• Record Label: Caroline
  • Release Date: Jun 12, 2020
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Jul 15, 2020
    90
    It isn’t always as loud or as exultant as her band’s output, but it is rivetingly intense, whether at full rock strength, in dance-ish, trance-ish electronic mode or at a whisper backed by a small orchestra. ... The album is simply what it is, take it or leave it, but take it. It’s magnificent.
  2. Jun 12, 2020
    90
    ‘To Love Is To Live’ is a sonic poltergeist with sentiment to boot.
  3. Jun 12, 2020
    90
    To Love Is to Live is an emotional essay in which Jehnny Beth has created one of the most compelling and sincere albums of the year so far.
  4. Jun 16, 2020
    80
    If you enjoy the dark imaginings of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, this is worth immersing yourself in.
  5. Jun 12, 2020
    80
    It seems to be a study of gender, sexuality, innocence and sin, and ultimately identity; and it feels literary, in the way it deliberately and self-consciously turns over its themes.
  6. Jun 12, 2020
    80
    Beth’s ability to glide between vulnerability and intimidation is unnerving, and adds more shades of grey to a performer who’s previously operated in black and white.
  7. 80
    A timelessly raw and real ride through this thing called life.
  8. Jun 12, 2020
    80
    To Love Is to Live is an album of depth and subtlety that is poetic, passionate, eclectic, and cohesive.
  9. Jun 12, 2020
    80
    To Love Is to Live is an unabashedly, thrillingly wild ride, and as Beth throws everything she has at her audience, she fully reveals the multitudes she contains.
  10. 80
    Taking you on a journey which reveals new landmarks and perspectives each time you listen, To Love is to Live is a compelling and real cinematic picture of the emotions that life throws at us. It’s a journey you will want to relive.
  11. Jun 11, 2020
    80
    While the record does, on occasion, feel weighed down by its own existentialism - the more explicit musings on existence that open (‘I Am’) and close (‘Human’) the record notably - the rich sonic palette and Jehnny’s steely delivery ultimately win out.
  12. Q Magazine
    Jun 9, 2020
    80
    Everything here sounds how Jehnny Beth is meant to sound, making To Love Is To Live a record as masterful as its creator is complicated. [Summer 2020, p.99]
  13. Jun 9, 2020
    80
    Her lyrics are often uncomfortably revealing, as she peels apart her feelings about love, sex, sin, femininity, masculinity, Catholic guilt, and violence and how they all define her — often on the same song. She’s a rare artist who thrives on overthinking everything (hey, she is French) and the album’s general grandiosity never feels obnoxious.
  14. Jun 12, 2020
    78
    Although it seems Jehnny Beth has decided to go solo to express more of her vulnerabilities, by the end of To Love is To Live it’s hard to say whether we actually feel any closer to her. However, it also shows her chameleonic abilities as a vocalist, as she’s working with different styles and productions yet still sounding urgent.
  15. Jun 16, 2020
    77
    This is an imperfect, imprecise project—but that’s the beauty of it.
  16. 70
    To Love is to Live works best when Beth channels solemnity rather than bombast. The relentless bursts of energy that punctuate the record are often thrown as wild haymakers, yet it’s the cerebral moments before they land that deliver the most rewarding blows.
  17. Jun 10, 2020
    70
    It's a slightly scattered record, but one fuelled by an invigorating conviction and helmed by an artist with the gravitational pull to make it all align.
  18. Uncut
    Jun 9, 2020
    70
    There's a greater diversity of moods, tempos and instruments, supporting a more experimental mindset. [Jul 2020, p.27]
  19. Jun 15, 2020
    60
    As ever, Beth’s theorising is air-tight, but ironically, the album stutters most when it is being most provocative.
  20. Mojo
    Jun 9, 2020
    60
    Lyrics are vital, and here they often clunk where they should pierce, deadening some of her undeniable power. [Jun 2020, p.86]

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jun 17, 2020
    8
    An intense 38 minutes with Jehnny Beth. The album expertly shifts from intimate and sensitive to powerful and explosive, such as on 'I'm TheAn intense 38 minutes with Jehnny Beth. The album expertly shifts from intimate and sensitive to powerful and explosive, such as on 'I'm The Man.' 'We Will Sin Together' is probably the highlight of this record with its deep electronic notes and sinister vocals. The influence of the producer Flood is obvious from the first track given its similarities to 'Alabaster' from Foals' Total Life Forever (if you haven't heard them both, play them back to back). Some tracks don't quite hit the mark; French Countryside is very mediocre and Joe Talbot's feature on How Could You is not as good as you would expect from the IDLES frontman. A good debut. Full Review »