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Love, Death & Dancing Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the British singer-songwriter was self-produced with additional production from Brett Cox, James Flannigan and Jacknife Lee.
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  • Record Label: Island
  • Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative R&B, Left-Field Pop
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. 85
    Garratt’s latest offering is a triumphant return. It is an album that does not ask you to relate to his pain, nor tells you to dance over your problems. It is an album that tells a story and ultimately, holds no fear.
  2. Q Magazine
    Jun 12, 2020
    80
    Love, Death & Dancing finds Garratt charged with a new, bright energy. [Summer 2020, p.100]
  3. Jun 12, 2020
    80
    Garratt has clearly found time to strip away the more overbearing influences from his music. Instead of trying to distil a mass of currently modish styles into something resembling the flavour of the month, he has devised a take on modern pop idiosyncratic enough to call his own.
  4. Jun 15, 2020
    80
    Armed with his newfound sense of self-acceptance and determination, Garratt finds his voice on Love, Death & Dancing, embracing the darkness while shining some light into the shadows.
  5. 60
    There are sparks of brilliance on ‘Love, Death & Dancing’; Garratt’s multifaceted talent is undeniable and his honesty is admirable. But, please, less is more next time.
  6. Jun 16, 2020
    60
    Garratt still has a tendency to overelaboration, compressing armchair techno, James Blake-like digital manipulations and McCartney-esque flair into lush, shapeshifting tracks replete with pushy synths and layers of harmonies, where every sonic space is stuffed with activity. The effect is quite prog rock, reminiscent of such busy 1980’s synth songwriters as Nick Kershaw and Thomas Dolby.
  7. Jun 12, 2020
    60
    The songs are a little more distinctive, and they’re crafted a little better.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 18, 2020
    10
    Sonically, there is so much in the album that you could listen to it on repeat over 30 times within the first week of its release. So I did.Sonically, there is so much in the album that you could listen to it on repeat over 30 times within the first week of its release. So I did. And it got better every single time. I cried at the end of ‘doctor please’ almost every time, and the guitar solo on ‘anyone’ really shows his bluesy roots. I think this is easily my favourite album of all time. Expand
  2. Jun 18, 2020
    6
    It is weird listening to the album as a whole for the first time given the first two 'volumes' had already been released, making the firstIt is weird listening to the album as a whole for the first time given the first two 'volumes' had already been released, making the first half of the record sound like a recap. There is much more creative freedom on display in this album than on Phase, which has mixed results.

    Part 1 of 4 is where this album sounds the most like a more innovative version of its predecessor, and where Garratt's experimentation is slick and coherent. The way both Time and Return Them To The One build over their track lengths is superb.

    The intro to Better, the opener of Part 2, of assorted guitar plucks detracts from what is is otherwise one of the strongest tracks on the LP. The remainder of Part 2 is mixed; Mend A Heart is another strong showing of Garratt's many talents while Get In My Way is ruined slightly by the vocal performance.

    Part 3 is when this album starts to become much more loose and directionless. Garratt starts to show his self-indulgence on Anyone with an uninspired guitar solo to close the track, which takes a full two minutes to kick in. Doctor Please comes off as extremely bland despite its five minute run time.

    The opener to Part 4 is my least favourite track here; the disjointed piano and Garratt's vocals create something that isn't enjoyable to listen to. To open a track with that style would be fine, but after four minutes you wish there was some sort of melody in the piano at least. Old Enough doesn't feel like it belongs in this Part of the record. Only The Bravest sounds like the opener again, but this time with more instruments backing it and goes on for about four minutes longer than it needs to; taking the run time close to an hour.

    This album is an interesting exploration of ideas that unfortunately loses its edge around the mid-point of the LP. It contains some of Garratt's best work because it does not attempt to appeal to the mainstream like Phase did, however we are also left with other, uninspired tracks on the album, which are also a result of this.
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