Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
Buy On
  1. Nov 15, 2019
    100
    Magdalene is an album that, like FKA twigs herself, defies both genre and classification. Yet it’s a late contender for album of the year, with songs that will live you for months to come.
  2. Nov 12, 2019
    100
    It’s beautiful, inventive, catchy, heartbreaking, addictive, and bursting at the seams with ideas. It captures a performer truly at the top of their game, throwing everything into a project so that not one second is wasted. It’s a record that makes you fall in love with music again, a record you feel privileged to experience and a record that imparts fundamental human truths.
  3. 100
    Magdalene is a magnificently twisted sci-fi torch album, an enthralling account of love, loss, heartbreak and recovery. It is erotic and neurotic, confounding and revelatory, summoning the spirits of such iconoclastic talents as David Bowie, Kate Bush and Björk while affirming its own unique personality.
  4. 100
    By its close, FKA twigs is an unstoppable force of nature.
  5. Nov 5, 2019
    100
    Finding strength in vulnerability, and the tug of war between contrastingly feeling powerful and helpless, angry and devastated, after heartbreak, has rarely been so well conveyed on record.
  6. Nov 8, 2019
    94
    MAGDALENE is visceral and direct, but despite featuring a trunk-thumping Future collaboration (“holy terrain”), this is not a play to make pop music in the charts-humping sense. It’s a document of twigs’ marked achievements in songwriting and musicality as she elucidates her melodies without sacrificing her viewpoint.
  7. Nov 13, 2019
    90
    Magdalene sees FKA Twigs reach a wholly satisfying pinnacle that is unlikely to be rivaled by any of her peers in 2019.
  8. Nov 11, 2019
    90
    This more mature approach to storytelling is what makes MAGDALENE a raw and outstanding album about love. The lyrics have more depth than LP1, bearing a universality that perhaps one can only write after an especially honest heartbreak.
  9. Nov 8, 2019
    90
    At once more delicate and more concentrated than any of her previous work, Magdalene is a testament to the strength and skill it takes to make music this fragile and revealing. Like the dancer she is, Barnett pushes through pain in pursuit of beauty and truth, and the leaps she makes are breathtaking.
  10. Nov 7, 2019
    90
    Sometimes elegance and grace are enough to spark a transformative introspective journey. It is a rare occurrence, but that's what FKA twigs has delivered with Magdalene.
  11. Nov 6, 2019
    90
    The album is a knotty meditation on the process of separating self-perception from public perception, and of twigs’s reclamation of her body and work as hers and hers alone.
  12. Nov 5, 2019
    90
    The intent, execution and expression is pure. But the ominous feel of the entire project overwhelms, in parts, with a forlorn sense of distance and dread — which appears to be the point — yet its subsuming sense of femininity, sexuality, free will and determinism paradoxically draws us in.
  13. 90
    It is an unsparing, anguished release in which we see an artist laid bare and tapping into a more natural and resonant version of her sound and self. It is the fullest and most developed work from FKA Twigs to date.
  14. Uncut
    Oct 30, 2019
    90
    There's a defiance in each painful note. In tasting despair, Tahliah Barnett has returned 10 times stronger--in spirit and voice. [Dec 2019, p.27]
  15. Nov 7, 2019
    87
    MAGDALENE is the sound of an artist gluing together the million tiny shards in which she found herself after an explosive breakup. ... FKA twigs broadcasts her pain just as vividly on less metaphorical MAGDALENE tracks.
  16. Nov 11, 2019
    80
    Magdalene is a much starker, more emotionally direct album than 2014’s LP1, most noticeably in twigs’s voice, which moves with sleek power from delicate operatic acrobatics to muscular intimacy. It’s also bracingly frank.
  17. Nov 8, 2019
    80
    The sound’s kaleidoscopic.
  18. The Wire
    Nov 7, 2019
    80
    The sonic diversity and range of Magdalene is a marked departure from the breathy triphop of LP1, yet a thematic trajectory is clearly traced from the suggestive sensuality of the first to the combative provocation of its follow-up named after a defamed biblical figure. [Nov 2019, p.54]
  19. 80
    Despite the album title, religion barely figures on “Magdalene.” FKA twigs seeks a person to believe in, not a creed. In these songs, that would be vocation enough, a chance to find transcendence by giving everything. It’s the faith of so many pop songs: the glory of love.
  20. Nov 7, 2019
    80
    MAGDALENE might not be perfect, but it reverberates with the sound of someone shutting the door on a difficult chapter in their life. The prospect of what's next for Barnett is genuinely exciting.
  21. Nov 7, 2019
    80
    MAGDALENE is an album of ideas bristling against one another. Sometimes, there is the feeling that less could have been more, but when everything aligns, there are true moments of wonder to be found.
  22. 80
    The follow-up to 2014’s LP1 is the sound of a woman teetering on the brink of collapse, gathering herself, and then erupting into a kind of defiance.
  23. Nov 4, 2019
    80
    Almost every track on ‘Magdalene’ is built upwards from a simple piano line, hammering home the impression of someone delicately yet decisively knitting themselves back together after coming undone.
  24. Nov 1, 2019
    80
    Twigs still finds ferocious power in her music, her femininity, and her sexuality. But on MAGDALENE, she tampers that ferocity with a radical sensitivity and vulnerability that indicate a broader maturation in her artistic development.
  25. Q Magazine
    Oct 30, 2019
    80
    This is a record of real substance. [Dec 2019, p.111]
  26. 75
    While concise in length, MAGDALENE paces FKA twigs through the unguarding of her traumas, ceremoniously giving way for her next act.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 202
  1. Nov 10, 2019
    4
    Visceral, my butt: it's boring. This is the kind of record that brings out the purple language and coaxes everyone on the bandwagon beforeVisceral, my butt: it's boring. This is the kind of record that brings out the purple language and coaxes everyone on the bandwagon before someone finally pipes up "kinda boring though, innit?" Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2019
    10
    Magdalene is a beautiful masterpiece at Bjork level. This album is one of my favorite releases in 2019.
  3. Nov 8, 2019
    10
    What the hell ist this? Thanks Twigs for turning **** people did to you into gold. I loved every single song. Daybed is something... one of myWhat the hell ist this? Thanks Twigs for turning **** people did to you into gold. I loved every single song. Daybed is something... one of my favorites. Full Review »