The Observer (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,401 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Modern Country
Lowest review score: 20 Kings & Queens of the Underground
Score distribution:
1401 music reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Combining the sounds and textures of jazz quartet and string quartet is a tricky business, and there are moments here when the two seem about to come unstuck.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It certainly gets close to chaos at times, but these live shows often did. From that point of view at least, it's truly authentic.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Equal parts funky electro throwback and prog chanson monster, St Vincent's fourth album feels like the culmination of a trajectory from the margins to centre stage with a minimum of intellectual loss.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Packed as it is with all this goodness, Art Angels fails to comprehensively blow your mind. Ultimately, Grimes has not reinvented the pop wheel, she’s just driven it off road a little.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Oblique lyrics provide few hand-holds; while his distress is palpable, it remains frustratingly nondescript.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not all of it gels, but as a treatise on male absence, Sturgill’s Guide is heartfelt.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Those happy to go with Van Etten will be rewarded by swooping pop noir, groaning organs and a sax solo, plus considerable hard-won wisdom.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A squally electric guitar solo lets you know Love & Hate isn’t just another slice of vintage soul, but something a little more intriguing than that.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Where his debut was part Marvin Gaye, part Prince, blackSummers’ Night is light on funk, making its creator, in the era of Frank Ocean, look like the yesterday’s man of R&B.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    These songs work a gentle charm, reflecting on life and mortality with an unhurried grace.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At its centre is Lambert's ebullient personality and a classic Texan voice that can deliver ballads or arena rock with equal ease.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's more likely, though, that Shields is a grower.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This album is rather better when it is winking at you, rather than seeking to cryogenically preserve emotion.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tomorrow's Harvest is another intriguing Rorschach blot of a record from a splendidly arcane band.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mumford & Sons-style tunes are still part of the package, but Man on Wire possesses a depth absent from their old songs, while the highlight, Between the Saltmarsh and the Sea, is a sumptuous fusion of folk and electronica.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Across 32 tracks it tries to capture the experience of an era from all sides.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is fine internationalist guitar music.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Currents details a painful rebirth, but you’d never guess as much.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's not cutting edge, but it does mean business.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In revving so hard, though, the Black Keys have perhaps left behind in the dust the subtleties that made Brothers such an intriguing ride.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    More immediate songs such as In the Same Room are ineffably breezy, while other tracks illustrate her handle on ancient Greece (This is Ekstasis) and the uncommon control she has over textures and motifs, atmospheres and vocoders.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While it’s a nice retro bagatelle, a regrettable lack of originality really hampers Foil Deer.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    By definition, More Life has sprawl in-built, so judicious use of the skip function is required, but this is high-quality filler.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At 12 tracks, though, Fear Fun could do with a good trim.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are tunes aplenty, making this second Protomartyr album a surprisingly pleasurable dose of swaggering anomie.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Garbus's voice is jostled too much amid the hectic production to allow its personality to shine through and, with some notable exceptions (the call and response of Real Thing), hooks are hurried on before properly taking root.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    No chance of paunchy homage here; lyrics cluttered with Munch, war and the Chartists and the tightly coiled energy of its best moments, such as Misguided Missile and instrumental closer Mayakovsky, suggest they are fronting up to middle age rather well.
    • The Observer (UK)
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Looser, grungier, fuzzier and yet more abrupt, perhaps, than latter-day Wilco offerings, Star Wars is proof that you can get considerably more than you pay for.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Transgender Dysphoria Blues lives up to its title with candour and tunes.