Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
Buy On
  1. 100
    Faithfull lifts them from the page with a compelling combination of crispness and tenderness. She doesn’t use that soporific “poetry voice”. Instead, she can make 200-year-old visions of beauty, love and death feel as urgent as the latest true-crime podcast.
  2. Apr 28, 2021
    90
    Faithfull’s warm gravelly tone imparts a real fullness to each one. Sonorous and calmly delivered, it’s indeed a surprising joy to let the words wrap around you. A large part of that gratification comes from Ellis’s charismatic score. Unobtrusive to the point of almost being fictional, piano keys are soothingly caressed with the slightest of touch, violins tremble thriftlessly and the watercoloured melodies all but turn to vapour.
  3. Apr 27, 2021
    90
    It embraces you like a hug from a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Musically Ellis has created understated gossamer soundscapes that emphasise the emotions of the poems but don't draw the attention from Faithfull’s voice.
  4. 80
    The results are frequently beautiful, the new settings making even the most familiar texts (Ode to a Nightingale or The Lady of Shallot, say) sound fresh.
  5. May 3, 2021
    80
    She Walks in Beauty is a loving testimony to the power and lasting vigor of the Romantic poets, and also a reminder of how lucky we are to have an artist as gifted as Marianne Faithfull giving us this remarkable tutorial.
  6. Mojo
    Apr 27, 2021
    80
    This is music that seems to inhale and exhale around Faithfull, making space for wonder to unfurl without crassly signposting it. [May 2021, p.86]
  7. The Wire
    Apr 27, 2021
    80
    An unpretentious work of Romanticism - that holds space for the infinite experience imbued in a poem, a song, or a voice. [May 2021, p.55]
  8. Apr 27, 2021
    80
    It’s a record that increasingly rewards with each play, the subtleties and subtext revealed slowly, teased into view by deceptively unobtrusive musical accompaniment. Ellis’ punctuations of the words serve a similar purpose to melodic hooks in traditional pop songs, setting the groundwork for the lyrical beauty of the source material to haunt our thoughts long after the album’s over.
  9. Classic Rock Magazine
    Apr 29, 2021
    70
    With its gentle, unwaveringly steady, never-changing tone and rhythm, it demands work on the part of the listener. [Jun 2021, p.79]
  10. Apr 29, 2021
    70
    The only downside, if there is one, is that with so much happening at once, She Walks in Beauty is best taken in small doses to appreciate its majesty.
  11. Uncut
    Apr 27, 2021
    70
    What lingers is that vivid voice. [Jun 2021, p.25]
  12. Apr 30, 2021
    67
    The ceaseless lull of her voice accounts for the record’s ambient feel, but it also makes She Walks in Beauty seem like an actual poetry reading that drags on for a quarter hour too long.