Palo Santo Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 87 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the British electronic pop trio led by Olly Alexander features contributions from such artist as Greg Kurstin, Steve Mac, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, and Two Inch Punch.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 100
    Filthy, sexy, thoroughly debauched pop at its finest; Palo Santo feels like a magical album.
  2. Jul 6, 2018
    100
    An overwhelmingly intimate record that makes you wonder just what Years & Years could be capable of next.
  3. 90
    An album that sees Years & Years revisit the musical, lyrical and aesthetic concerns of their debut and refresh them with unprecedented confidence and self-knowledge.
  4. Jul 5, 2018
    80
    It’s probably not what anyone expects a male pop star to do in 2018. But listening to the astute, convincingly ambitious Palo Santo, you wish more of them would.
  5. Q Magazine
    Jul 5, 2018
    80
    Years & Years currently seem unconcerned with idiosyncrasy and edge, but it's hard to mind when they've hit a pop spot this sweet. [Summer 2018, p.112]
  6. Mojo
    Jul 5, 2018
    80
    Sonically rich and lyrically intense. [Aug 2018, p.94]
  7. Uncut
    Jul 5, 2018
    60
    Each track has been precision-tooled for playlist perfection but even here the sheer class of "Rendezvous" and "Karma" shine through. [Aug 2018, p.35]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jul 8, 2018
    10
    I wasn`t expecting that! The first and second single were good, but the whole album is even better!
  2. Jul 8, 2018
    10
    Why is palo santo the best album of years and years? Palo santo tells a story of a young gay man and his experiences with heteros and the ****Why is palo santo the best album of years and years? Palo santo tells a story of a young gay man and his experiences with heteros and the **** they do when they just want to use gays for sex. I love you olly Expand
  3. Jul 9, 2018
    10
    I was hesitant at first as I wasn't a huge fan of their second single from this album. However, I heard it out of context to the rest of theI was hesitant at first as I wasn't a huge fan of their second single from this album. However, I heard it out of context to the rest of the album. This album is a masterpiece in songwriting and lyrics. In a very very rare accomplishment their sophomore album is as good or perhaps even better and more mature than their debut album.

    Olly's voice has clearly grown and gotten stronger. The songwriting is A+ they are making music that they want to create. They are doing their own thing without tyring to copy or sound like anyone else but clearly influenced by many different artists from years past.
    Expand
  4. Jul 8, 2018
    10
    Maravilhoso! Estava receoso se continuaria com a qualidade do Communion. Tão bom quanto. Palo Santo e Howl incríveis
  5. Jul 7, 2018
    10
    Sophomore slump nowhere to be found. Tracks developed sufficiently; execution is top-notch. Production is quite good, too.
  6. Jul 7, 2018
    10
    Was a fan before. Now feel like I am completely refreshed. Nice job on integrating Olly's voice to such diverse genres!
  7. Jul 6, 2018
    6
    While Years and Years debut, Communion, didn't set the world on fire, I was excited for the followup, hoping that maybe they can build uponWhile Years and Years debut, Communion, didn't set the world on fire, I was excited for the followup, hoping that maybe they can build upon their debut to something bigger, better, and grander. Unfortunately it felt more of the same, sadly. That's not to say the album is bad necessarily, at it's best the production is colorful and full of textures, like on dance-jams like on All For You, Hallelujah, and Karma, however it is weighed down by bad production choices, like the darker lead off single Sanctify that the band cannot pull off, to the annoying synth melody on If You're Over Me, to the more intense trap production reminiscent of TNGHT on Lucky Escape that doesn't flatter the band, and the dull ballads that also plagued Communion. While it is admirable for the more queer topics and openness that Ollie Alexander brings to the table, unfortunately his vocals are just too weak to carry any strength or real emotion besides quivering and stiffness. I wouldn't call this bad exactly, even with some overproduction there are some great melodies, textures, and hooks here, and the lyrical content is very meaty at times, and this album will certainly mean a lot for the band's LGBT fan base, however it's more hit or miss than triumphant, and that's the real shame. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews