All Music Guide's Scores

  • Music
For 9,449 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 Tago Mago [40th Anniversary Edition]
Lowest review score: 20 I'm Back! Family & Friends
Score distribution:
9,449 music reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the most assured, propulsive full-lengths the dance world had seen since Daft Punk's Homework.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It takes a few listens to pull everything together, but given the immense scope, it's striking how few weak tracks there are. It's no wonder Stankonia consolidated OutKast's status as critics' darlings, and began attracting broad new audiences: its across-the-board appeal and ambition overshadowed nearly every other pop album released in 2000.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Rooty is the second straight triumph from a pair of producer/DJs who look set to carry the torch for dancefloor electronica in the years to come.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A fully realized masterpiece.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is one of the best rock & roll albums of 2003, and truly the finest, most cohesive work he did after London Calling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Daft Punk are such stellar, meticulous producers that they make any sound work, even superficially dated ones like spastic early-'80s electro/R&B ("Short Circuit") or faux-orchestral synthesizer baroque ("Veridis Quo").
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's fitting that an album that truly deserves an expanded edition not only gets the deluxe edition it deserves, but one that makes a convincing argument that the sometimes ridiculous practice of expanded, multi-disc editions has a purpose after all.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A fairly brilliant expansion of his debut, turning his spare, menacing hip-hop into a hyper-surreal, wittily disturbing thrill ride.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    That's a lot of repetition but whether it's taken in either its single-disc or double-disc deluxe editions, The Sound of the Smiths is the best of these posthumous overviews.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This set is every bit as necessary as the solo albums by the singers, and perhaps even more than the studio effort. It is not only a historical document; it is a living, breathing piece of work that guarantees the transference of emotion from tape to listener, and cements the Buena Vista Social Club's place not only in the Latin music pantheon, but in the larger context of popular music history.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's quite arguable that this lean, muscular remix is a marked improvement on the original mix, as it's easier to focus on both the songs and group's interplay.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hints of this could be heard on the live comp From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, but this is a complete document of Nirvana in full flight and one of the greatest live rock & roll albums ever.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Best of the Black President is simply a stellar collection that bests any two-disc collection out there as it represents the continued evolution of Fela Kuti's music from the 1960s through the 1990s.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sound of the SACD is vibrant, present, and life-like, particularly in the little match girl passion. Highly recommended for fans of new music.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is one of the most assaultive, addictive albums around, a rip-roaring journey through sonic violence that will leave most quivering in the corner and others (a special few) totally enraptured.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    At their best, they're an overwhelming sonic force, and Diotima is their best album to date.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Diamond knows just how good these recordings are, as indicated by the terrific autobiographical liner notes he's penned for this collection, notes that give this music context, but they're not necessary to appreciate The Bang Years: this is pop music that's so pure it needs no explanation.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What's Going On was Marvin Gaye's masterwork, the most perfect expression of an artist's hope, anger, and concern ever recorded.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Some of the remixes sound like little more than historical curios, but a surprising amount are either vigorous or imaginative and they all underscore how Achtung Baby truly was the first U2 album that could lend itself to these kind of mixes.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Cagey as ever, the Stones hide which of these are full-fledged outtakes and which are recent refurbishments very well, but ultimately it doesn't matter: this is a tremendous expansion of a classic album by every measure.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's possible to appreciate just how much Butch Vig brought to Siamese Dream....This set is clearly designed with dedicated fans in mind, but for those diehards, this Deluxe Edition will offer many gems.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Can released not merely one of the best Krautrock albums of all time, but one of the best albums ever, period.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    No surprises in terms of material, but the presentation is exquisite, sounding familiar and fresh, a stunning re-presentation of records that were teetering on the edge of over-familiarity.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Satan Is Real is music crafted by true believers sharing their faith, and its power goes beyond Christian doctrine into something at once deeply personal and truly universal, and the result is the Louvin Brothers' masterpiece.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Biokinetics is a stunning summation of the Basic Channel aesthetic.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    These songs may not be self-styled major statements, but they are endearing and enduring, as is Ram itself, which seems like a more unique, exquisite pleasure with each passing year. Hardcore fans will definitely find the big set to be a worthwhile investment.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Flaunting both their range and their tremendously evocative productions, Massive Attack recorded one of the best dance albums of all time.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's that depth of detail, combined with the masterful sequencing, that makes Higher! such a superb box set: it tells a familiar story in a fresh fashion.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Although the album isn't as varied as some of their later efforts, it nevertheless marked a significant turning point in the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal.... Zeppelin never felt this nervy again: they harnessed their majesty and knew how to deploy it, but here it still seems like they weren't quite sure of their limits, which is why it's a particularly exciting bonus disc [a concert given at the Olympia in Paris in 1969].
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While Led Zeppelin II doesn't have the eclecticism of the group's debut, it's arguably more influential. After all, nearly every one of the hundreds of Zeppelin imitators used this record, with its lack of dynamics and its pummeling riffs, as a blueprint.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's obvious that Superunknown was consciously styled as a masterwork, and it fulfills every ambition.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While there is still a handful of metallic rockers, III is built on a folky, acoustic foundation that gives the music extra depth.... Of the first three reissues, Led Zeppelin III contains the highest quotient of unheard tunes: precisely two, although one of these doesn't quite feel new.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Smart selections make this the best and handiest introduction to a group crucial to the development of industrial, post-punk, and dance music.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though the Manchester duo might not be completely on par with the bands they emulate, they more than earn an A for effort while crafting some wonderful melodies along the way.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nextdoorland is a more than worthy addition to their catalog, and proves that two decades apart has not diluted their remarkable chemistry.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A unique, epic effort from one of the most inventive and dynamic rock bands in recent memory.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Archer Prewitt returns to the whip-smart pop sensibilities that defined his first two LPs, upping the ante to reveal an altogether new sophistication and complexity that spur his music to unexpected heights of brilliance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An emotional and musical breakthrough.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While The Civil War isn't as exhilaratingly disorienting as A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure, it's another triumph; history may repeat itself, but Matmos never does.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This collective has always represented the darker elements of McCaughey's personality, but the depression is kept in check here by Wilco's solid and often upbeat backing, thus playing a major role in the most enjoyable Minus 5 release yet.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you say you've heard a better adult pop record this year, you are lying.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The SoCal indie cowboys deliver an album completely displaying musical, songwriting, and repertory growth from their critically acclaimed self-titled debut.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    McKee's High Dive is simply an awe-inspiring album and easily her finest recorded moment.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Malcolm Middleton's moody musical constructions -- sometimes punchy, sometimes hallucinatory and somnolent -- positively glisten in the live setting, and serve due notice that the most important trait of the band is its sound.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What's startling about Sea Change is how it brings everything that's run beneath the surface of Beck's music to the forefront, as he's unafraid to not just reveal emotions, but to elliptically examine them in this wonderfully melancholy song cycle.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They sound more natural than they ever have on record, and Brian Vander Ark and Donny Brown respond by their best set of songs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Here, everything is balanced; the scope is small, close, and textured by pedal steel guitars, very organic percussion, and Lanois' voice way up front.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brainwashed isn't just a success, it's one of the finest records Harrison ever made.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Don't Give Up on Me leaves no doubt that Solomon Burke is still one of the finest voices of his time, and anyone who has ever been moved by the power of soul music needs to hear this album.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a pure country album, loaded with fiddles, acoustic guitars, and close harmonies, but retaining the Chicks' signature flair, sense of humor, and personality.... An instant classic.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    #1
    Remarkably varied, lush, and fascinating from start to finish, #1 is a great album.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The focus on a single mood occasionally threatens to lead only to a creative dead-end, but Out from Out Where arguably betters its successors by coming together as a single work.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Her calm, hushed, clear singing only emphasizes the emotional torment the songs trace. The result is an album on a par with her best work.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Silver Lake sounds like a Vic Chesnutt album through and through, it's also a better than average introduction to the man's work.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A truly twisted masterpiece that offers new rewards with each new listen.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Other records from 2003 have been more innovative and certainly heavier, but Easy Listening is so golden, so upbeat and so perfectly right out of the Midwest's sleeper hotbed of rock that it simply sounds bigger than life.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The concept is brilliant and musically the Black Heart Procession have never sounded better.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Spoon's most mature, accomplished work to date and a fine balance of fire and polish.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album's subtle build from bleak electronica to ethereal alternative rock is a stunning accomplishment; his productions haven't maintained this kind of flow since the first Soul Assassins disc.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Smart, melodic, catchy songs that not only have strong, wonderful structures, but are graced with inventive, clever arrangements.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yours, Mine & Ours is a truly grand record, another in the string of classic releases by Joe Pernice.... The kind of record fans of intelligent pop music played with real emotion should purchase. Immediately.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Offers up one superb song after another.... Even if you don't consider yourself to be much a Latin music fan, do yourself a favor and check out Canto.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dilate proves that the members of Bardo Pond keep finding ways to reinvent their sound, surpassing themselves each time they do.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A truly passionate and expressive collection of songs that will live long in the memories of all who listen to it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's an album that reveals its charms through repeat listens, and makes a listener wonder how the band can master so many different musical styles via so many vocalists while still maintaining a fiercely cohesive sound.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shipp, whose restless vision is never clouded by grandiosity or pretense, has become the most important pianist on the scene today. Equilibrium is soul music for the mind.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On Eternal Youth, Future Bible Heroes erase any idea of the band being a side-project and work together as a trio striving for the same artistic goals. In doing so, they may have created their masterpiece.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A diverse, accomplished album that manages to be unabashedly emotional, playful, and ambitious all at the same time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Takes the scattered clicks and beats of Autechre and combines it with the tunefulness of Spiritualized.... Very rewarding.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Poetic, languid, spoken/sung vocals similar to Lou Reed weave between lovely melodies whose appeal is evident usually after repeated listenings.... Its highlights recall the past glories of this commercially overlooked band, and adds a handful of keepers to their best work.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Stag is punk done in the tradition of Patti Smith and the Replacements rather than the Sex Pistols. It is punk in its rebellious spirit, its contagious energy, and its anti-establishment calls to action. More than that, though, it is pure Amy Ray -- her activism and her artistry melding and achieving something remarkable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a landmark in the subgenre of alt-country goth
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is easily Sheik's strongest, and most mature record to date.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Definitely a treasure to be sought out, A South Bronx Story is essential for any hip-hop head, post-punk connoisseur, dance fanatic, or Luscious Jackson fan.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Quality Control hits all of the same highs as Jurassic 5's excellent EP of three years earlier...
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A truly lovely album.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Red Devil Dawn is a welcome masterpiece of emotional subtleties -- the great record that Crooked Fingers missed the mark on with 2001's drunken, bluesy and somewhat disappointing Bring On the Snakes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Central Reservation is first and foremost a record about hope and survival ... but its underlying message of healing and perseverance is powerfully life-affirming -- her music hasn't merely discovered the light at the end of the tunnel, it's now bathing in it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only does it hold the duo's most sleek and vicious material; it also proves that they can construct a bracing, compulsively digestible-in-whole album that presents the broad range of sounds and complementary sequencing that most great albums require.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the acoustic D sounds better, weirder, and purer, this still is a hell of a record, particularly because it rocks so damn hard.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not one weak track, not one misplaced syrupy ballad to ruin the groove. The winning streak continues.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you like your pop a little left of center and found the Postal Service to be too cute and syrupy, your fix is here.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The astute and eclectic programming makes for a better listen than other attempts that have been made to compile '80s alternative rock.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album flows like sweet maple syrup from beginning to end, Kilgour's intimate croon caressing you like kind words from an old friend.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though Snoop Dogg never slipped from the charts, Paid Tha Cost to Be Da Bo$$ smacks of a comeback, and it's a great one.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A stunning debut and one of the best records of 2002.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Aaliyah isn't just a statement of maturity and a stunning artistic leap forward, it is one of the strongest urban soul records of its time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Needless to say, the time is right for the phrase "just another" to be banned from use when discussing him.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Elephant overflows with quality -- it's full of tight songwriting, sharp, witty lyrics, and judiciously used basses and tumbling keyboard melodies that enhance the band's powerful simplicity.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not just his best album since Blood on the Tracks, but the loosest, funniest, warmest record he's made since The Basement Tapes.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Arthur is in a class of his own and Our Shadows Will Remain is a monstrous, memorable outing, his finest moment in a career that is thus far full of them.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best tracks on this album stand up well against the likes of the Move and the Creation, or at the very least, the Green Pajamas and the Apples in Stereo.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An album that, for all of its flaws, is still easily one of the best rock records of 2002.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At its best, the album seems to accomplish everything lagging post-shoegazers like Spiritualized or Chapterhouse once promised. However, at its worst, the album sometimes slides into an almost overkill of sonic structures
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Far more interesting than any of their other records, or their peers'.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But while De-Loused in the Comatorium may well remove the stigma from the prog and art rock forms it suggests, and is certainly a monument to unbridled creativity, it can also be seen as bombastic and indulgent.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Remarkably, these songs not only retain their emotional core even after they've been cleaned up, but they perhaps even gain more resonance in this setting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pawn is immediately grabbing, and instead of fading upon further plays, it reveals more with each listen, whether it's a lyrical turn of phrase or an unexpected twist in the arrangement.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A simple, straight-ahead match of excellent MC with great producers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This time the group finds a better balance of the simple and the strange, making Loud Like Nature their most exciting album since Avant Hard.