AOTY 2021

Primal Heart

Kimbra - Primal Heart
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2018 Ratings: #398 / 851
User Score
Based on 391 ratings
2018 Ratings: #286
Liked by 9 people
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The Independent

Perhaps it’s her wisely chosen collaborators or more life experience, but Kimbra’s exploratory ethos has never been so on point.


The time and deliberation taken by Kimbra on ‘Primal Heart’ shows, as on album three she’s truly hit her stride. Throughout she offers up rich, swirling instrumentals and intricate musical landscapes, crunchy chord progressions and twinkling chromaticism complemented by her confident, warm vocals.


A consistently winning album, Primal Heart finds Kimbra hitting the sweet spot between imagination and accessibility -- if her nods to the mainstream get more ears pointed her way, so much the better.

Northern Transmissions

Though she’s often made albums that straddle sharp pop with very focused genre-pieces, she has written her most cohesive collection of songs to date with Primal Heart.


In an album that is perhaps Kimbra’s strongest work yet, Primal Heart sees the New Zealand musician fuse elements of the old and new, creating an art-pop LP determined to overcome past faults.

The Needle Drop
Despite being a stylistically mixed bag, Kimbra's latest album features some of the best art pop you'll hear this year.
The Observer

You can’t help but feel, though, that Primal Heart lacks blood. For every genre-busting banker such as Human (inventive, effects-laden soul) or Recovery (pugnacious swing-pop), there are so-so tracks that should have been palmed off on to someone else.


The New Zealand musician’s third album is a collision of hard electronics with a touch of R&B. Though it contains moments of great power, it sounds like a work that’s stuck between two places.

I hope this gains the cult following that Emotion has
Primal Heart is one of the only times where I’d recommend playing it safe.
Kimbra's "Primal Heart" is one of the best pop albuns of the year, with no bad songs and managed to join his previous eras into a cohesive and consistent album. After a considerable time without making any musical appearance, Kimbra have became some kind of internet meme of "being death" for not releasing any album (along with the still mythical "Masochism" by Sky Ferreira). Fortunately, last year she has announced her long-awaited album (first it was going to be ... read more
Production is fireeeeeee. Aspects of Kimbra’s performance and the albums’ overall structure leave something to be desired, but I’ve still been drawn back to this thing a few times over the years.

Standout: Lightyears
Favs: Right Direction, Past Love, Just like they do on the TV, Top of the World
Least fav: Real Life

1. The Good War: 7,5/10.
2. Top of The World: 8,5/10.
3. Everybody Knows: 7,0/10.
4. Like They Do On TV: 9,0/10.
5. Recovery: 9,5/10.
6. Human: 8,0/10.
7. Lightyears: 7,5/10.
8. Black Sky: 7,0/10.
9. Past Love: 7,5/10.
10. Right Direction: 8,0/10.
11. Version Of Me: 10/10.
12. Real Life: 10/10.

Average: 8.2/10.
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Added on: September 30, 2017