Nilüfer Yanya - PAINLESS
Critic Score
Based on 29 reviews
2022 Ratings: #97 / 320
User Score
Based on 774 ratings
2022 Ratings: #30
Liked by 64 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Telegraph

Where previous records such as Miss Universe and 2021’s Inside Out were sparse, Yanya’s excellent new album, PAINLESS, marks an evolution into a much fuller songwriter.

91
A.V. Club

PAINLESS finds the UK singer in heartbreakingly strong form, delivering a dozen tracks in what's quickly becoming her signature style.

90
Gigwise

PAINLESS is a step forward from the excellent Miss Universe and will delight fans and new listeners alike. It's the kind of album you can listen to on repeat and discover new joys on each listen.

90
God Is in the TV

There was a lot of pre-release hype to PAINLESS and on this occasion the actual album is fully deserving.

85
Under The Radar
It’s the sheer power of her songwriting and her intricate arrangements that leave you dazzled and in no doubt that Yanya is a songwriter and musician of immense talent for whom the sky’s the limit.
84
Beats Per Minute

Patience. Stability. Dealing. Trying. It speaks to everyone on every level, and it’s precisely the kind of message the world needs.

84
Pitchfork
The singer-songwriter’s striking second album excels at a kind of subtle disclosure, relying less on power than it does texture and immaculately sparing detail.
80
Exclaim!

The power of PAINLESS is its willingness to stand in the eye of that unseen hurricane, submerging itself in disorientation and contradiction and unknowing.

80
Uncut

The Londoner’s second is more inward-looking than her conceptual debut, its emotive lyrics lending themselves to a more tightly focused musical palette.

80
DIY

A true representation of its creator; simultaneously delicate, fierce, vulnerable and fiery.

80
The Skinny

The follow-up to Nilüfer Yanya's debut album, Painless finds the London-based artist exploring more ethereal territory.

80
The Forty-Five
In her most purposeful work yet, the singer-songwriter has tightened up the nuts and bolts and shaken off the excess. Unafraid to linger on darker moments, ‘PAINLESS’ refines the standout qualities of her debut and reinvents them with a new sheen.
80
The Line of Best Fit

Crunchy, ethereal, and odd in its harsh beauty, PAINLESS is a record of contradictions that Yanya spectacularly weaves together.

80
Dork
With a hand-around-your-throat kind of urgency, ‘PAINLESS’ feels like the purest form of poetry: raw and inescapable.
80
The Guardian
The London songwriter roots the sound of her accomplished second album in classic alt-rock, its beautiful melodies contrasting with mysteriously bleak vignettes.
80
Clash
It’s a confident return, one that pits her dreamy, sonorous elements against a willingness to experiments, and absorb other voices and approaches into her own.
80
The Independent
Despite the record’s immersive qualities, the overwhelming effect is as satisfying as a plaster being ripped right off.
80
The Young Folks

As opposed to the more pop-influenced sounds in Miss Universe, Yanya relies on tougher instrumentation to portray inner turmoil. But PAINLESS doesn’t sit still with its struggles, instead finding ways to break free.

80
Rolling Stone
The second album from this U.K. singer-songwriter is a beguiling good time, slipping between genres and moods with speedy ease, like an entire season rushing by in a lovely blur.
80
Crack Magazine

Unlike her earlier jazz-fuelled work, Painless favours 90s grunge and infusions of hip-hop, dance and the plucked saz of Turkish folk. And, as ever, Yanya’s voice is her greatest instrument.

80
No Ripcord

What she's gained in the process is more focus and confidence, and as PAINLESS proves, an intriguing foreshadow of things to come.

70
AllMusic

If PAINLESS is less ambitious and attention-grabbing than her debut, it sees Yanya makes strides in being more affecting.

70
The Needle Drop
Nilüfer Yanya delivers a sophomore album with a bit more focus than her debut.
70
Spectrum Culture

PAINLESS is an amalgamation of ‘90s music that coagulates indie rock, trip-hop and post-punk. It’s a melting pot with traces of other artists across its dozen tracks.

60
Loud and Quiet
It doesn’t always feel like Nilüfer’s attention has been on making a fresh attempt to mangle pop as inventively and freely as she has before, but the skills she has mastered over the course of her career are on impressive display.
60
musicOMH
The problem is that the beats are too often too relentless – they don’t drop out or shift often enough.
60
The Irish Times
The results are initially uncertain, but across songs as confidently shaped as Trouble, Chase Me, Shameless and Belong with You (and pretty much the rest) early lingering doubts disappear in vapour trails of unwavering appeal.
60
NME
On her second full-length, the artist focuses on Nirvana-style murk and jerky, Bloc Party style post-punk, with frequent glimmers of brilliance.
60
Record Collector

For the follow-up, Yanya opts for a more direct, controlled approach, losing some of that album's bracing sense of pell-mell overspill but gaining in confidence.

Doublez
82

On "Painless", Nilufer shifts into high gear by opening her heart like she has never done before. This second album paints in a delicate introspection the mirror of a youth lost in uncertainty and trying to find its place in the world

Business and music are often very closely linked, it's rare to have artists or producers who do pure charity or just provide for their living needs. Let's not be so naive to believe it. The power of producers and investors has always ruled artists ... read more

ClayDJs03
70

Thursday Quickie: Nilufer Yanya - Painless

Hello AOTY, since I’ve developed quite a following over the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to pump out quality reviews at a substantial rate. However, I’ve been dissatisfied with my output as of late, particularly with regard to newer album releases. Consequently, I’ve considered a solution: Thursday Quickies (yes I see the innuendo, it’s intentional ;)). Essentially, before new music Friday, I will drop a ... read more

cstuart
87

“im shaking … you guys” — Tyra Banks

xcomebackkid
79

Pailess serves up a delightful mix of indie soundscapes drenched in reverb and British post-punk speed with a pop sensibility. The album's one downfall is that we could cut a couple songs from the middle of the album. The layered chorus effect on her falsetto gets a little bit overdone at times leaving me wanting her raw voice on the mix.

80

Not a single boring moment on here. Her voice pairs well with the often minimalistic and atmospheric production.

75

The whole first side shows Yanya at her best: soulful, rhythmic, and present in a room-filling way, but fades to a dragging second side. Owning this record, I often listen to the first side and put the thing back in its sleeve. Would love to see an expansive follow-up with the rigor of this project's first half.

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Track List

1the dealer
3:38
83
2L/R
3:39
77
3shameless
4:34
82
4stabilise
3:32
85
5chase me
3:30
77
6midnight sun
4:42
89
7trouble
5:04
80
8try
4:10
80
9company
3:46
72
10belong with you
2:56
80
11the mystic
3:33
78
12anotherlife
3:23
77
Total Length: 46 minutes
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Added on: November 9, 2021