All Music Guide's Scores

  • Music
For 9,632 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 Satan Is Real/Handpicked Songs 1955-1962
Lowest review score: 20 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Score distribution:
9,632 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Where The Great Eastern was a fairly gentle and tentative record in a lot of ways, this one is bigger and demands your attention. The good news is that it's one of those rare records that actually deserves all of the attention it demands.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Never before has the singer infused more mainstream rock elements (prominent strummed guitars) into her music.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Half dance party, half political rally, Gotham is a rock record for a new era.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For those who have been waiting for Gomez to come up with something that truly rivals their amazing debut Bring It On, wait no longer. This one is great.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Steve Earle proves again and again that he is the original alternative to the glossy side of Nashville.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It may not be country, but that doesn't matter; When the Sun Goes Down is winning, sturdy mainstream pop.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dear Catastrophe Waitress [is] the richest musical offering yet from Belle & Sebastian.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Warning may not be an innovative record, per se -- it's a pop album through and through -- but it's tremendously satisfying, finding the band at a peak of songcraft and performance. There hasn't been a better pure pop album since Supergrass' In It for the Money, another record by a young band that did it all and did it without a trace of self-consciousness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Joan of Arc have once more surpassed themselves as artists.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though Onoffon doesn't quite top Burma's 1982 masterpiece Vs., it manages to sound like the more-than-worthy follow-up they could have cut a couple years later ... only with two decades of experience and musical detours informing its nooks and crannies.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Keith is happy to be a dirty old SOB, cracking jokes, drinking beer, and flirting with the ladies, and that makes Shock'n Y'All a fun, rough, rowdy album that wins you over despite your better impulses.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Everything here is in its right place, making Kesto (234.48:4) perhaps the only Pan Sonic album you'd ever need to own, for every style of music the group has ever recorded is presented at length and it's all produced as masterfully as ever.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This time out, Eitzel has built his arrangements around spare keyboard lines, atmospheric electronic samples, and percussion loops that blend with his voice and acoustic guitar to create an effect that suggest a more spare, organic version of Portishead, or a Jon Brion production that's stuck in a blue funk. But the new surroundings suit the songs quite well...
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Carl Newman deserves every last bit of praise thrown his way. In a better world, he would be our Elton, our Todd, our McCartney, and Slow Wonder would be on everyone's iPod, rotating on M2 hourly, and his name would be on the lips of everyone from aged Royalty to teen-aged girls.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not just the best album of 1999, The Soft Bulletin might be the best record of the entire decade.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Quality is proof that intelligent hip-hop need not lack excitement, soul, or genuine emotion; it's one of the best rap albums of a year with no shortage of winners.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Able to make the timeworn themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll and the basic guitars-drum-bass lineup seem new and vital again, the Strokes may or may not be completely arty and calculated, but that doesn't prevent Is This It? from being an exciting, compulsively listenable debut...
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What I Do feels like one of Jackson's most assured and best albums, proof positive that he's the best mainstream country singer of this decade.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A hallmark for the band, a culmination of their previous work, and -- upon its release -- their best album to date.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Songs that have grown overly familiar through years of play seem fresh and new because of these vigorous, muscular performances.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Best of all, it all feels effortless, from the production to the songwriting.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Come to Where I'm From, Joseph Arthur shows a willingness to ease up on the stifling angst that dominated his previous efforts. To be sure, the album still has more than its share of gut-wrenching misery -- there's no shortage of lines like "I feel like taking a razor blade and on my wrist write an invitation" -- but this time out, the anguish is balanced by healthy doses of self-awareness and a winking sense of humor.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply the finest effort yet from the Bad Seeds; one which leaves the listener in awe, full of complex emotions and pondering the fact that they've just been in the presence of great art...
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the Welsh iconoclast at his most elegant, energetic, and innovative.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite all the new assistance, Tasty is formatted much like Kaleidoscope and Wanderland, constantly swinging back and forth between bouncy pop and laid-back (not throwback) soul.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The icing on the cake is in the little details.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A tautly crafted, thoughtful album, Shine a Light more than follows through on the promise of their debut, and proves that the Constantines have the ability to be both down to earth and dramatic within their grasp.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It sounds exactly how an underground sensation's breakthrough album should: bigger and tighter than their earlier material, but not so polished that it will scare away longtime fans.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    May well be the best album of her career.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An album that has all of the elements necessary to be a pop classic.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like Aretha Franklin, Linda Jones, and Otis Redding, Staton's voice is the sound of emotion being ripped from the human heart and offered, bleeding and broken, pleading and yearning, to the listener.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This bold recording is a jazz record made with care, creativity, and a wonderfully intimate aesthetic fueling its 12 songs.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A switch in approach and sound definitely worked for them, and fans shouldn't be put off by Beulah's toughened confidence.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Harcourt experiments in more ways than one on this album, never overindulgent in the process.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A hypnotic, bittersweet, transcendental pop masterpiece.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Romantica charges out of the gate with a new vigor, brightness, and sensitivity that, in retrospect, hasn't really come together within one package for them since maybe Bewitched.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Another title that demonstrates what an awesome period the late '70s and early '80s was for music.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It ranks high among his finest albums.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "Out of the Shadows" is an indie dream come true. A dream like another great Elliott Smith record, or a Sebadoh record that isn't an embarrassment, or a Neutral Milk Hotel record that makes sense.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Moby shows himself back in the groove after a long hiatus, balancing his sublime early sound with the breakbeat techno evolution of the '90s.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Somber and smart, Decoration Day also manages to kick like a mule, and if isn't quite a masterpiece along the lines of Southern Rock Opera, it's strong enough to suggest the Drive By Truckers have another masterpiece in them.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After five years, the band has lost nothing, only gained.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What sounded austere on Fan Dance sounds simple on A Boot and a Shoe, and it's the differing inferences of those two adjectives that makes all the difference.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Before the Poison is poetic and unnerving; it stands alone in her catalog in the same way that Broken English did -- but this time, on the other side of the mirror.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their most cohesive collection of songs to date...
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Music is an incredible effort and a brilliant example of where rock could be headed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album is not the flawless statement against complacency the band seemed to strive for, but it succeeds at tearing heads off, shooting fascists, and quickly asking questions later with unbelievable fury. For these reasons alone, it easily serves as one of the band's highest marks.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Everyone Is Here lacks the brightness of much of Woodface, it's the Finn Brothers' strongest collection of songs since that masterpiece, and arguably their most emotionally resonant album to date.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    She has winnowed her dueling personas -- brilliant techno-inflected DJ and haughtily self-aware vocalist -- into a fantastically complete, wildly inventive package that offers the lunatic best of both badass sides.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though their words suggest such weighty topics, the album remains sonically airy. It might get tense, but it's never dense.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Layer after layer of preconceived notions and excess noise are stripped away to unveil both soft-spoken charm and intense newfound confidence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The most exciting and best rock & roll record of 2004.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Our Endless Numbered Days is very subdued, thoughtful, melodic, and downright beautiful album and the new sound is more of a progression than a sudden shift in values, production or otherwise.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The harshest and most consistent album of their career.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The level of punk fury and torrential modernization is high all throughout this record.... Undoubtedly, hardcore jungleists will scoff at such a high-profile, sometimes flashy presentation of drum'n'bass ethics, but this is an album full of such militant energy that it deserves to be seen as one of the strongest saving graces of jungle in years. Reprazent sounds like a band trying to make jungle's sonic equivalent to the mutinous Xtrmntr.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An aesthetic watermark for Cave, a true high point in a long career that is ever looking forward.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The attention to detail in the production, the punchy melodies, and the sympathetic performances by the group -- along with Kasher's writing that is nothing less than gripping and often head-shakingly brilliant -- make this record an indispensable artifact for anyone who likes indie rock with a real emotional punch.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Showtime isn't the equal artistic success of Boy in da Corner, it's slightly superior, stunning for the facts that it arrives so swiftly after the debut and is far from a retread.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Both records are visionary, imaginative listens, providing some of the best music of 2003, regardless of genre.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads is not only a vital document of an important, groundbreaking band on their way up, it's one of their best albums, easily surpassing Stop Making Sense.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is more than the sum of its many parts, as the Warlocks whip up a '60s of the imagination, making you hear the sounds anew while resurrecting the old before your very eyes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Thirteenth Step is the sound of a musical and lyrical maturity that normally doesn't occur until a band's third or fourth albums.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it's not perfect -- occasionally the album's heady, indulgent feel tends to make it drag -- Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes is still an impressive expansion of TV on the Radio's fascinating music.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's so much effort, Holy Wood winds up a stronger and more consistent album than any of his other work. If there's any problem, it's that Manson's shock rock seems a little quaint in 2000.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though club-phobic listeners may find it difficult placing Skinner as just the latest dot along a line connecting quintessentially British musicians/humorists/social critics Nöel Coward, the Kinks, Ian Dury, the Jam, the Specials, and Happy Mondays, Original Pirate Material is a rare garage album: that is, one with a shelf life beyond six months.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Funny, beautiful, and moving, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots finds the Flaming Lips continuing to grow and challenge themselves in not-so-obvious ways after delivering their obvious masterpiece.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A skillful synthesis of classic rock and modern sensibilities that's pretty irresistible.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    M83 is a keyboard band of the best kind: one with nuance, tone, thrash, and color.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The brilliance of Van Lear Rose is not just how the two approaches complement each other, but how the record captures the essence of Loretta Lynn's music even as it has flourishes that are distinctly Jack.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Easily one of 2000's most accomplished albums, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out may not be as immediately appealing as some of the group's more upbeat albums, but it's just as enduring, proving that Yo La Tengo is the perfect band to grow old with.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Startling, tirelessly powerful, and full of unlimited dimensions.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's an album that kills with catchiness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Song for song, this is better-written and harder-rocking than Cocky.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Bright Eyes has mixed badness with beauty for a sonic storybook that relates to everyone.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    [A] majestic soundscape.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Put Pretty Girls Make Graves on the short list of bands that matter and make sure you get this record.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tyrannosaurus Hives might be a little more complex and polished than the Hives' earlier work, but it's not overthought at all; even though they've evolved, they know how to keep it simple, stupid.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In its musical muscle and sweeping, politically charged narrative, it's something of a masterpiece, and one of the few -- if not the only -- records of 2004 to convey what it feels like to live in the strange, bewildering America of the early 2000s.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yet another triumph for the Beta Band.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Butler sings like Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood used to play, like a lion-tamer whose whip grows shorter with each and every lash. He can barely contain himself, and when he lets loose it's both melodic and primal, like Berlin-era Bowie or British Sea Power.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even though this album isn't as immediately or showily brilliant as The Moon & Antarctica, Good News for People Who Love Bad News reveals itself as just as strong a statement.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This record is no fun at all, the tension is rarely resolved, and -- oh no! -- it isn't exactly revolutionary, though some new shades of gray have been discovered. But you shouldn't allow your perception to be fogged by such considerations when someone has just done it for you and, most importantly, when all this brilliance is waiting to overwhelm you.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Listening to the record makes you feel like it was 1993 again, in a good way. In a melodic, honest and jangly kind of way. In a way that makes you think "nobody makes records like this anymore".
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best record of his career.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Confronting doubts about his seriousness and squashing whispers about his talent, Skinner has made a sophomore record that expands on what distinguishes the Streets from any other act in music.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Louden Up Now is easily the best record to come out of the [new wave dance punk revival] movement; its ten tracks are filled with fervor, hooks, passion and power.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Madvillainy's strength lies in its mix between seemingly obtuse beats, samples, MCing, and some straight-up hip-hop bumping.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's just no getting around how much stronger Sparta are than so many of their peers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's no crybaby posing here, no deployment of cliché. Even if SDRE had a hand in the popularization of the emo movement, the Fire Theft's music is much too personal to be anything other than a therapy session, both for Enigk and his musical co-conspirators and friends.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Pink's peers take incremental, cautious artistic steps forward, she's slyly fearless, choosing the right collaborators that help her create pop music that has both style and substance to spare.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it's likely that From a Basement is cleaner than what Smith... intended, it is much sparer than Figure 8, and it feels at once more adventurous, confident, and warmer than its predecessor.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    O
    One long angelic hymn for an insane world with the intimacy of a friend playing guitar in your living room and the grandeur of Sigur Rós.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Drive-By Truckers are the best, smartest, and most soulful hard rock band to emerge in a very long time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the group's maturity as musicians as well as songwriters that make Transatlanticism such a decadently good listen from start to finish.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Virtually every song on Up the Bracket is chock-full of the bouncy, aggressive guitars, expressive, economic drums, and irresistible hooks that made the Strokes' debut almost too catchy for its own good.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Prior to this album, we were more than aware that West's stature as a producer was undeniable; now we know that he's also a remarkably versatile lyricist and a valuable MC.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The young hell-raiser has grown to be one of modern country's most compelling and multidimensional artists.