All Music Guide's Scores

  • Music
For 9,801 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 1.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Blackjazz
Lowest review score: 20 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Score distribution:
9,801 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This time around the beats seem darker and more synth-oriented, giving it an edge reminiscent of the bass-heavy G-funk sound.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If any one album can be said to pick up on the surreal funk explorations of latter-day Miles Davis, Uninvisible is it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Squiggling past looping divas, afternoon glares, and funkadelic body bops, De Crecy manages to manufacture a trail of songs that reach for that Anglo-French brass ring with nothing but admirable gravitas.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their detuned sound and tales from the darkside are even more sinister and gripping on the concert stage, as evidenced by this 14-track set.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Echoes of classic U2, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Swervedriver resonate throughout.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thrives on its mixture of fuller-sounding productions and relatively traditionally-structured songs with vocals.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A small triumph, but a triumph nonetheless.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This album is a study in repetition and rhythm, the same kinds that Callahan first toyed with on songs like "Bloodflow" and "Justice Aversion" from Dongs of Sevotion.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs cram more ideas and attitude into five songs than most bands express in an entire album.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sometimes it sounds like Ennio Morricone, sometimes the Penguin Café Orchestra. Mostly it sounds like its own thing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The weightless drones and light filigrees are as mesmerizing and familiar as ever when folded into each other.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    18
    He has created a record that might not be as wildly eclectic on the surface as Play, and it certainly lacks club-hits on the level of "Bodyrock" or "South Side," but it's a warm, enveloping, humanistic record with real emotional resonance, which surely is a noteworthy artistic step forward.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Song for song, it's better and more consistent than Head Music... thanks partially to Stephen Street's focused, flattering production, but also due to a sharp set of songs.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Occasionally, the album's spare, simple approach feels chilly and monotonous, but when it all comes together, as on the percolating, insistent "Your Moves Are Mine,"Attention reveals itself as a stylish, strangely romantic collection of club music.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Impossibly crisp production, impeccable interplay between rhythm and effects, and the most difficult quality for any electronica producer to nail down: a crucial, distinctive sound.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A return to their early-'60s Beatlesque sound...
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Faces & Names lacks the same physical power as Soul Asylum's best work, the best songs here manage to sound comfortable, magnetic, and passionate all at once.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On the vintage foundation of simple, minimal patterns repeated to often-hypnotic effect, Wire builds a beefed-up, contemporary wall of sound.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Read & Burn 02 shares its predecessor's hit-and-run aesthetic: it's a post-industrial punk rock barrage of buzzing, stinging guitars; chunky bass lines; and clockwork beats littered with terse, strangled vocals that fall somewhere between bolshy, pre-brawl aggression and football-terrace chants.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Organic as dirt, and full of an acidhead's sense of space, this one's a winner from start to finish.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Electric Circus does suffer from that which ails many contemporary hip-hop albums -- too many guests and a generally lengthy program drag this one down a tad. Nonetheless, Electric Circus is a brave and ruthless statement wrapped in sincerity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At best, a rich man's Air. At worst, tedious, superfluous, hippy-dippy, overly ironic trash. Lemon Jelly .KY can be both, of course -- often at the same time...
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Light & Magic is a logical, elegant progression for Ladytron, balancing their pop and experimental instincts even more ably than their debut.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's not a splashy comeback, then, but a quiet return to something Gabriel does best -- creating soundscapes that are at once alien and familiar, eerie yet comforting.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If there's any problem with More Than a Woman, Toni Braxton's fourth album, it's that its so consistent, so much a continuation of its predecessor, Heat, that it may be hard to pinpoint distinctive characteristics.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    No, it's not quite the same as another Pavement album, but its literate, funny eclecticism is almost as irresistible.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album's a bit more edgy than any of her American contemporaries, but it's still not too far from [Lauryn] Hill and other neo-soul figures.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Riff, vamp, timbral fractures, lyrical tension, splintered harmonics, and a constant, seductive sense of groove permeate this jazz album, opening up a door onto a brave new future for a free jazz with soul -- Spooky has exceeded all expectations here.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When he sticks with the slide guitar, Martsch's combination of downhome blues and meandering indie-rock is a winning one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band's tendency to start a song quiet, loose, and lovely and then slowly sweat it into a faster, intensified crescendo is familiar by now, but somehow remains vividly evocative.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An undeniably pleasant and ultimately rewarding, if not immediately accessible, listen.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His last two albums also reflected his ongoing growth as an artist, but Supper's settled but intriguing warmth is an even bigger step forward.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even though there's little stylistic maturation in his approach since his first release in 1986, Yoakam's songwriting craft keeps improving, and any track from this album could be a hit single. With Tomorrow's Sounds Today, Dwight Yoakam has fashioned a contemporary roots-conscious country album whose qualities, like the artist's distinctive style, are timeless.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's a great deal of variety to the record, something that sets them apart from the vast majority of the bands that pay homage to the '60s, but also something that keeps them from developing a distinct identity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Most importantly, though, the duo has pulled away from the brink; no one ever doubted that Autechre was at the extreme of experimental techno for its own sake, but given a record like Draft 7.30, listeners might actually return for multiple listens.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's her first genuine step forward... probably the best record she has cut to date.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It finds Mellencamp at a kind of peak, turning out vividly socially conscious roots rock that works not because of the message, but because the music is seductive and sinewy enough to deliver the message.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More winds up having more style and substance than its predecessor.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I'm Staying Out is cut from the same cloth as her first full-length, While You Weren't Looking, but it expands on the ambition of that fine record and shows Cary growing from strength to strength as a writer and a performer.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fireworks do not ignite the way they might have, but that is the nature of experimentation. Nevertheless, this is all great fun, a function of Shipp's slippery mind, and the results are not only danceable but disconcertingly so.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More than once everything connects perfectly.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The loosest record yet in Tindersticks' decade-long existence.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This music is beautiful enough to stand alone.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Decadent, theatrical, and magnetic, Alter falters only when the band's ambitions get the better of them, but the album's slight unevenness doesn't prevent it from being tremendously exciting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Under Cold Blue Ground blazes some new trails for John Rouse, but the quality of his songwriting and the emotional impact of his music hasn't changed a bit; it's a solid and satisfying set from a genuinely gifted artist.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hawley is a compelling mix of the pastoral beauty of English folk rockers like Nick Drake and the urban cool of balladeers like Scott Walker with a dash of the otherworldliness of Julee Cruise.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though her voice is hardly the most impressive instrument in country music, Cash knows how to compensate by using an understated approach to more quietly highlight the essence of a song.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout Sean-Nos Nua the production treats O'Connor's voice like a canvas on which to paint vivid images. At times the result is distracting, with far too much slapback, but it also scores on songs like "Molly Malone," where vocal and instrumental textures together trace the tale through poignant light and ominous shadow.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A collection of more shimmering, weightless pop that is nostalgic for yesterday's visions of the future but remains on the cutting edge of contemporary music.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dynamic, taut, feisty and clever as ever, Send is this group's fourth-best album.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A hilarious effort loaded with satirical song parodies and rock & roll spoofs.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A delightful but slightly faceless blend of lounge pop, subtle beats, found sound and mellow jazz influences.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An addictive, densely packed pop gem that ranks among 2002's best albums.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His strongest album since he delved into unabashed crossover with Fresh Horses.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fans who have stayed with the band this long will probably find the album a breath of fresh air.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More fully realized and bolstered with a stronger song selection than its predecessor, Wallpaper for the Soul is a well-crafted collection of infectious tunes that won't necessarily stick with you for years to come, but should be quite enjoyable while you're listening.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Polished and tight in all the right places.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it's not quite the revelation that That's Not What I Heard was, Movement is still a dramatic album that shows that the Gossip is a powerful group continuing to define and redefine their music.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Beauty of the Rain is Dar Williams' first recording that truly expands upon the sound of the album before it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A pleasant album of sublime mid-tempo trip-hop, reminiscent of easy listening groove music, and continually referencing the breezier, atmospheric side of Brazilian, Jamaican, French, and Indian forms.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Twoism features the same exquisitely spooky, textured emotronica that fans will want to hear, all at as high a level as the brilliant Music Has the Right to Children to boot.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Credit much of the album's dusky allure to the atmospheric production of John Parish, which lends a shadowy beauty, revealing new layers of subtlety lurking underneath the band's ragged guitar-pop approach; the focal point is still Van Dijk's searing vocals, which harness the extremes of both pride and desperation to devastating effect.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Party Music doesn't really break much new ground for the Coup; it's more a consolidation of their strengths, touching on a little bit of everything they've done well in the past.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Equally cerebral and hip-shaking, with pulsating grooves and webs of intricate adornments tangling for an otherworldly type of psychedelic dance music.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    for a few overblown performances and quasi-epic productions, It Ain't Safe No More finds Busta Rhymes with the same sure grip on his distinctive personality.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At times, the production is so even, the music simply flows out of the speaker without distinction between tracks, but the result is a record that holds together as a nice mood piece while holding up as individual songs.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's honest and raw in the sense that McCulloch is cool with where he's from and unconcerned with where he's headed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By not taking the easy way out, Ready for Love is a successful experiment that nudges at John Hammond's limitations while satisfying his recently acquired, larger fan base.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The results are sure to please longtime fans, while possibly reeling in a few folks who were turned off by the sonic excess of Dinosaur Jr. at their most punishing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    And though it is a disappointing record compared to the group's high-flying previous albums, it displays Underworld's talents well.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Silver Lining is ultimately a showcase for exceptional singing and riveting backup work.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Choosing from a wide variety of Waits' material, Hammond infuses these unusual tracks with a bluesman's spirit and a crackling energy that practically reinvents the songs, instilling them with an ominous, rhythmic swampy feel.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On
    Imperial Teen is clearly evolving into a group of subtler, more nuanced songwriters.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Since We've Become Translucent isn't always the Mudhoney you remembered, but the album clearly carries the stamp of the band's personality, and shows the group can still rock out while pulling a few new tricks from its collective sleeve.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band's brash and passionate attitude is clearly defined and witnessed in the music of this indie release, keeping the best of indie post-rock alive and kicking.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This Is the Moment is both the best Donny Osmond album ever made and conclusive evidence that the former teen idol, who was 43 when it was released, is never going to be more than a pleasant, modestly talented singer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Simple, subtle, and quite beautiful, the 37-minute album rewards during deep concentration and as use for background.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the heft of the Pharcyde sound is diminished slightly by their broken circle, this is an emotionally tangible album that combines delicate content with tight production.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Moore has a great set of pipes, a mix of the throaty take charge style of Toni Braxton and the soft vulnerability of Janet Jackson, an undeniable sexiness, and a real emotional conviction that lends the songs an authenticity absent in many current releases. Still, with all that she has going for her, Exposed only manages to be a hit and miss record.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the trademark sound is still much in force, group mastermind RZA jettisoned the elaborate beat symphonies and carefully placed strings of Forever in favor of tight productions with little more than scarred soul samples and tight, tough beats. The back-to-basics approach works well, not only because it rightly puts the focus back on the best cadre of rappers in the world of hip-hop, but also because RZA's immense trackmaster talents can't help but shine through anyway.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are moments of pop pleasure here, surrounded by spare, languid electronica sections, vaguely reminiscent of the High Llamas.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A fantastic new album.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a strong release, reminiscent of Hard Wired or the best moments of Flavour of the Weak.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Iron Flag focuses squarely on the Wu's immense, twin strengths: bringing together some of the best rappers in the business, and relying on the best production confederacy in hip-hop (led by RZA) to build raw, hard-hitting productions.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hard to imagine Green Day or Rancid having anything this interesting up their sleeve 27 years down the line from their first recording.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They've got a rough, nervy, lo-fi take on power rock that has the weird immediacy of the Microphones' Mount Eerie.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Answers has a heavy downtown spirit, with standard instruments played in a unique fashion, and an aggressive interplay that's nearly antagonistic.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is undeniably something almost romantic about the duo's newfound acceptance of relationships, even if the main evolution is that they now view them as a necessary evil, rather than simply evil.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Some listeners might suggest that an album this varied has an identity crisis, but with standout tracks as glorious as the Dylan covers and the Eno closer, Frantic is a fascinating addition to Bryan Ferry's accomplished discography.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A good, professional rock record, one that sells their sound as if it was as the most commercial imaginable, resulting in one of their most consistent albums.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Happy Songs for Happy People, Mogwai gets to have it both ways -- it's ironic and sincere, concise and expansive, challenging and accessible, and it's one of the band's best albums, no two ways about it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The guest appearances on the mic by Akrobatik, a fellow fledgling Bostonion, Edan, Aesop Rock, El-P, and Jean Grae make all the tracks quality and seal the deal on Lif's breakthrough set.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lyrically it's so strong and vulnerable that it works, leaving the listener haunted with the notion that something special has occurred, that he or she has born witness to a man becoming aware of the preciousness of his own life.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a nice blend of the self-conscious Flowers in the Dirt and the organic, natural Flaming Pie, combining the craft of the former with the attitude of the latter.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bucks expectations and actually makes good on the indie rock promise of the band's full-length debut, 1998's overhyped albeit underwhelming I Become Small and Go.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arab Strap's gradual refinements have hit a peak, but don't expect anything new. Slithery programmed beats, tingly guitars, plodding rhythms, and whispered/warbled sing-speak lead the way yet again, with occasional piano licks and strings thrown in for very good atmospheric measure.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He's successful even when he is indulging in a little silliness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not surprisingly, Trampin' is a largely political album, but it is far from a didactic one.