Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
Buy On
  1. Nov 1, 2019
    90
    While some of the diversity obviously comes from her tasteful selection of collaborators, including Wilma Archer (Jessie Ware, Nilufer Yanya), Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Sampha) and Paul White (Danny Brown, Charli XCX), there’s never any questions whose unique vision is behind this innovative, unusual and inviting album.
  2. Oct 29, 2019
    90
    Athena isn’t just an album to be listened to, it’s to be experienced. While this is arguably true of all music, this album is filled with deeply textured soundscapes that feel contemporary but also from the not-too-distant future.
  3. Oct 28, 2019
    90
    Showcases her eclecticism in technique and execution on her magnificent terms.
  4. 85
    Sudan radiates confidence on Athena, uniting distinct musical elements as if they belonged together all along. It’s an album that sounds like nothing else.
  5. Nov 1, 2019
    80
    Parks’s debut contains some of the most electrifying and viscerally gorgeous music put to record this year. She may have been inspired by north African one-stringed fiddle-playing and ethnomusicology more generally, but Parks wears her erudition lightly.
  6. Oct 31, 2019
    80
    All the added instrumental layering and effects -- wriggling synthesizers, buzzing basslines, ricocheting percussion, apparition-like vocal processing, and suchlike -- are nuanced, not once getting in the way of a musician who can put forth an affecting message with just her voice and violin.
  7. Oct 28, 2019
    80
    But where her EPs stubbornly wrapped tracks of jarring, syncopated beats around those massive tracks, Athena leans more towards R&B, and Parks takes advantage of the space of an LP to smooth out any previous idiosyncrasies.
  8. Nov 7, 2019
    77
    Having developed a sound so distinctly her own, Parks has liberated herself from any preset expectations of genre or style.
  9. Nov 4, 2019
    70
    This project, as conceived by the artist, wraps itself in an Afro-futurist stance, an approach to neo-soul that feels right at home played next to the sounds of FKA twigs or Solange. But Sudan Archives still has room to grow while she defines her sound.
  10. Oct 28, 2019
    60
    The songs often lean more towards the arty end of the mainstream, losing touch slightly with the startling radicalism of Sudan Archives’ early sound.

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