• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Jan 13, 2023
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
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  1. Jan 18, 2023
    82
    The band are at their best in short, sharp, concentrated bursts of euphoria, which Late Developers delivers in spades. More importantly, they finally seem to have recognised that it's not impossible to balance their slyly wandering spirits with their wryly written pop sensibilities to rediscover themselves at their very best.
  2. Mojo
    Jan 24, 2023
    80
    This suprise follow-up to May's A Bit Of Previous smacks of pressure-off invention, the sense that they know how to do this by now - and have fun doing it - cemented by Late Developers' title. [Mar 2023, p.84]
  3. Jan 18, 2023
    80
    Late Developers is a gem.
  4. Jan 17, 2023
    80
    Late Developers is not simply a collection of offcuts but a catchier and more diverse collection than its companion piece. It finds the group pulling at the threads around the edges of their sound and, in a couple of cases, striding out into new territory.
  5. Jan 17, 2023
    80
    Late Developers marks a real return to form, and is the band’s most rewarding album since 2006’s The Life Pursuit.
  6. Uncut
    Jan 13, 2023
    80
    One of their more purely enjoyable albums. [Mar 2023, p.25]
  7. Jan 13, 2023
    80
    As usual the positives far outweigh the negatives. As a surprise shot in the arm to get the year off to a good start, this is a very welcome New Year present.
  8. Jan 13, 2023
    80
    Even the inclusion of an older tune somehow doesn't feel like they're content to stay cycling through past ideas. If anything it serves as a stark example of just how far they've come since those timid, mawkish early days, and the rest of the songs give a glimpse of how far they might yet go.
  9. Jan 13, 2023
    80
    Belle and Sebastian exercise their songwriting powers by crossing the boundary between sophisticated indie-pop and straightforward happy-clappy numbers with mainstream radio hit potential (‘I Don’t Know What You See in Me’).
  10. Jan 13, 2023
    76
    Belle and Sebastian have always been focused on connection, and on Late Developers, they’re unpretentious about sharing that bond and generous in reinforcing it.
  11. Jan 18, 2023
    70
    ‘Late Developers’ is a fine piece of pop whimsy, delivered with self-deprecating panache.
  12. Jan 13, 2023
    70
    It's mostly a cheery, upbeat listen — although Murdoch still sounds best in melancholy mode, something he proves with on the synth-anchored "We We Were Very Young." ... B&S only miss when they leave their comfort zone.
  13. Jan 13, 2023
    60
    Upon the first few listens, it’s a confusing album: there’s plenty of their usual sing-song melodies and musings on modern dissatisfaction, such as on When We Were Very Young. ... But it’s the synth-laden, poptastic I Don’t Know What You See In Me that seems glaringly out of place.
  14. Jan 13, 2023
    50
    The Achilles’ heel of this record isn’t the songs themselves but the production: drums throughout are blocky and distracting, guitars are washy and lacking personality, and the aforementioned synthesizers rarely fit the songwriting.