Absolute Punk (Staff reviews)'s Scores

  • Music
For 677 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 88% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 11% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.5 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 81
Highest review score: 100 Handwritten
Lowest review score: 5 Fashionably Late
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 677
677 music reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every song on Soul Punk bleeds confidence and assurance--that these songs are what Patrick Stump is happy creating--music that he's proud of.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As one of the last big album releases to close out 2011, it's highly fitting that Ceremonials should be considered perhaps the most beautiful and absorbing of them all.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It'll be difficult to find many albums (regardless of genre) that stimulates as many emotions as Camp. Years of hard work and perseverance from Glover has finally paid off and Camp is the culmination of all that, making this one of the best albums of 2011.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    During the 30 odd minutes of Avalanche United, you hear a revitalized band that's eager to take over the country and at the top of their game.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Uncompromising, gritty and intense.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Seeker Lover Keeper is a beautiful, harmonious and captivating listen from start to finish.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's not all slow and mid-tempo numbers that litter the forty-five minute duration of The Slideshow Effect. There are also moments where the band is unafraid to lift the urgency, to create a semblance of sustained momentum, and to incorporate a few timely hooks and memorable melodies along the way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The duo shows an uncanny ability to write engaging pop nuggets.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The musicianship and songwriting is easily on par with Magic and exceeds the output on Working On A Dream, and as a whole, Wrecking Ball stacks up considerably with The Rising, which to this day I consider a top-5 Springsteen album.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Twelve Years is a record that can and should become the soundtrack to many a young person's life in 2012.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The combination of his idiosyncratic creative mind with his highly personal and conflicted lyrics has resulted in something spectacular.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The combination of Vigil's honest, yet relatable lyricism and the powerful instrumentation make for the band's most powerful statement to date.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, The xx have created an album that is just as interesting, attractive and sexy as it could possibly be.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Painted, Narrows sophomore release isn't just a bunch of vets attempting a comeback, they're showing listeners why their names are already synonymous within the scene to begin with.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Battle Born is the kind of rock 'n' roll record that almost nobody makes anymore: it's bombastic and excessive and oversized, but it's also a grand and universal statement, a master class of album structure and sequencing, and a culmination of everything Brandon Flowers and The Killers have done up to this point.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You're going to need more than a few listens to truly sink your teeth into the meaty layers and themes, but once you get it, you'll find that this is one of the most rewarding albums of 2012.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blak and Blu is the very definition of a bellwether, and the resounding answer to all of the many who have predicted such greatness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    We Don't Even Live Here is the weirdest, angriest, and best P.O.S album to date.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, I don't know exactly where I'd rank Koi No Yokan--somewhere in the top three, but really it's not important. What's important is that this is a f***ing great album.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Such storytelling songwriting on Close The Distance is unmatched by anything Lancaster has ever penned--and I mean ever.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Failed States is the band's best release to date.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The twin sisters have pushed themselves creatively and musically, creating something truly special.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Hummingbird is a wonderful album. Each song manifests itself in a truly attractive manner and it's a release that's very much focused in the aesthetic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On New Moon they take a wide range of sounds and somehow make them all their own, and if you can keep up with all the "genre-hopping," this is certain to be one of the most unique and interesting records you'll hear this year.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Wondrous Bughouse is a beautiful, experimental album that never forgets that above all, music is an art form and is meant to be experience as is film, art, or literature.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Give In is as strong an effort as any and the grand introduction of a first-rate new outfit.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sempiternal is one of the most breathtaking and engaging albums of the year.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There aren't many artists recording today who make songwriting seem more natural and effortless than Kurt Vile.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s the sound of a young band coming into their own unique musical niche and making the record they’ve been reaching for since they first hit the scene in 2009.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Migrant is Casey Crescenzo’s most accessible record ever, it’s also his most honest and real Dear Hunter LP yet.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There’s a real dynamic arc here, not just for the album as a whole, but also within each and every individual song, and whether or not you’ve gravitated toward county music in the past, that unrivaled depth of passion makes this record an absolute essential.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Archambault’s vocal performance stronger than ever before, the band sounding fresh and the lyrics seemingly closing out this chapter in their career, Letters Home is one of the most thrilling albums they could have created.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s an enchanting odyssey that is steeped in the tantalizing mysticism of the unknown.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    More than anything, Moving Mountains feels complete.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is what those album reviewers mean, when they talk about setting the bar high.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you're willing to take the time and patience required to give this album the attention it really deserves, you'll find the rewards will exist long after you turn off the album.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Old
    Danny Brown is taking the route everyone wants an artist to take: putting out forward thinking, self-expressing art that is setting the bar rather than merely attempting to reach it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When it's all said and done, I have a feeling Jaar's solo career won't be the only thing he's known for, as Psychic has put Darkside up there with some of the best groups making music today.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wherever you place Adult Film in the Kasher canon, it’s hard to deny that it’s one of the best albums of the year, and arguably his most versatile yet.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s easily his most exhilarating and challenging record to date, keeping you on your toes throughout by juxtaposing subdued verses with huge, soaring choruses.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Transgender Dysphoria Blues has an universal appeal that will resonate with anyone.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you want a refreshing, imaginative, heartfelt record which manages to be fun and emotional at once, So Long, See You Tomorrow provides everything you could want. Bombay Bicycle Club are the best at what they do.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kozelek’s rich, detailed lyrics here are revelatory, and the way he delivers them, in his sad, low, heartrending baritone, is nothing short of entrancing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ostensibly an album about finding hope and navigating through the pathways of solace, Augustines is a shimmering, first-rate slice of pensive and passionate indie-rock.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is Clark's most daring, uncompromising, infectious, and adventurous release yet, as St. Vicent features a musician challenging the very idea of what it means to be an artist in 2014.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is as good as any album post-punk/garage rock has produced in quite some time.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One man’s suffering becomes our communal celebration, so to speak. It's a fine role for one of the year's best albums to play.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ledges is the kind of record that sounds great from the very first listen, but over time, as Gundersen’s words begin to cut deeper and take root, it transcends the mere prettiness that is so often the bread and butter of singer/songwriter records.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To call it a triumph is putting it mildly. Lucky is a clarion call to contemporary country music, a beacon of hope that proves just how much can be accomplished with just a voice and a vision.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's incredibly insular and sure of itself, but it's also smartly innovative.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Easily his best album to date, Till Midnight is a beacon of a record that will be looked at fondly come year’s end.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Rented World may not offer the thematic comforts that fans of Impossible Past will be searching for, the album is stacked from top to bottom with can’t-miss tracks.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Easily digestible, wholeheartedly inoffensive and very much DIY, this is an album that makes the forty minutes more than worth the investment. If only every disc could be this much fun.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only does Flies In All Directions combine the best elements of American Art and The Cosmic Drama, it exceeds them, resulting in what's bound to a genre-defining staple for years to come.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fullbright’s first record, From the Ground Up, scored a surprise Grammy nomination in the Americana category two years ago, but don’t be surprised when Songs starts topping EOTY lists in December.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The band has continued to expand and refine their ADD-riddle pop-punk into something more substantial and LP3 chronicles the growth in songwriting while maintaining the spastic charm of the band's earlier releases.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Prawn have shaped themselves into a band who offer more than lyrics, but counseling. And Kingfisher is catharsis created not through grit, but melody.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In between, we get plenty of striking melodies, at least a dozen quotable lyrics (“Tomorrow’s the name we changed from yesterday to blame when the train just don’t stop here anymore” is an instant Duritz classic), and an arrangement that shows off the Crows at their loosest and most vibrant.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The decision not to focus on immediate pop hooks is really a blessing, though, as this album showcases Spoon at their loosest and most diverse.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It's not extraordinarily original, but they do a masterful job at piecing together classic pop elements in an incredibly thoughtful and enjoyable way, crafting an album that's sure to please indie snobs, pop purists and, well, anyone else who might be listening.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Right from the start with opener "Lion Face Boy", Seabear bring you in and captivate you for the entirety of We Built A Fire.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    If you dig songs with twang, Here's to Taking It Easy is as tuneful and affecting a set of them as you're likely to come across.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Forceful is just what is capturing about Treats. It is what makes it so hardcore to the bone. Miller puts together gritty guitar licks and hammering beats worthy of an opening slot with Ghengis Tron in my eyes and matches it to the beautiful, yet aggressive sound of Krauss' mouth.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Truth be told, it never feels completely on-target, however it's hardly inept - just a touch disjointed. For every minor imperfection, listeners are rewarded with boosts of adrenaline from the bludgeoning opening track "Deafening" and breakneck "Dear Enemy."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Though it is lengthy and a lot to sit through--more than 70 minutes of music--there seems little reason to think this won't catapult Arcade Fire to even greater heights.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    On The King is Dead, The Decemberists decided to fully immerse themselves in a style they've flirted with for years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Almost two decades later, and they prove why everyone continues to keep tabs and standards for not only the band, but everyone around trying to live up to the influence.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Welcome to The Low Anthem's Smart Flesh, where folk music doesn't need to be reinvented for it to come alive – just performed. If you're looking for a solid folk spooker to open the year, your search ends here.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes isn't Yellowcard's best work, as Paper Walls still retains that title in my mind, but it's exactly the album that fans should be hoping for.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Frank Turner definitely does whatever he wants, and he's a lot better at it than I am at pretty much everything.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    England, Keep My Bones is Turner's most emphatic success and the best singer/songwriter album that will be released in 2011.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    What's fascinating about The Color Spectrum (and easily comparable to a contemporary like The Alchemy Index) is how expansive the quality of the records are in their execution.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Annie Clark stands out with her work because she is one of the few artists that can take something mournful and make it jarring yet angelic all at once.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Those who enjoy seeking out the layers of composition and the finest of details will no doubt appreciate and gravitate towards a record as expertly crafted as this.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    While it may lack the immediate magnetism of Weathervanes, there's plenty of reasons to think when all is said and done, Diluvia will be the album that carries them forward and cements their status as one of New York City's most creative and rewarding indie bands.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Comprised of many songs he has tucked away for years, the album is everything one might expect from a Gibbard solo album: daring, delicate, verbose and indelible.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The genius of Lights Out is that it packs a punch without any gimmicks.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Helplessness Blues is one of the few things reminding me that behind the liquor stores and condominiums is a little freedom and a lot of hope.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sure she's unconventional, a bit puzzling but in the end she is undeniably rewarding and compelling. Hell, come to think of it, Hunting My Dress might be one of 2010's most pleasant surprises.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The album has the feel of a stopping-off point of sorts for a band an evolutionary path, headed toward an even higher level of greatness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Eighties punk enthusiasts with a taste for hip modern bands like Japandroids, Tapes 'n Tapes and (the late) Jay Reatard, or hell, anyone who can appreciate spirited rock music delivered with verve, should find The Soft Pack to be a delightful and exciting listen.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Plastic Beach is a full blown hip-hop/trip-hop album and a prime example of how to stray away from one genre to dominate another. If Albarn has done anything with this project, he has shown his knowledge of flawless production and the ability to create aesthetically pleasing tunes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Typically the band can be found tiptoeing the edge of shameless, binge-drinking punk rock ("Titus Andronicus Forever"). It's better when they're loud, I think, because it makes Stickles' doubt seem more immediate, like there's a time limit to his sanity.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The band has sprinted forward and earned an Olympic title of the "P" word. I Was Trying to Describe You To Someone is going to turn heads and only gain more respect and fans in the process.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Almost Everything is a triumphant, forward-thinking and near perfect effort. With a disc this good, the piano-pop genre just might have its new hero.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The album is something of a rollercoaster of musical styles, songwriting approaches and emotions. But most importantly, transcending it all, is Ritter's astounding power to make us hang on every word.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Omni is accessible yet not watered down; complex and engaging all at once. Its catchy and progressive elements will surely dig its way into your cerebellum.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Not only is The Powerless Rise As I Lay Dying’s heaviest album to date, it also features a splendor not heard on past releases.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Aside from some quirky song titles, there's little about Land of Talk that's abnormal. In the end, they're just solid all the way around.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Truth be told, finding a clunker on the second half is a tall order and that simple fact is what makes History of Modern so rewarding.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is The Get Up Kids years later folks. The familiar nuances have been rearranged and built into something stronger, but the attitude and depth is all the same, if not more adhesive and much more endearing than before.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For all of the baggage that comes included with Helplessness Blues, it is still a relaxing, folk-y Fleet Foxes record.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Burst Apart retains all the band's compositional prowess and aural splendor, but it's also a record we can truly celebrate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Put simply, Mount Moriah is a compelling debut full of candidness, thoughtfully well crafted and relatable lyrics, beautiful vocals with the ability to mesmerizing, and dare I say it, already an aura and element of timelessness destined to surround it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sympathy isn't all cartwheels and picnics. But even in the face of death, there is optimism in Eiseland's songwriting that makes you want to listen regardless of mood.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Youth Lagoon will never reproduce anything like The Year of Hibernation. I think in 2011, this is called The Bon Iver Effect. The result of fame is that Powers will never be in this place again. But maybe that's best.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It should be viewed as a major step-up from Reach For The Sun.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    When all is said and done, New Multitudes is a staggering work and a crowning achievement.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It is that constant desire to create new music that makes Heaven so deeply rewarding and so worth the time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Marriages created a ride not worth getting off until it ends.