croon, tuneful but grain-free and, for a man inspired by Roy Orbison, oddly unemotional.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Gentle Spirit is one of those group effort records where musicians' edges smudge and no one showboats – except, perhaps, Wilson, who occasionally reels off the kind of distant, contemplative guitar solos so lacking in aggression that they sound like they were recorded the next canyon over.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Toddla proves himself better at preposterously high-energy dancehall tracks ("Badman Flu") than forays into early-90s piano-led vocal house ("Take It Back"). Good fun in small measures.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's likely to appeal more to dedicated Martyn fans than newcomers but a fine tribute nonetheless.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Gone are the meandering, proggy excesses of 2008's Real Emotional Trash, and in their place are sharper, melody-driven tracks that foreground Malkmus's distinctive oblique wit.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's the band's refusal to sound older, or wiser, that's integral to their charm.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album has a tentative quality which is sometimes beguiling – the gently grooving "Lights Out, Words Gone", effete and insistent all at once, is a delight – but often they sound in need of more conviction.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A grime mixtape veteran, Jermaine Scott combines plenty of chart-friendly tracks on his mainstream debut ("Traktor" and "Unorthodox" have already been hits) with just enough erudite self-examination ("Forgiveness") to warrant more than a passive listen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Devotees will no doubt swoon (and sceptics scoff) at its florid excesses, but Amos's voice possesses enough conviction and personality to breathe life into what could have been an orchestral folly.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It may not rank among Wilco's boldest works. It could have done with more wig-outs. But it captures the art of the almost with both hands.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's all very accomplished, but lacking in variety.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It hasn't the shiver factor of his debut but there's pleasure in such smooth, elegantly crafted songs after his recent strainings.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This duo's assured, accessible third album builds upon their reputation as omnivorous digital stylists
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An entertaining exercise, though of Hank's celebrated yodel there is, alas, no sign.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The urgent-sounding "This Day Is Mine" is the pick of their largely impressive full-length debut, the melodic choruses offset by barked vocals and shred guitar. The more restrained "Roads" merely sounds earnestly plodding.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Never shy of delivering an electro cri de coeur where a simple chord progression will do, Anthony "M83" Gonzalez fully indulges his fondness for the grand gesture on his sixth record.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    s self-titled 2009 debut introduced the band's hazy, Byrds-derived jangle; this second effort reimagines the bucolic pastorales of the 80s indie movement, given a Fleet Foxes skill set.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's nothing here to match the wildly brilliant ambition of their late-80s/early-90s peak, but "Underground" packs a hefty punch, while frenetic closer "Words Right Out of My Mouth" sounds like an ornithophobic Stooges.
    • 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
    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".
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a bit uplifting, but ultimately insipid.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The project's brevity certainly explains the lack of coherence over the 14 tracks, although that's not to say there aren't some thrilling individual moments.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The skies overhead on his debut album are dark and menacing for the most part: this is music to depopulate dancefloors, not fill them.