All Music Guide's Scores

  • Music
For 9,451 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 Achtung Baby [Super Deluxe]
Lowest review score: 20 Graffiti
Score distribution:
9,451 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Just by its sheer size, a box this mammoth isn't for everybody but The Complete Columbia Album Collection restores warmth, heart, and mess to an artist whose legacy was turning into a monochromatic myth.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1: Live in Europe 1967 box is an essential addition to the catalog.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ten Freedom Summers is his magnum opus; it belongs in jazz's canonical lexicon with Duke Ellington's Black Brown & Beige and Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is as complete as we'll get and if it doesn't present any fresh revelations, it brings the Clash's era back to life, both sonically and visually.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Infectious and hummable, to be sure, and a remarkably unified, irresistible piece of pop music, but no musical watershed on par with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or Wilson's masterpiece, Pet Sounds.
    • 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.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Offering works as a live culmination of Coltrane's musical journey, a homecoming and spiritual communion with the deep, creative forces that drove him right until the end of his life and, based on the music here, one can only assume beyond.
    • 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].
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    [They were a creature of the studio and it] resulted in alternate mixes and instrumental scraps, the stuff that enthralls fetishists, sometimes justifiably so. Those are the listeners who will find Keep an Eye on the Sky most rewarding, but anybody who has loved the band will find something to cherish here.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you're a fan of autumnal pop that wears its heart on its sleeve as it shouts its feelings out to anyone who will listen and you're not a fan of these guys, The Greatest Generation is here to realign your priorities for you.
    • 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.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Quibbles aside, everything about this package is richly detailed, immensely pleasing, and overall a wonderful experience.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With the incentive of live material for old fans and the sheer brilliance on offer when these records are taken together, The Warner Bros. Years is a powerful testament to Earle's second act.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Through these two discs, the band's highs, tragedies, slumps, and comebacks are all evident.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Guthrie truly believed that songs should be of social service, and when the country asked for his songs, he brought them, as any patriot would. That dozens of these songs are enduring, beautiful, and wise makes Guthrie even more than that. It makes him an American treasure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A more aggressive, contemporary guitar attack aside, stunning power punk masterpieces like "The Act We Act," "The Slim," and "Fortune Teller" bear all of the vintage Mould musical traits.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Promise stands on its own as a great Bruce Springsteen record; it feels finished, focused, and, above all, offers more proof that Springsteen is one of the greatest rock and pop songwriters.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As fatiguing as it is invigorating, as cold-blooded as it is heart-rending, as haphazardly splattered as it is meticulously sculpted, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is an extraordinarily complex 70-minute set of songs.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On their fifth album, One Wing, the Chariot avoid the pitfalls that have caught up many a band, striking just the right balance between technique and raw fury to create a sound that is both emotionally and intellectually satisfying.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, though, Liquid Swords is possibly the most unsettling album in the Wu canon (even ahead of Ol' Dirty Bastard), and it ranks with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx as one of the group's undisputed classics.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Where previous records kept the rhythm section in the background, Pageant emphasizes the beat, and the band turns in its hardest rockers to date, including the anthemic "Begin the Begin" and the punky "Just a Touch."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 90 Critic Score
    The charm of this edition is that the unreleased material is considerably looser than the finished album.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The set is both familiar and fresh-sounding at once.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Biokinetics is a stunning summation of the Basic Channel aesthetic.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Miles at the Fillmore - Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 3 is an essential addition to the Davis canon.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is revolution music; worthy of dancing to, learning from, and singing along with: who says topical music has to be boring?
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Many bands go through their entire career without making an album as well crafted, fully realized, and downright gorgeous as Sunbather, and somehow, Deafheaven have managed to nail it on their second outing, with an album that seems to get bigger and more affective with each listen.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In many ways, the demo sounds like a strong rough draft for the album that followed, with a bit less electric guitar punch and a shade more twang, but documenting performances that are essentially just as strong in terms of chops and commitment, while spotting the subtle differences in the arrangements, is where fans will have the most fun.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All this extra material may not carry the same deliberate weight as so much of Brighten the Corners, but it enhances the album considerably, bringing it closer to an album that can stand with Pavement's first three classics.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Orphans is a major work that goes beyond the origins of the material and drags everything past and present with sound and texture into a present to be presented as something utterly new, beyond anything he has previously issued.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Guthrie's] story is presented here in this wonderful set.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Startling, tirelessly powerful, and full of unlimited dimensions.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It doesn't take long for Separation to rescue itself from painfully serious, aggro-MTV mediocrity, as those two tracks are quickly followed up by the riveting 'A Fault Line, A Fault of Mine' and 'Emergency Broadcast: The End Is Near.'
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Every Time I Die have established themselves as one of the more reliable and relatable (in a nervy, dysfunctional way) acts to come out of the genre, not to mention one of the most discernable, and the commanding From Parts Unknown does nothing to tarnish that reputation.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album doesn't have as many slyly powerful hooks as Nostalgia, Ultra, but Ocean's descriptive and subtle storytelling is taken to a higher level.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although this box is not perfect--it's hard not to wish there were no duplications on the first two discs, or the last two--it is nevertheless a mighty testament to the Band at the peak of their powers.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Behemoth sound revitalized and ready to destroy everything that stands in their path, and fans should be ready to either go along for the ride or be crushed.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    He does his best job yet at balancing smarts and accessibility.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Legacy Edition of Raw Power honors this great album better than the Iggy Pop remix that's been its only digital representation since 1997, but the extras included here fall short of making this the definitive release of the James Williamson-era Stooges' bloodied but unbowed triumph.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Both records are visionary, imaginative listens, providing some of the best music of 2003, regardless of genre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Perhaps fate forced Leonard Cohen's hand to stage the tour documented in part on Live in London, but it seems that fate knows just what it's doing, and this album eloquently demonstrates how much Cohen still has to offer, and how clearly his music still speaks to him (and us).
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's an enjoyable look back at one of the main players during an interesting era of American indie rock.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Machine Head is still a force in modern heavy metal.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Add it all up and subtract the hype, and this one is still potent enough to rise to the top of the pile.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Live in Europe, 1969 makes obvious that on this tour, Davis' creative vision was holistic and completely assured.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ultimately, no matter how heated the exchanges between Martyn and his fans could be during concerts, the respect between audience and performer was total and it was loyal--the same punters who would complain the loudest would be at the very next show. It is for these people, those who knew his true worth as an artist who The Island Years was created for and will appeal to most.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Understanding all this stuff enhances the enjoyment of the album, but it is not required. A few tracks merely push the album along, and a gaudy Of Montreal collaboration is disruptive, but there are numerous highlights that are vastly dissimilar from one another.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite its authoritative command of the languages it speaks, it carefully hews a meditative space for the listener at heart level inside the music; it is both inviting and enveloping.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Given its wonderfully crafted and performed material and stellar production, it is the country album of 2010.
    • 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...
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the double-disc edition is quite a handsome thing in its own right--the Super Deluxe Edition is something special thanks to the alternate version of Quadrophenia, which contains six songs cut from the final album.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's a distinct community theater vibe to the whole affair... but the majority of Illinois is alarmingly earnest.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They grew up strong and they grew up fast, so fast that their recordings retain a visceral force that makes The Complete Beat something more than a dream come true for fans: it is a convincing argument for their greatness.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rio is therefore the new standard by which the pianist's future solo recordings will be judged, and perhaps also sets the bar for any other player who attempts the same.
    • 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.
    • 90 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The melodies on Alice are easily the most direct Waits has written since Blue Valentine, but are more elegant than even those found on Foreign Affairs or Black Rider.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hunt has outdone himself, and it's possible he's just getting started.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Life Somewhere Else makes its beautiful way across 67 minutes, an album content to take its own sweet time to reach its destination, happily exploring the nooks and crannies along the way.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's one of the loosest, most varied, and entertaining albums of its time.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you can appreciate the style of dubstep employed by Burial, it's easy to fall head over heels for Untrue, an album on which there are absolutely no mainstream-crossover concessions, no ego trips, and no willful stylistic variation--an album where the music, a singular style of it, takes center stage with no distractions or sideshows, where there's never the urge to skip to the next track, because they're all part and parcel of the greater whole.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This certainly goes a long way to illustrating that Petty & the Heartbreakers always delivered the goods, but it's somewhat at the expense of forward momentum; it's hard not to wish that it was arranged chronologically, to be able to hear the raw energy give way to easy skill, but that's just nitpicking--any way you look at it, this Live Anthology offers an overdose of prime rock & roll.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Z
    Z is intuitive, intensely creative, classicist-minded, nearly flawless.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A well-balanced marriage of all of Phonte's musical inclinations.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As her most satisfying, artful, and accessible album yet, St. Vincent earns its title.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This blend of contemporary attitudes and classic sounds is insinuating and addictive, particularly because at nine songs, it's too brief--once it's through, the album practically begs you to start all over again.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The record offers something to nearly every audience that could approach it, with a bit of a groove for electronic fans, an obtuse sense of music-making for experimentalists, and a dreamy melodicism sure to endear it to indie-pop fans.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The intricacy of the band's sound remain[s], but with less experimental desperation and considerably better ideas.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It feels live, immediate.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the Welsh iconoclast at his most elegant, energetic, and innovative.