All Music Guide's Scores

  • Music
For 9,349 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Ram [Deluxe Edition]
Lowest review score: 20 Playing With Fire
Score distribution:
9,349 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Neko Case has crafted an album whose quiet drift only adds to its power; it's hard to say if hanging out with Nick Cave on tour had much of an influence on her, but this disc sounds a bit like Case's version of The Boatman's Call, a personal exploration of the heart and soul that proves sad and beautiful can often walk hand in hand.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    We Are Science sees Dot Allison going beyond even the highs of One Dove and crafting an accessible, evocative masterpiece that consistently surprises and thrills.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Without a doubt the most moving, ambitious, and elegant album of her career thus far.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Red Dirt Road is not just one of Brooks & Dunn's most ambitious records, it's also one of their best.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To the duo's credit, Matmos avoids making A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure grisly or gross; Andrew Daniel and Martin Schmidt approach the album's concept with their usual playfulness and an appropriately clinical detachment, resulting in some clever and surprisingly diverse songs
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This might not necessarily qualify as an archival record filled with unexpected revelations, but it is filled with wonderful music that deepens appreciation of Bowie's first great blast of creativity. Needless to say, any true fan needs it in their collection...
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Constantly yields new musical surprises.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All the Gang Starr trademarks are in place, from Premier's perfect upchoruses to Guru's reedy voice cutting or instructing, and sounding better than ever.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Luckily her sixth full release has some true charm, with some fine blue-eyed soul and slickly produced rock. But the production tries too hard to align her with Sheryl Crow's growling sound.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Builds considerable muscle to the skeletal frailty of intricate guitar work while commendably maintaining all which was good of their debut.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The wild thing is that M!ssundaztood not only works, it works smashingly -- a bewildering amalgam of sounds and attitudes that shouldn't fit together, but defy all odds and do.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the best rap LPs of the year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In a sense, this is Built to Spill's pop album: every song is direct and clean, without the long, cerebral jamming that characterized their earlier albums.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There really isn't another dance/rap act on the scene that combines snarky teenage style with seriously slammin' retro dance beats the way Fannypack does.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Her confidence blossomed this time around and vocally, she's never sounded so good.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their brightest, most accessible album to date... the band is absolutely brimming with confidence and vitality.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Easily the most satisfying Songs: Ohia album since Axxess & Ace.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The sound is huge and intimate all at once; the songs have hooks and staying power.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Is less a bold statement of principle as it is a blossoming into maturity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hard Candy is the sound of a band at a creative and poetic summit.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kish Kash may be the best dance record of 2003, but it's the least imaginative LP the duo have ever released.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With an unlikely rock blend of classicism and narrative, British Sea Power has composed a brilliant album that's nearly perfect. It's not exactly pop, but it might as well be.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hypnotic Underworld is a new high-water mark from one of rock's most interesting bands.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Return of Saturn, No Doubt have made a terrific, layered record that exceeds any expectations set by Tragic Kingdom.
    • All Music Guide
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A perfect commingling of the spirits of dub reggae and mid-'70s soul and groove jazz.... NdegeOcello's finest moment on record thus far.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gracious and redemptive, it is a rapt, quiescent masterwork.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The ability to make a genuine album -- and not just a collage of songs -- from a wide interest in musical styles is truly what makes this album such a delightful and great surprise.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Life on Other Planets is a smashing return to form, an album giddy with the sheer pleasure of making music.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If there were any doubters about Lamb being the brightest, most talented singer/producer combo in electronica, What Sound is all the argument needed to the contrary.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As good a record as any he's made, possibly his best.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite Lucky's glossy, easily digestible tendencies, it still burns bright with the usual Etheridge fervor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Cobblestone Runway's surfaces may initially puzzle a few fans, the heart, soul and hard-won wisdom of these performances confirm that he's finally mastered the recording studio, and it ranks with his best-realized work to date.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While there are come similarities to their previous efforts Bedside Drama and The Gay Parade, Coquelicot is more ambitious in its concept, arrangements, lyrics, and even artwork.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beet, Maize & Corn is a dramatic reinvention of the High Llamas.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    OST
    This soundtrack is a powerful tribute not only to the time-honored but commercially ignored genres of bluegrass and mountain music but also to Burnett's remarkable skills as a producer.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An album that shares a spacy sadness with Sparklehorse's Good Morning Spider and Radiohead's OK Computer. Though it's a little more self-conscious and not quite as accomplished as either of those albums, it is Grandaddy's most impressive work yet and one of 2000's first worthwhile releases.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sparse, noir-tinged melancholia... If David Lynch should ever film a TV series in England, here are the soundtrack composers.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The band is making the finest music in the history of its collective.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pretty, brittle, subtle, full of surprises, and disarming in its ability to set moods, Life Is Full of Possibilities is a masterpiece that places Dntel near the top of the heap of electronic artists working in 2001.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These days music fans will be hard-pressed to find an album so satisfying.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Stephin Merritt's most ambitious as well as fully realized work to date, a three-disc epic of classically chiseled pop songs that explore both the promise and pitfalls of modern romance through the jaundiced eye of an irredeemable misanthrope.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By shedding the smirking artifice that served Casanova so well, and hiring producer Nigel Godrich, the Divine Comedy may be treading dangerously close to the sounds of countrymen Radiohead, but the Divine Comedy are smart enough to give listeners just enough lyrical bit to throw them off the scent.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Panda Park is uplifting, mesmerizing, glittery, and unapologetically psychedelic while sounding rooted in both '70s prog and skewed latter-day punk rock.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a remarkable album; it sets a new water mark for Frisell's sense of adventure and taste, and displays his perception of beauty in a pronounced, uncompromising, yet wholly accessible way.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Fan Dance, Sam Phillips has made an album that proves modesty is one the rarest and most welcome virtues in pop music today.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wanna Buy a Monkey? shows off Nakamura's ear for a great track as well as his deft turntablist skills.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the appealing rawness of their early material is occasionally missed here, the strides forward that the group makes on this album more than make up for it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the Rapture and to a lesser extent Radio 4 made off with all the headlines, !!! was making the best music of all the retro-punk-disco dancers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the first album of hers that's a sheer pleasure to hear.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Showcases a band testing themselves by going down an untravelled road while still maintaining their identity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A work of beautiful, desolate fragility.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The bottom line here is that Kozelek's aesthetic with Sun Kil Moon may not be radically different than his RHP project, but it is moving, graceful, and consciously beautiful.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Underscoring the songwriting skill he's been working at since age eight and over the course of 11 songs, he plays acoustic, folk-rock, alternative, power pop, and straight-ahead rock; his lyrics are consistently heart-sung but they aren't lite (he's got weight and bite too).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shows a serious artist crafting his medium.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The depth of his production sense and the breadth of his stylistic palette prove just as astonishing the second time out.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is simply the bravest, most emotionally wrenching record she's ever issued.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You Are Free may take awhile longer than expected to unfold, but once it does, its excellence is undeniable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's difficult to imagine how Badly Drawn Boy could've improved on The Hour of Bewilderbeast any better than this astonishing work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite all attempts to sabotage his songwriting and production with innumerable experimental tidbits, songs within a song, and (seemingly) tossed-off arrangements, Damon Gough has to face the fact that He wrote and produced over a dozen excellent songs of baroque folk-pop for his album debut, and the many gems can't help but shine through all the self-indulgence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With rugged guitar riffs and solos and Finn's half-sung, scratchy voice, the Hold Steady mostly succeed, easily recalling the classic rock of early Bruce Springsteen or the sincerity of latter-day Hüsker Dü.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The main complaint voiced by critics of Godspeed's music is that their works just repeat the same pattern: start out sparse and slow, build-build-build, crescendo. While there are certainly crescendos, there is no such predictable pattern repeated among the works on Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven -- it's loaded with dynamics, unexpected sections, strong emotions and beauty.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As serious as things get on Penance Soiree (and the choppy "Spit On" gets pretty serious), there's the happily nagging notion that Icarus Line just want to entertain, and that they're damn good at it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their familiarity with vintage instruments and addictive laid-back swagger help them avoid the pretension that sometimes follows the Beta Band.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A fantastic debut album that only gets richer and better with more listens, Gallowsbird's Bark is more fully formed and daring than most second or third albums from many bands.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No!
    Ultimately, No! is one of the group's most creative albums in years, and undoubtedly one of 2002's best children's releases, because it says yes to fun and individuality.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Listeners who came of age during the alt-rock revolution and were disappointed, even outraged, at Liz Phair's Matrix makeover in 2003 should find In Exile Deo is exactly what they were looking for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Phrenology is the hardest-hitting Roots album to date, partly because it's their most successful attempt to re-create their concert punch in the studio.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Happiness in Magazines feels like Coxon's first true solo album -- it's the first to present a complex, robust portrait of him as an artist, and the first that holds its own next to what he accomplished in Blur.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Refreshingly simple and cleverly stupid, I Get Wet makes indoctrination fun again.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It, admittedly, may be a bit too much for someone who isn't quite a big devotee of the band, but it's a veritable godsend for those who've been waiting for this for years.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A set of electronica that's nearly as challenging as Autechre's relentlessly academic beat manipulation but just as funky and instantly gratifying as a Fatboy Slim flag-waver.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Far more than someone like Beth Orton -- who seems positively conventional in comparison -- she's creating a new paradigm for singer/songwriters, with electronics an integral part of her sound, rather than an afterthought.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His tracks are vibrant and imaginative, calling on fuzzed-out guitar solos and summer-day vocals that recall a raft of solid shoegazers.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Plenty of fuzzed, struttin', propulsive guitar work on this disc to assault your ears.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    23rd Street Lullaby is a wise, grown-up record, yet it is guided by an untamed, wily heart.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It could be the most innocent, charming and believable record of 2003.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Being both ear shattering and spine tingling at once, this is Fugazi at their "musical" best.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By not just defying but denying the expectations about what their music should be like, the Liars have created one of the most fascinating, confrontational albums of the 2000s.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To call Bachelor No. 2 a masterpiece may be overstating the matter somewhat, since an album this intimate and unassuming (but not unconfident) doesn't call attention to itself the way self-styled masterpieces do. However, it isn't hyperbole to call it the finest record Mann has made to date.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Things We Lost in the Fire's slowly rising warmth and subtly hopeful tone not only make this Low's most cohesive, compelling collection, but one of 2001's best albums.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Creatively, My Private Nation, Train's third album, is the moment this band has worked for since it started making records.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Ugly Organ is greater than the sum of its parts, with tracks that flow into one another seamlessly in spite of the wildly varying tempo and stylistic changes, not surprisingly like a classical piece in that regard.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Built on acoustic guitars with little splashes of color like handclaps, tooting horn sections, and subtle strings, the record sounds remarkably large in its smallness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Although listeners who found the first Broken Social Scene release a nice ambient pop treat may be put off by this one's all-over-the-map approach, it's certainly a much more accessible release overall and there's bound to be something in here that you'll enjoy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The sheer joy of their music is undeniably persuasive, evoking the otherworldly brilliance of everything from Pet Sounds to The Soft Bulletin.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Picking up the ball right about where Air dropped it after Moon Safari, Röyksopp produced one of the most intriguing downbeat albums of the year.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Once in a Lifetime does run out of steam toward the end, it has to be said that it doesn't outstay its welcome, and apart from a track or two at the very end, this is a compelling, entertaining listen from start to finish.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like a long lost Fluid disc, Electric Sweat proffers primordial MC5 riffs with a healthy dose of soul as only four white guys in leather jackets with every Motown record in their collections could manage.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Earthquake Glue isn't a masterpiece, it's as close as this band can be expected to get, and is the rare Guided By Voices effort that's imaginative enough for longtime loyalists and tight enough for dabblers at the same time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Vespertine isn’t so much a departure from her previous work as a culmination of the musical distance she’s traveled...
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A wonderful balance of beautiful indie rock and subtle country.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's enough of a reinvention to suggest that Britney will know what to do when the teen-pop phenomenon of 1999-2001 passes for good.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With its subtle textural enhancement, the album renders the esoteric pleasures of Todd's compositions and highly individual songs considerably more accessible.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's little doubt to Since I Left You's status as one of the most intimate and emotional dance records that isn't vocal-based.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Explosions in the Sky doesn't shift as suddenly or jarringly on Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place; the quartet has applied more structural predictability this time out, but is still quick about setting the sad butterflies in your stomach to fluttering.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like both Radiohead and Foo Fighters, Cave In is a stylistic chameleon that rarely uses its freewheeling taste as a crutch to present self-indulgent material.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This may not be Mouse on Mars' most ambitious albums, but it's among the group's most successful -- it's not at all difficult to feel a connection to this truly intelligent dance music.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The ladies of Northern State deliver funky breaks and tight grooves on Dying in Stereo, and keep the hip-hop flavor without being vulgar and crass.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Franti and Spearhead almost made a deliberate attempt to stray from the typical hip-hop beats and go for something a bit more organic and acoustic than their previous efforts -- and the experiments more than pay off.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Haha Sound may not be Broadcast's most superficially perfect album, but it's a more challenging and exciting one because of its deliberate imperfections.