AOTY 2021

Not Your Muse

Celeste - Not Your Muse
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2021 Ratings: #376 / 672
User Score
Based on 442 ratings
2021 Ratings: #205
Liked by 31 people
January 29, 2021 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polydor / Label
Neo-Soul, Soul, Pop Soul / Genres
Sign In to rate and review


The Telegraph

This is a classy debut, from a sophisticated talent who takes things at her own sweet pace. She may not turn out to be the next big thing, but Celeste sounds like she is in it for the long haul.

It's not the sort of record you look to for big surprises or revolutionary moments, but if you’re looking for an excellent pop-soul record from an artist who’s going to be around for years to come, you can’t go wrong.
The Independent

Not Your Muse is an album that will lure you back time and time again, as much for its technical brilliance as any of its other qualities.

The Line of Best Fit

Not Your Muse is Celeste showcasing her truest self, and the care that it deserves.


On her first album Celeste cements her place as the new face of British soul.


Celeste begs for a return to smoky, underground stages, and much like the stars that paved her way, carries with her the bona fide class to make it all her own.

Chaotic roll-out notwithstanding, the album is sure-footed and attests to the artist's high standing among the crowd mining pre-disco R&B, jazz, and pop.
God Is in the TV

This is a great record, that sounds great from the word go and only gets better from repeated playing. Celeste has made a gorgeous soul album, with sprinklings of gospel and jazz that deserves your ears and your money.


She’s in a league of her own.

Record Collector

This exquisite 12-track debut reveals not only the 26-year-old's extraordinary voice, by tums ethereal and earthy, but also her formidable songwriting talent.

‘Not Your Muse’ is not a revolutionary album, but every track is a more than enjoyable listen.
The Forty-Five

‘Not Your Muse’ is at once a showcase for Celeste’s singularly gifted and eerie vocals, a retro-modern sonic playground to explore in an unhurried fashion and – on rare occasion – a minefield of generic soul-inspired pop.


Celeste has all the makings of something unique: a British soul artist, certainly, but one with a razor sharp edge and a theremin like falsetto, capable of quite remarkable things.

All in all, it marks the start of what should be a successful and promising career, as she has all the tools necessary to flourish. But next time, I’d like to hear more of her unique qualities and less of the things that stand in her way.
The Observer

As middle of the road as this singer undoubtedly seems, there is, however, much to commend her debut album, Not Your Muse – a gutsier, wiser and more elliptical set of songs than may at first appear.

Ultimately, the album is a glistening product of excellent composition, intelligent producing and unerring vocal talent. As Celeste’s first release since being named BBC Music’s Sound of poll winner, ‘Not Your Muse’ leaves no doubt that she befits the title.
Evening Standard
The pressure must be huge for this to be a big album when sales are down everywhere (no album released in 2020 has reached platinum status in the UK) but Celeste is at her best when it sounds like she’s hardly trying.
STUNNING! A rollercoaster of emotions in this album.

Her unique style was wonderfully executed from start to finish. Celeste is a brilliant singer with a voice that soars above the rest. This was a brilliant work of art. I couldn’t grasp the emotions I felt while listening to this. Not only did Celeste exceed my expectations, but she brought so much more to this album than I expected: vulnerability, passion, and heartwarming energy. Very replay-worthy. Celeste has such an excellent ... read more
Filled with heartwarming, suave performances and serving as an ode towards love, Celeste's "Not Your Muse" is the perfect record to listen to with your loved one.

This is REAL smooth. Celeste creates a really beautiful lovey dovey album that hits right in the correct spot. Everything about this album is just... strong. It's the type of chill music that i enjoy the most. The melodies, the vocals, the writing, all melts together to become a nice laid-back vibe. One that, i must say, i ... read more

Simply a STUNNING vocal performance that will stay with you for a long time if give it your full attention.

Her voice is full of passion and is in a world of its own. She hits every note with queenly precision. Her voice is in the clouds looking down upon us mortals. Every note overwhelms you with its immense emotion.

While the piano and jazzy atmosphere and song structures are not revolutionary, they are without fault. The only thing keeping this from being a classic is that it's ... read more
Last year predicted as the most likely breakout star by a major BBC poll of critics, "Sound Of...", but put on pause due to the pandemic, it seems that British singer Celeste is on her way to that breakout after the release of her debut album Not Your Muse. Celeste has certainly built momentum through prominent singles and promotional songs, but the release of her debut album should inevitably be the moment in which the singer explodes into the popular sphere of music, if not just in ... read more

Over massive goosebumps, some crying and a lot of joy, this was for sure one of the best listens I've had in a LONG ASS TIME.
How can I even try to describe who is Celeste? I truly don't know. This album caught me completely off guard, not only made me emotional as hell, but it impressed me in the most beautiful way.
There's so much quality in these tracks, I swear if you're reading this you won't regreat even if for a second listening to this record, it has everything a classic ... read more
Purchasing Not Your Muse from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

Year End Lists

Sign in to comment

Added on: January 18, 2020