Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. Jun 4, 2021
    83
    While Half-Light feels more apt to be listened to under twinkling stars, Changephobia is a fitting record for sunny summer days, leaning into a stripped-down sound that combines pop with jazz.
  2. Jun 8, 2021
    80
    Beautifully constructed, surprising and brimming with invention - looking back at all the incredible music Rostam’s been a part of over the years, it feels as if he’s saved a little for himself on ‘Changephobia’.
  3. 80
    It shouldn’t all work together, but the record has a beautifully cohesive groove, the many disparate parts seamlessly fitting together in typical Rostam fashion.
  4. Jun 4, 2021
    80
    Rostam's music didn't need much altering, but on Changephobia, it's more artful and heartfelt than ever.
  5. Mojo
    Jun 1, 2021
    80
    Sustaining a dreamworld mood throughout, Changephobia is a quiet beauty. [Jul 2021, p.87]
  6. Jun 1, 2021
    80
    Changephobia might not necessarily win over skeptics, but it's the most coherent vision — lyrically and sonically — of Rostam as a solo artist so far.
  7. Jun 10, 2021
    75
    His choruses don’t jump out at you so much as slink by, which is not always a bad thing, but maybe not what you want from pop music. ... Every song on Changephobia sounds like it has an inch-thick layer of dust on it, but if you take a finger and smear that off, there’s a beautiful ice-cream paint-job below.
  8. Jun 4, 2021
    72
    Even on an album so concerned with fluidity and risk-taking, Rostam mostly stays in his comfort zone. At its best, Changephobia frames the experience of giving in to doubt and ambiguity as a kind of empowerment. Other times, it just feels like giving in.
  9. Jun 17, 2021
    70
    The result is a mixed bag that features all sides of a fearless guy in construction yet practical in tone. The most interesting moments come when he decides to feature frequent collaborator Henry Solomon on saxophone.
  10. Jun 1, 2021
    70
    While Batmanglij has reduced the vast variety of sounds and distortion of his debut, the warmth of his vision remains.
  11. Uncut
    Jun 1, 2021
    70
    Against hard-edged rhythms – Danielle Haim’s clattering drumming enlivens “These Kids We Knew” – and Solomon’s wordless reveries, Rostam sings in a creamy tenor tailormade for sharing the intimate feelings of his lyrics. [Jul 2021, p.33]
  12. Jun 2, 2021
    68
    It’s 14 minutes shorter than its predecessor, and it’s light on the warbled, bursting electronics that defined Half-Light’s hazy tales of queer romance. It feels quiet and intimate even when it’s roaring.
  13. The multi-talented musician’s downfall is sometimes that he wraps melodies in so many layers that it barely has a chance to breathe. ... Whatever the flaws in some elements of ‘Changephobia’, Rostam can be proud of creating an album that showcases his talent as a producer and is truly unique.
  14. Rolling Stone
    Jun 2, 2021
    60
    Pleasantly ornate pop with classical flourishes. [Jun 2021, p.77]