Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  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 27, 2018
    80
    With Palo Santo, Years & Years have crafted an album that pulses with that richness.
  5. Jul 24, 2018
    80
    Most impressively, while Palo Santo jumps between genres, it is surprisingly cohesive. These songs are best heard as an album and they reinforce one another in context.
  6. Jul 18, 2018
    80
    Their astutely crafted synth-pop cements their place as Pet Shop Boys’ spiritual successors.
  7. Jul 11, 2018
    80
    On this record they have taken a bold step forward. It shows them as a band with greater vision and ambition than they first seemed and one who want to lead conversations rather than follow them.
  8. 80
    The star power of Alexander: an articulate, thoughtful frontman with depth as well as acting-out genes. Here, pop star after pop star (Britney, a little J Lo, the list goes on) is invoked on an album that sounds like a Spotify playlist.
  9. Jul 6, 2018
    80
    Years & Years offer a blueprint for UK pop that carries on the lineage of Pet Shop Boys and George Michael but is also forward-thinking and connected to the broader scene. And that really is something to be proud of.
  10. 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]
  11. Mojo
    Jul 5, 2018
    80
    Sonically rich and lyrically intense. [Aug 2018, p.94]
  12. 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.
  13. 80
    When the songs do drop in tempo, they’re stripped down so the sound is soulful and raw, rather than sickly sweet.
  14. Jul 9, 2018
    65
    Palo Santo is a promising sophomore album because it evolves past the sound of the band’s debut. But at its low points, the record lacks the bite to drive home the razor’s-edge duality of sacred and profane that Alexander seems to thrive on.
  15. 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]
  16. Jul 18, 2018
    50
    Beaty and bouncy but less meaty, Palo Santo is for now an unsatisfying follow-up to a terrific debut.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 147
  1. 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 7, 2018
    10
    Sophomore slump nowhere to be found. Tracks developed sufficiently; execution is top-notch. Production is quite good, too.
  3. 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!