AllMusic's Scores

  • Music
For 12,448 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: 74
Highest review score: 100 Ram [Deluxe Edition]
Lowest review score: 20 Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings
Score distribution:
12448 music reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Power of Negative Thinking isn't the whole JAMC story, but it's the whole story behind the scenes and A-side singles, and sometimes the B-sides. Even better.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Far more interesting than any of their other records, or their peers'.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is an impressive job by a child-prodigy instrumentalist who has accomplished the very difficult task of continuing to challenge himself in productive ways as an adult.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album sounds effortless and truly organic in the best sense of the word, like four people blending together to make one perfectly formed sound.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is no nostalgia trip or callous comeback. It's a giant exclamation point on the end of a brilliant career. It's also a tribute to the everyman genius of Phife, a widescreen look at the record-making skills of Q-Tip, and most importantly, it's a pure, undiluted, joyous thrill to have the Tribe back and still sounding this vital.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ork Records: New York, New York is a superb evocation of a vitally important time and place in American rock & roll, and it's fun, eclectic listening to boot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Had it not been for the underground releases, this disc would be one of 2012's best debuts.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Smart, melodic, catchy songs that not only have strong, wonderful structures, but are graced with inventive, clever arrangements.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A rich, exciting, and emotionally deep sounding album that carries on the freewheeling spirit and sound of the Unicorns as well as that of the Elephant 6 bands of the late '90s.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kozelek is simply continuing on his way here, but that said, to stand apart from all the superlatives and just get lost in his creation here, he has made the best record of his career.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There were plenty of other great British bands of the '90s but none of their peers--Oasis, Suede, Pulp, Radiohead--covered as much stylistic ground or wound up with a catalog as rich as this ridiculously generous box set handily proves.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His slight adjustments and increased restraint make this his most accessible and creative release yet.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's easy to sound hyperbolic when describing the impact of Quinlan's voice, but she really does prove herself to be among the most captivating rock singers of her generation on Painted Shut. That her vocals are very nearly equaled by the music and the subject matter makes this album a notable one.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wolf is as honest and, in a greater sense, as generous a songwriter as we have, and Mumps, Etc. may be his finest gift yet.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    We Are King is all about plush, impeccable grooves and spine-tingling harmonies. It's without fault.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Homme has marshaled all of his strengths on ...Like Clockwork and has found a way forward, a way to deepen his music without compromising his identity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Steve Earle proves again and again that he is the original alternative to the glossy side of Nashville.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It digs deep into emotional territory by way of tight, almost suffocating songwriting and killer arrangements, making this one of the defining Brit folk-rock albums of the period. It holds up well in the 21st century as a true testament to the excellence of Chapman's craft.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They're more infatuated with Neu! and Kraftwerk or Public Image Ltd, but these jagged, difficult sounds are filtered through the trio's now instinctual arena-filling gestures and that tension is what gives Futurology a resonant richness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's less brooding menace and more giddy insanity -- without ever giving way to total chaos.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Everything about this album shouts masterpiece, a set that will thrill listeners for years, nay decades, to come.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What's striking about Dig Out Your Soul is how its relentless onslaught of sound proves as enduring as the tunes.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album winds up with trace echoes of all eras of Costello, but that's only a reflection of how National Ransom is a masterwork in the traditional sense: he's summoned all his skills to deliver an album that summarizes his world view.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wedding might not be Oneida's most way-out album, but it's as satisfyingly restless as anything in their catalog.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of her best studio albums.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Part traditional, part African rhumba, part smart avant-garde electronica, Congotronics is the sound of an urban junkyard band simultaneously weaving the past and the future into one amazingly coherent structure, and not only that, you can dance to it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a fascinating work of words, for sure, but the weight of Carey's arrangements and the Tempest's surprisingly nimble touch as an emcee make for something distinctive and essential.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The polished finish on the production, from Fuck Buttons member Andrew Hung, is also notable on this great effort from Zun Zun Egui, an album conducive to many repeat listens.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blackbirds may be dark and unsettling, but it's far from depressing. It is a profound, poetic, career-defining album from a singer and songwriter of the highest order.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    She
    Two of her first album's many attractive attributes were the subtle and surprising twists in song structure and seamless genre fusions. They're in steady supply her.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's hard to complain when the results are this stunning.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This may not satisfy a casual fan who wants to hear versions played on the radio, but the entirety of Telephantasm winds up being something better than a hits collection: it captures the essence of the band, why they were important and why they still sound powerful some twenty years later.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All Your Favorite Bands has a warm, organic texture that's at once raw and immediate, sophisticated and polished.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Long a master of obfuscation, Fagen plays it straight on Sunken Condos, tightening his songwriting and letting his music swing, and the results are an absolute joy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Devil Makes Three's most consistent and balanced album yet.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Starting with demo versions of "For Ex-Lovers Only" and "Throw Aggi Off the Bridge" that are enjoyably scraggly if not as overwhelming as the final takes. The remaining four consist of new recordings by the original band, though they're not new songs; instead, they're selections from their irregular live sets that were never formally recorded and released at the time. The production style makes it sound like they were recorded at the same time as the rest of the disc, making it a seamless treat.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Weight Is a Gift is Nada Surf's most honest and earnest record to date.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What it all comes down to is that Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is a Bad Seeds record that ups the ante once again.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For as haunting as parts of the album are, there is no fetishization of death on the parts of Albarn and Russell; even with a tinge of melancholy coloring the fringes of the album, this is an album that affirms the power of life, in all of its mess and glory.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Both records are visionary, imaginative listens, providing some of the best music of 2003, regardless of genre.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a king rightfully reclaiming his dominion.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's weird and willfully, proudly human, a big pop album about real emotions and one of P!nk's wildest rides.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While each disc stands on its own, it's the sum total that makes this a career-defining work.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Learn to Sing Like a Star was certainly worth the wait, and if fans will listen closely enough, they'll understand that Hersh's sophistication as both a singing poet and composer has grown almost immeasurably.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The societal ruminations within the fiery judder of "1000 Deaths," the dreamy churn of "The Charade," and the falsetto blues of "Till It's Done," fueled as much by current planetary ills and race relations as the same ones that prompted the works of D'Angelo's heroes, strike the deepest.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beauty & Crime is, without reservation, the defining creative moment of Suzanne Vega's career thus far.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their drive to push forward is refreshing, and the slight updates to the band's intricate signature sound results in an exciting comeback album and a statement that stands on its own regardless of its place in time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Just about all of the new tracks would make fine A-sides, though they all fall into place as part of a flowing album.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Madlib has formed a tighter frame around his productions than ever before.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This collection is proof that Kylie is arguably the best pop singer of her era and more importantly, is fun from beginning to end.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As for this being a Shelby Lynne record, its quality and confidence is unassailable.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Although it shares superficial sonic similarities with his other records, 22 Dreams is really unlike any of Weller's other albums, as it's rich in sound and feeling, possessing a shimmering dreamy quality. It's an album to get lost in.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All the selections on this best-of compilation focus on the high-energy side of the music, but that's no bad thing, and it's enough to make a listener sweat just from the speed and breakneck precision of it all -- it's not just father and son who are outstanding, it's the whole band.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What really puts the album over the top as something else is not just its ideas-stuffed brevity (46 minutes in its original form), but its material not made explicitly for the club.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a resolutely lively and slightly dazed exploration of misshapen pop forms.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Over half of the album's songs are filled with Robinson's bittersweet longing, brilliantly paired with some of Martin's most detailed, creative, and accessible production work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Whether she's writing original material or covering traditional tunes... the effect is the same. It's intimate, like a secret told readily.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Disarmingly subtle yet flush with enough confectionary touches and left-field presence (not to mention pure craftsmanship) to warrant cult status among smart-pop aficionados, Niagara goes down so easy that most listeners will need more than a few spins to realize how rich of a tonic it is.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Porcupine Tree makes a triumphant return to experimental, non-linear style with 2007's Fear of a Blank Planet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Eric Clapton has never sounded so relaxed on record, either as a singer - he is supple and casually authoritative, a far cry from the tentative lead vocalist of his earliest solo records - or a band leader, sounding at peace with his past yet harboring no desire to recycle it, even if he's reaching back far beyond the blues that initially sparked his interest in music.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only was the wait worth it, Archives feels like it was 20 years in the making. It's an extraordinary work that redefines what an autobiography can be.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    My Favorite Picture of You is simply a wonderful, balanced gem of an album from a masterful songwriter.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the Orbit of Ra is close to essential for fans and a pretty good place to start for the curious Sun Ra novice. He really was writing music for the 21st century.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Who Is William Onyeabor? may not answer many biographical questions, but it does paint a superb portrait of the musician as a highly original creator and pioneer; it adds depth and dimension to the picture we have of African music during the era.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a lean, tight record that takes its time but doesn't dawdle, it has the easy confidence of a pro who knows that he's working at the top of his game.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While this would be a step backward for anyone else, the band has a talent for effortlessly making the unpolished seem charming as it bashes its way through tracks like "Nostalgia" and "The Worst Has Yet to Come."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Journal for Plague Lovers winds up being The Holy Bible in reverse: every moment of despair is a reason to keep on living instead of an excuse to pack it all in.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though it runs out of steam slightly (at least in comparison to the pop art brilliance of the band's best songs) on its second half, Bang Bang Rock & Roll is a terrific debut, and Art Brut is smart, catchy, and fun.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every single moment of Man vs. Sofa is suspenseful and exciting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    rouble & Love is unlike any other "heartbreak and healing" album; its hard-won, experiential, Buddhist-like wisdom borders on the profound.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Each of the the album's ten tracks is naked, open, and bleeding, yet rousing at the same time. The lyrics don't hide behind Stern's infectious, blast-and-burn 21st century rock; they are buoyed by them.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Acid Tongue is where Lewis finally pulls it all together and delivers one killer of a record.
    • 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.
    • 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...
    • 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
    There's a palpable sense of real listening, of generously shared creativity. Ultimately, it's that synergistic spark that makes Thile and Mehldau's collaboration sound less like a one-off experiment and more like the start of a lasting partnership.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mareridt is a work of atavistic mystery, unflinching honesty, and balance. It embraces everything from horror and beauty to the sacred and profane; its creator has encountered them all within, faced and accepted them, and ultimately woven them into the fabric of her being as music.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Is less a bold statement of principle as it is a blossoming into maturity.
    • 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...
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of his very best records.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If some of the ballads aren't as distinguished as the livelier tracks, they nevertheless are as sharply crafted as the rest, and the end result is that It Won't Be Soon Before Long is that rare self-stylized blockbuster album that sounds as big and satisfying as was intended.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They're one of the most consistent bands in metal, and this is a terrific example of them playing to their strengths.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The loving layers of static, submerged guitar progressions, and effortless meshes of naturalistic themes and glitchy processing all play into a language of sound distinct to Fennesz and reaching some of their clearest articulations here.