June's Best New Music

Our monthly roundup looks at the best albums released over the past month. For reviews of these and many more albums, visit Metacritic Music.

The best albums released this month

Below, we look at April's best-reviewed releases. For each album below, we list the percentages of "great" critic reviews (with an individual critic score above 80), "good" critic reviews (61-80), "mixed" reviews (40-60), and "bad" reviews (below 40). Note that all song download links go to Hype Machine, where you can find the indicated MP3s on a variety of music blogs.

Sleigh Bells: Treats (Mom + Pop/N.E.E.T.)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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Rill Rill
, Tell 'Em

52% 48% 0% 0% 87 9.0

With their relentless beats, electro noise-pop duo Derek Miller (laptop/guitar) and Alexis Krauss (vocals) manage to out-M.I.A. M.I.A. on her own label.

What the critics liked: Unapologetic, noisy, and raw, Treats' energy explodes through the stereo and on the dance floor, and is impossible not to notice.

What they didn't: While the band's signature sound is undoubtedly a rush, some critics warned that the sameness could bring stylistic fatigue.

Listen to "Rill Rill":

Laurie Anderson: Homeland (Nonesuch)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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44% 56% 0% 0% 87 9.7

The performance artist extraordinaire comments on contemporary America on her first album in over a decade.

What the critics liked: Provocative and philosophical, Anderson tackles patriotism through inventive musical compositions and voice filters.

What they didn't: If you are uncomfortable with mixing music with political passions or with experimental music in general, this album is not for you.

Also by this artist:
Life on a String 2001 67 9.3    

Paul Weller: Wake Up the Nation (Yep Roc)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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No Tears to Cry

35% 55% 10% 0% 85 8.5

Mod icon Paul Weller, formerly of The Jam and Style Council, returns on his latest solo album with a collection of short, aggressive tracks.

What the critics liked: The iconic Weller's two-minute rockers are audacious, imaginative, and as full of ideas as ever, if occasionally self-derivative.

What they didn't: A few critics felt that the album lacked cohesion and could have benefited from less indulgent production.

Also by this artist:
Illumination 2003 79 8.2    
22 Dreams 2008 77 9.3    
As Is Now 2005 74 8.3    
Studio 150 2004 48 8.1    

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today (4AD)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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Round & Round

30% 65% 5% 0% 85 8.5

This L.A. band lets their freak folk flag fly with homages to pop styles of yore.

What the critics liked: The sweet psychedelia and good-natured revisionism are given more hi-fi treatment here than on past outings.

What they didn't: Some reviewers felt that the music is too derivative and lacks sustaining interest.

The Roots: How I Got Over (Def Jam)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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Dear God 2.0

36% 55% 9% 0% 84 9.7

The Philadelphia hip-hop artists show their versatility in this smart, funky album that includes a number of indie rock guests.

What the critics liked: The slow-grooving record manages to be both intelligent and upbeat, with inspired guest turns from the likes of My Morning Jacket’s Jim James/Yim Yames and Joanna Newsom.

What they didn't: Slant called the album stylistically inert -- the most "offputtingly soft music they've possibly ever released."

Also by this artist:
Phrenology 2002 87 9.2    
Game Theory 2006 83 9.2    
Rising Down 2008 80 8.8    
The Tipping Point 2004 72 8.1    

Konono No. 1: Assume Crash Position (Crammed Disc)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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44% 44% 11% 0% 84 10.0

This intriguing Congolese mixture of traditional music and inadvertent-distortion-inspired electronica features the electric likembé, or thumb piano.

What the critics liked: Konono No. 1's polyrhythmic African noise trance makes for an immersive, richly textured aural experience.

What they didn't: Pitchfork (who liked their previous album much better) pointed out that they do one thing extremely well, and don't diverge from it -- but perhaps they don't need to.

Also by this artist:
Congotronics 2005 87 9.0    

Trash Talk: Eyes & Nines (Trash Talk Collective)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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Explode

29% 71% 0% 0% 83 10.0

This Sacramento sludgecore outfit brings an aggressive exuberance to their brand of punk.

What the critics liked: This collection of brief, hardcore punk songs add up to what NME calls a "masterpiece of sonic violence." DIY FTW!

What they didn't: BBC says that "its longevity is appropriately limited," which does not necessarily preclude its appeal.

Teenage Fanclub: Shadows (Merge)

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Baby Lee

6% 88% 6% 0% 81 9.5

The Scottish sweethearts continue to turn out heartfelt, perfect pop songs with their ninth album in 20 years.

What the critics liked: The genius songwriting trio of Norman Blake, Raymond McGinley, and Gerard Love spins bittersweet songs about longing, love, and even marriage with a mastery that younger bands should envy.

What they didn't: The album may be sedate at times, but as NME says, Teenage Fanclub is "always the same. But it's a lovely same."

Listen to "Baby Lee":

Also by this artist:
Man-Made 2005 79 8.5    
Howdy! 2002 74 7.3    

Robyn: Body Talk Pt. 1 (Cherry Tree)

% Great % Good % Mixed % Bad Metascore Users  

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Dancing on My Own

19% 69% 13% 0% 80 8.5

Swedish songstress Robyn returns after a five-year break from her last LP with this short eight-song album, the first in a trilogy expected out this year.

What the critics liked: Collaborations with Diplo and Röyksopp add to the impeccable production of this more personal record by the dance-pop phenomenon.

What they didn't: While some tracks earned raves, the same critics feared that the 30-minute album could ill afford filler.

Also by this artist:
Robyn 2008 86 8.5    

The Gaslight Anthem: American Slang (Side One Dummy)

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American Slang

22% 70% 9% 0% 80 9.0

This American pop/punk band is led by the New Jersey- and Springsteen-influenced Brian Fallon.

What the critics liked: With appropriately anthemic melodies and heartfelt lyrics, the Gaslight Anthem's latest album is less punky and more soulful than past efforts.

What they didn't: The Guardian says that Fallon "emerges from American Slang as a man who couldn't assemble an IKEA bookcase without getting the instructions tattooed on his heart while rememberin' the good times."

Also by this artist:
The '59 Sound 2008 77 9.5    

More Well-Reviewed June Albums
Album Label Metascore
Total Life Forever by FoalsSub Pop79
Boys Outside by Steve MasonDomino79
Becoming A Jackal by VillagersDomino79
Night Work by Scissor SistersPolydor78
Thank Me Later by DrakeCash Money78
Goodbye Killer by Pernice BrothersAshmont77
If I Had A Hi-Fi by Nada SurfMardev77
The Chaos by The FutureheadsDovecote77
...And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness by Olafur ArnaldsErased Tapes77
The Boxer by Kele OkerekeGlass Note77
Bride Screamed Murder by The MelvinsIpecac77
Destroyer Of The Void by Blitzen TrapperSub Pop76
Future Breeds by Hot Hot HeatDangerbird75
White Crosses by Against Me!Sire75
See You On The Moon by Tift MerrittFantasy75
Avoid these:
The Sellout by Macy GrayConcord57
Bionic by Christina AguileraRCA56
Sex Dreams And Denim Jeans by UffieElektra55
Eureka by RooneyCalifornia Dreamin'47

The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). User scores represent an average of scores assigned by Metacritic.com site visitors on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good). All scores are from June 28, 2010. Only albums with at least seven reviews are eligible for inclusion.

What are you listening to?

What new albums or songs are in heavy rotation on your MP3 player? Let us know in the comments section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (18)

  • Daniel  

    RECOVERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lucas  

    these features would really get my interest if you put the genre of music along with the artist. I am a big metal fan and i have a lot of trouble finding the music i like (for instance there was no rock/metal section on your article on the most anticipated albums of the coming year) for this there probably few to no good/bad metal albums released but in the future i would much appreciate some metal love

  • Luke Winger  

    Sad that Total Life Forever got bumped out of the 80's, it truly is an amazing album (yes, there are some weak points, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a song as moving as Spanish Sahara or as catchy as the title track.)

  • Peter  

    I'm still soaking in Total Life Forever. The drastic change in style from Antidotes really shocked me, but shortly afterward I was hooked. I had no idea a new Roots album was out. Can't wait to give it a listen.

  • nick reese  

    Recovery was amazing

  • damon larkins  

    Recovery then Thank Me Later

  • Josh  

    Recovery. Duh.

  • Augusto Diniz  

    This must be a very WEAK month

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