Albums to watch

Love is Magic

John Grant

Love is Magic

Fourth solo studio release by acclaimed American singer-songwriter and former frontman of The Czars in collaboration with producer Paul Alexander (Midlake)

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Bella Union / PTKF
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Love is Magic is full of tender proclamations and acerbic bile, mania and zen, bouncing between emotional states with barely contained zest – it's an absolute joy to be along for the ride
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  2. 10.0 |   The Independent

    You can hear the restless sensory-seeking of the reformed addict in the album’s unceasing delivery of weird and wonderful new retro sci-fi sounds
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  3. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    His impish spirit reflects a writer with his fingers on the pulse of what’s really magic in this era: an understanding of humanity and all its feathery mess
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  4. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    John Grant returns with the brave, compelling Love Is Magic
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  5. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The singer-songwriter is on fine form on an immensely rewarding fourth album
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  6. 8.0 |   Q

    Fabulously vivid fourth solo album. Print edition only

  7. 8.0 |   music OMH

    Like all of his work it’s cut through with melancholy and darkness in places, but Love Is Magic is nonetheless the liveliest and most playful record he’s released
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  8. 8.0 |   NME

    A silly, smutty slice of arch brilliance that also makes room for quiet introspection, the American musicians's fourth album is an accomplished balancing act
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  9. 8.0 |   DIY

    A rip-roaring thrill ride that’s immensely danceable to boot
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  10. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Right there, Grant gives us his synthpop troubadour, a persona soaring between bleak and soulful. Enjoy it before he shifts again, then enjoy that, because the thing about John Grant is whatever he does, the music is always great
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  11. 7.0 |   The 405

    Love is Magic is perhaps John Grant's most consistent and enjoyable work yet.
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  12. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    The masterful bearded balladeer John Grant's fourth LP, Love Is Magic, rarely matches the soaring heights of his past triumphs
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  13. 7.0 |   The Music

    Leaving behind the themes of unrequited love that feature in his early material, Grant is now adrift in the singles scene and applying his acerbic lyrical wit to those who are in his orbit
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  14. 7.0 |   Uncut

    The synth reveries outstay their welcome, but the sense is of a great talent whose early solo work vented a lifetime's pain and outrage now experimenting and recalibrating. Print edition only

  15. 6.7 |   Gig Soup

    A good album, but a bland John Grant one
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  16. 6.0 |   Evening Standard

    The band sound is gone in favour of stark analogue synths. He still conjures warmth from them on The Common Snipe and the title track, but much is hard going
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  17. 6.0 |   Clash

    A fascinating but frustrating listen
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  18. 6.0 |   Mojo

    Love Is Magic is Grant entertainingly magnified, but the emotional returns comes slightly diminished. Print edition only

  19. 6.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    It’s an album littered with both moments of brilliance and points at which he would have been well-served to rein himself in a little bit
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  20. 6.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Grant has experienced some darkness
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  21. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    Fun, daft, loaded with funk notions, but it’s not that funky
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  22. 4.0 |   The FT

    For such an acute songwriter, Love Is Magic is disappointing
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