The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,274 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 35% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 My Woman
Lowest review score: 20 Collections
Score distribution:
1274 music reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Allelujah! picks up where Montreal's premier apocalyptic instrumental outfit left off, setting the collapse of the first world to wordless music.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their warring improvisations are intriguing, unsettling and often exquisite.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It might lack some of the energy of their youth (best captured on the How the West Was Won live set, recorded in 1972 and released in 2003), but this is still a mightily impressive monument.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Every note is perfectly placed, the sense of bygone breeziness lovingly accurate.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Carry On sticks to familiar virtues; Mason's gravelly tones are set to rootsy guitars and Carey exercises a light touch.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nookie Wood finds him in rude creative health; a gruff, Pan-like affirmation of continuing musical restlessness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This second album finds them in incendiary form.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The mood is open and playful.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A keeper, a goodie.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Except for all the bits about getting high, and the bit about begging his best friend not to kill him, Lysandre is a composite love story as old as the hills, but this retelling is surprisingly refreshing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fade returns to familiar territory so intuitively that it feels less like a return to form than a homecoming.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arc
    Another tour de force.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Dubliner's follow-up, though no less literate, is more adventurous and electronic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The tunes and recriminations seem to cut deeper than ever on their seventh album.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Opener You & I setting the tone, all unhurried melancholia topped by Kelcey Ayer's soaring vocal. Elsewhere, they show they're equally adept at the euphoria in which Arcade Fire deal.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Light but deep, it [Of The Mother Again] helps this shimmering solo effort knock the last three MMJ albums into a cocked hat.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The resultant soundscapes stretch invitingly on tracks such as the lilting Hondo, while Kalahari summons up an appropriately threatening desert atmosphere.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Musically we're in familiar folky, country territory, with long-time collaborator Mitchell Froom on production duties; the bluesy Snake Road and the ethereal string and French horn arrangement on Blind Eye are particularly good.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This, finally, is the stuff people have been waiting a young lifetime to hear. It more than passes muster.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The rapport among the five of them, especially between Miles and Shorter, is beyond belief. The sound quality is excellent throughout.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yet beneath the noise, the songs seem more fully realised, more memorable, than on their at times fragmentary debut.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a very good record indeed, just not the record the more hidebound Cave lifer would instantly press to their breast.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With archaic language updated by transatlantic twang, it's a winning addition to the canon.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The record is beautiful but brief at 26 minutes; roll on Vol II.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Taylor's vocal presence is gruff and minimal to a fault, but musical textures that entwine banjo, mandolin and cornet are often arresting.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lambert is a consistently thoughtful songwriter and this is an exhilarating blast of ideas as well as heady Alpine air.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their soundtrack for supernatural French drama The Returned is just as good [Mogwai's music for the extraordinary football movie Zidane]; no less absorbing whether you encounter it through headphones or on TV.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her strange, fluting voice twines elegantly around sparse arrangements of piano, acoustic guitar and the charango lute.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Here On In, which with its motorik rhythm sounds most like the Horrors, is the only weak link on a gorgeously immersive album.