The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 785 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 32% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 65% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Big Inner
Lowest review score: 20 Nothing But the Beat
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 785
785 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    She's irrepressible and the record sparkles with personality and elan, sealing her as a pop star worthy of the illustrious company she keeps.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is a seductive layering of glittering, MOR surfaces, ambient textures and a deep, aching undertow.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The arrangements on Dream River are almost as eloquent as his lyrics.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result, improbably, is their best set in years.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout, he remains the master of bluesy honky-tonking and surprising modulations that he always has been.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Seventy-two not out: a great record.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those allergic to smooth pop-rock may find Days Are Gone hard going. Paradoxically, given this is an album of clever mash-ups, Haim's one straight-up R&B tune might actually be their best.
    • 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
    • 80 Critic Score
    Each song is coloured with a knowing intelligence and it all comes from her voice.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An (almost) unexpected pleasure.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A worthy homage.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her collaboration here with production wunderkind (and fellow Los Angeleno) Ariel Rechtshaid has brought her angry, grungy side to the fore. It was worth the wait.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the undercurrents of melancholia, Antiphon is another impeccably realised meld of bucolic 70s folk and radio-friendly soft rock, as warm and assured as it is adventurous.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The soundtrack delivers a faithful sample of Bleecker Street's earnest, antique folkery, ably sung by actor Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake, Marcus Mumford and others.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    After years of toying around, Hynes may have finally found the sound that suits him best.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The results are frequently exquisite.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even when battering his piano strings with a toilet brush, Frahm creates something mesmerising.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are beautiful moments.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    From the Sea comprises new versions of old songs, most of which sound just as powerful without Woolcock's arresting images.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The best surprise of all, in an autumn in which Beyoncé's closest competitors--Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus--made underperforming bids for the throne, is how thoroughly assured, immersive and substantial this album is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Singles are by nature the juiciest bait, but what's cheering is that so many of these tracks match Lariat for sheer breeziness.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The somewhat mainstream arrangements are meticulously crafted and played, but it's Cash's emotional, engaged vocals that carry the record.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their eighth album proper is clearly designed to be played very loud indeed; the tension here comes from the interplay of taut structure and fierce bursts of noise.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Recorded at his son's home studio, David Crosby's first solo studio album in two decades has a pleasingly jazzy feel, the arrangements full of blocky piano chords and big string bass which, with Crosby's much-envied harmonies, create a pleasant fug.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The balance between pop and experimentalism is very fine but Young Fathers strike it with exuberant ease.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kozelek, it seems, has nothing left to hide, or lose: the effect is utterly riveting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's perhaps not as immediate as 2007's Aman Iman, but no less pleasing.