Nilüfer Yanya - Miss Universe
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2019 Ratings: #100 / 759
User Score
Based on 603 ratings
2019 Ratings: #85
Liked by 7 people
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The Line of Best Fit
Each song feels like a trip into Yanya’s tangled psyche, each one vital to the whole narrative of the album like little short stories threaded together.

The singer-songwriter has created an astoundingly original piece of work; every track sends shivers down the spine, but hitting different vertebrae - sometimes the impact is measured and controlled, others it’s shocking and bold.

The 405

A joyful, intelligent and triumphant album from West London singer Nilüfer Yanya, Miss Universe eschews the usual rules associated with debut LPs and introduces a bold new voice to the musical landscape.

Under The Radar

Miss Universe is a hell of a debut, with Yanya proving herself a powerhouse of songwriting especially, not to mention her pristine vocals and unique guitar voice.


The rapturous debut from the British singer-songwriter takes adventurous pop-rock crucibles to new heights with her illusory songwriting and stunning voice.


This is an emotionally multi-faceted album to luxuriate in. Whether you take solace in her sultry, rich voice, instrumentals that range from bubbly to rugged or become invested in her confessional storytelling, Nilüfer Yanya’s Miss Universe can be easily enjoyed during a night out or night in.

The Guardian

In between the mock adverts, Miss Universe throws up a ragged miscellany of styles – rackety alt-rock, radio-ready pop, saxophones that appear to have escaped from a Sade album, jagged left-field guitars, primitive drum machines and what sounds like an attempt to make the kind of 80s AOR ballad that’s popular with Magic Radio on a lo-fi, bedroom-bound budget – all blessed by the melodic facility already in evidence when Yanya made her debut.

Loud and Quiet

More and more songs spill out, 17 of them in all, each tarnished with sharp distinctive hooks and the nasal jazz-pop tooting of Yanya’s voice. It’s full of intrigue and playfulness, a careful but bolshie response to any pressures of expectation.

It all sounds a little inconceivable on paper, but is tied together and brought to life by a singer-songwriter who evades pigeonholing - on purpose or accidentally, it doesn’t really matter - and provides a debut that’s all her own.
Groove and melancholy exist simultaneously in Yanya's work, providing listeners with no single answer to the questions she poses.
The Skinny

What might you experience when you experience paradise? Perhaps it's something similar to Miss Universe.

The Independent

Miss Universe is a brilliant collection of songs, an expansive melange of indie, jazz, pop and trip-hop that flits between a lo-fi sparseness and something The Strokes would play.


Yanya covers a wide breadth of styles and emotions here and even if it all doesn't hang together perfectly, Miss Universe is a fascinating debut that is reflective of the pressures we place on ourselves and others which all too often result in a striving but imperfect mess.


Big without the "bang", Miss Universe poignantly showcases the young talent Nilüfer Yanya coming into her own on her own terms.

The Observer

This debut sees a decade of pent-up songwriting spilling out of the hilariously talented 23-year-old Londoner Yanya.


A musical chameleon, Yanya’s debut album puts the extraordinary talent’s songwriting skills front and centre.

God Is in the TV

Miss Universe shows off all of her musical talent and having already released 3 EPs, this is a singer who understands her sound and is clearly staying true to the type of artist that she wants to be.

Spectrum Culture

Much of the pleasure of Miss Universe resides in Yanya’s distinctive delivery of these lines: her voice is an aching, smoky, sardonic instrument that conveys the power of restraint. Even while her songs occasionally aspire to the epic or monumental, her singing never seems flashy.

Crack Magazine

Miss Universe is consistent with Yanya’s diverse tastes and strong technical pedigree, but as a collection it feels unfocused and disjointed. There’s better work ahead of her.

Update: This album keeps growing on me. Yanya’s Allegorical narrative of self care and mental health is just so well done.

O this will be a good weekend for music. I did not realize this was going to be a concept album with such a tight narrative, but shiz darn it, she knocked it out of the park.

Nilüfer Yanya is going through a process of self-healing, and she personifies that sentiment through a futuristic spa treatment. The ultimate goal is to 'experience paradise,' yet ... read more
Space Vacation
Simply put; this is an amazing album.
That accent/voice is to die for. It makes me so insanely happy.

Please go listen to this if you haven't yet. This will be one of the crowning achievement blue ribbon albums out of the entirety of 2019.

I can't really say anything that isn't just me gushing--
Miss Universe is UPPER ECHELON and I love it more than anything else I have heard this year.
In Your Head is my new favourite track to come out this year also.

LPs like this make me excited for the ... read more
If you haven’t been paying attention to Nilüfer Yanya over the last two years, you’ve already missed some incredible singles - “Golden Cage” and “Baby Luv” being the best introductions to her hypnotic soft-rock. A cover of the Pixies’ “Hey” was also revelatory for how it cracked open both that song’s soulful melody and Yanya’s enigmatic guitar style. But don’t worry: “Miss Universe” is your best chance yet ... read more
Yanya's EPs were intriguing and had some promise, but the sound never quite clicked for me. it was worrisome when she signed to Dave Matthews Records (ATO) because my taste profile does not match their mainstream-acts-in-indie-clothing approach. some of this is good to very good but the whole doesn't hang together for me. lots of threads (good), no tapestry (not so good), which is anathema for what is ostensibly a "concept" album.
Interesting listen
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Track List

  2. In Your Head
  3. Paralysed
  4. Angels
  5. Experience?
  6. Paradise
  7. Baby Blu
  8. Warning
  9. Heat Rises
  10. Melt
  11. "Sparkle" GOD HELP ME
  12. Safety Net
  13. Tears
  14. Monsters Under the Bed
  15. The Unordained
  16. Give Up Function
  17. Heavyweight Champion of the Year
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Added on: January 22, 2019