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Grey Tickles, Black Pressure Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third solo release for the ex-The Czars frontman was produced by John Congleton.
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Top Track

Disappointing
Roller coasters and Earl Gray Malts, Ocelot babies but not bath salts, Harvest moon in the arms of a tree, Which has been growing there for... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Oct 5, 2015
    90
    The album is a bold, idiosyncratic collection of songs crafted under intense time pressure after producer John Congleton insisted that Grant have all of the material ready to go before entering the studio. Such a challenge certainly seems to have focused the mind.
  2. Oct 5, 2015
    85
    Even when the album isn't serving up infectious bass riffs and glistening guitar chords, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure offers beautifully constructed songs that, even in the darkest moments, offer a glimmer of hope.
  3. Q Magazine
    Oct 1, 2015
    80
    Grey Tickles, Black Pressure captures everything great about Grant's past and bundles it into his most riveting album yet. [Nov 2015, p.110]
  4. Oct 1, 2015
    80
    The production’s grittier qualities suggest heavy emotions lie beneath his sardonic facade, but the sense that Grant feels liberated in middle age is what comes across most strongly.
  5. Oct 2, 2015
    80
    Grey Tickles, Black Pressure is a rich, dense and rewarding album. Dig deep into it and watch it envelop you--decay and chaos has rarely sounded so seductive.
  6. Nov 9, 2015
    80
    At nearly an hour long, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure is a dense, rewarding listen from an artist who's becoming more complex, and more direct, with each album.
  7. Oct 8, 2015
    60
    Too many of the witty lines feel forced to scan, and the electronics, once subtle and suggestive, are heavy-handed. There are charms though. Down Here is lusciously Eels-like, and Tracey Thorn’s star role on Disappointing vamps with a definite strut. It’s just, after PGG’s fabulous right turn, for this album to plough forwards in the same direction seems a wasted opportunity.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 9, 2015
    10
    John Grant has commented that this is his best album. I cannot disagree, but it is difficult to simply agree with the statement given that hisJohn Grant has commented that this is his best album. I cannot disagree, but it is difficult to simply agree with the statement given that his greatest strengths - soaring romanticism, technical virtuosity - are diffused over quite a number of songs, and that perhaps the album is a smidge intellectual. What be the case, John Grant has triumphed(!) again, this time with amazing vocal variations, that all seem to work, and more great songs that many times pack either an emotional or intellectual wallop, the latter perhaps best exemplified in his Biblical story sequence from Magma Rises, and his haunting "American" history lesson, Black Blizzard. My favorite moments are when he can mix the two strengths – emotion, erudition -, as in the glorious title track, Global Warming, (love song) Disappointing, and on the wondrous No Tangles, with my favorite line "Stockholm is a city that I adore," which sentiment . . oh I most definitely share. Expand
  2. Oct 26, 2015
    9
    Lighter of vibe, more experimental but architecturally more complex - And all the better for it. What would have once been "side A" flirtsLighter of vibe, more experimental but architecturally more complex - And all the better for it. What would have once been "side A" flirts with a mix of genres and vocal styles. If "Queen of D" was in the key of the 70's, "Ghosts" was '80's, "Tickles" has P-funk, new wave and for the "90's" a move, in parts, toward a Strokes vibe.
    This is a fun record where the lyrics become more playful and observant than the dark, mischievous and mean of the first two albums even though he cannot help himself having a pop on a couple of the songs.
    On Queen I though he was a great singer with an ear for the Carpenters and Glen Campbell. on the second you wondered how he became such a great eclectic tunesmith but on this one he moves himself in to the top ecehelon of singer-songwriter-performer. As a big fan, well I just think he's a genius though if he cared he's probably got room in his next album to call me a tw@t for doing so.
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  3. Oct 15, 2015
    8
    Further on in the album where the music deepens and complexes, emotions arise with moods relatable to that of the bleak Pale Green Ghosts,Further on in the album where the music deepens and complexes, emotions arise with moods relatable to that of the bleak Pale Green Ghosts, that when listening to the album again gathers more appreciation and importantly enjoyment for these early songs.
    Darker moments aside, it's important to know that the important part of this album is the less serious, more giddy and even slightly celebratory side.
    Where lyrics aren't analysed the songs might seem a little confusing but once you get to grips with the Grant story, you can fully understand the unique and frequently compelling stance of John Grant.
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  4. Oct 10, 2015
    5
    Nowhere near as interesting as his previous work,first half of the record is not much then studio trickery with John in his most infantileNowhere near as interesting as his previous work,first half of the record is not much then studio trickery with John in his most infantile state of mind (just check lyrics of You and Him); few good songs near the end save this album not to be total failure but too late too little.Don't really get all those positive reviews. Expand