Cate Le Bon - Reward
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2019 Ratings: #35 / 625
Year End Rank: #41
User Score
Based on 315 ratings
2019 Ratings: #369
May 24, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mexican Summer / Label
Art Pop / Genres
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catelebon.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
musicOMH

This album, though not what anybody on the face of the Earth would call ‘fun’, is an absolute classic of modernist architecture. It’s certainly the best thing she’s ever done.

90
Loud and Quiet

Reward is just that: the precious, well-earned outcome of patience and introspection, and the bravery to be wholly yourself.

90
AllMusic

Easily Le Bon's most involved, risky, and satisfying material up until this point.

90
The Line of Best Fit

Reward’s songs bask in a timelessness, touching on nostalgia throughout its playful, freeing, and earnest style.

85
Spectrum Culture

An album that reveals more and more of itself upon further listens, that shows complexity over time instead of forcing it directly into listeners’ laps.

85
Under The Radar

Her lyricism is taught, serene, and never heavy handed, all while envisioning just enough of a world that the listener is free to complete the interpretive gesture.

84
Pitchfork

On her fifth album, the Welsh musician is at her best. The more elaborate and eccentric her music becomes, the more she sounds like herself.

80
Exclaim!

Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Timothy, also known as Cate Le Bon, packs a lot of punch on her fifth studio album, Reward. Her style is veiled in mysterious, hypnotic lyrics and striking instrumentals that make the listening experience feel otherworldly.

80
Clash

Alternating somewhere in a grey zone land of ambiguity, between dream and reality, there is an adaptability and it manifests itself in sparks of humour or deep sincerity, and between cynicism and vulnerability. The effects are profound.

80
DIY

‘Reward’ could feel like a slog, too bleak and weird to be truly enjoyable - but it doesn’t. It’s entirely captivating, with just enough moments of optimism to keep you hanging on.

80
The Guardian

Lovely, airy, occasionally rocking songs are underpinned by elliptical lyrics and seeping loneliness on Le Bon’s remarkable album.

80
Rolling Stone

It’s hard to go back and listen to earlier albums after Reward—the enhanced instrumentation and dreamy songwriting make this the singer’s strongest album yet.

80
The 405

Le Bon’s fifth studio album Reward is a charming and moving work.

80
PopMatters

Cate Le Bon's fifth album Reward offers treasures beyond the everyday realm.

62
Paste

Rather than fixing a steady gaze on our isolating and destabilizing present, Reward often taunts, pokes, glances, and winks—gestures that pester and provoke without leaving much of an impression.

laz456
55
After several listens I just cannot see myself ever returning to this. It's a kinda cool neo-psych indie pop sound but these songs are so flat and lifeless. It just makes me wanna listen to In a Poem Unlimited.
Plats
77
It drags a little bit much for my liking, but "Reward" is still a pretty, quirky and well-written psych-folk record. I don't think it's going to beat other female singer-songwriter releases but I think it's worth a shot.

Fav Tracks: Daylight Matters, Sad Nudes, Magnificent Gestures, Meet The Man, Home To You

Least Fav Track: Miami

Score:
7.7
Very Good

Right as I read "Meet The Man" I was like "Hello, I am the meat man!" in Dr. Evil's voice. I was giggling ... read more
dearsongs
83
okay okay it's kind of Aldous Harding ish in a sense, and will be compared to (and similarly dismissed like) a lot of the other recent female singer/songwriter releases, but its for sure 'weird' all in its own unique way. Some really pretty songs on here, some goofy moments (Mother's Mother's Magazines especially, which is really elevated by the second half of the tune), and the album has a nice bounce to it through out. The sax additions are really nice. Cate Le Bon's best yet, I'd say.

The ... read more
usedtobe
96
"The more you feel/ The more you lose."

Isolation and heartache permeates through the fifth studio album from the Welsh singer-songwriter, coming out after a year of seclusion from a remote part of England and taking up an intensive year-long furniture-making course that let her catharsis be poured out in a form of ten songs, at her most personal work to date. Her eccentricity and signature art-rock leanings are still present with bits of playfulness and introspection, starting with ... read more
winitheju
69
Nice, but forgettable
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Track List

  1. Miami
  2. Daylight Matters
  3. Home To You
  4. Mother's Mother's Magazines
  5. Here It Comes Again
  6. Sad Nudes
  7. The Light
  8. Magnificent Gestures
  9. You Don't Love Me
  10. Meet The Man
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Added on: March 20, 2019