American Songwriter's Scores

  • Music
For 1,094 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 The 1966 Live Recordings [Box Set]
Lowest review score: 20 Dancing Backward in High Heels
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 1094
1094 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His charmingly loony and unpredictable qualities are plenty evident over the course of these five hours of music and often unhinged patter. Sound quality varies of course, with the dodgiest not surprisingly on the late 70s tracks, but when you're dealing with this type of raw power, pristine audio is almost a detriment.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There aren’t many groups whose fifth album is as riveting as their first, but there also aren’t many groups with a vision as clear, focused and defined as that of Camera Obscura. And with Campbell at the helm, five more of the same will be just as welcome.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An immediate comparison that comes to mind is Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, though by no means as expressive or adventurous. Away is, however, one of Okkervil River’s prettiest records to date.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hypnotic Eye is a bastion of consistent excellence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An album of warm colors and earthy textures, Lateness is an album for warm sweaters and hard ciders, backyard firepits and late-autumn barbecues.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    None of this is to say that the songs, themselves, aren't excellent in their own right, but with a voice as heavenly as Correa's, you can hardly go wrong.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Adams does his job just well enough on this album that we’re willing to join him on that downward spiral and maybe, as listeners, locate the catharsis that eludes the lonely “I” living the songs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Death Song, their greatest strength is harnessing the aesthetic they’ve worked for more than a decade to refine, and it’s as rich and powerful as they’ve ever sounded.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is no rock here, although the prog nature of the music incorporates those influences, yet the album never feels bloated or one-note.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With A Kind Revolution Paul Weller adds another exciting notch to his belt of terrific, under the radar (at least in the States) projects that have made him a singer/songwriter with impeccable credentials who never rests on his already impressive laurels.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What matters is that this is a really good record, and while it would have been nice to hear some instrumental breakdowns--especially from banjo player Richard Bailey, who is way understated--it's nice to know that Nashville is capable of putting out something besides more bad pop.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hubbard has always been a lyricist of gritty honesty. Here though, with help from an infusion of blues, his music is equally as taut, dynamic and compelling.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The combination of Burnette’s characteristically genuine, acoustic based production, Giddens’ sumptuous voice and a conceptual set list that never feels musty, yields a wonderful album whose restrained pleasures reveal themselves gradually over repeated playings.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This set confirms she’s a rugged, uncompromising young talent with a distinctive voice and take-no-crap attitude primed and ready to take Americana into the next few decades.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s an immaculately produced gem and there’s nothing currently out there like it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The eight songs, culled from a crop of 30 that came in the wake of a difficult breakup, become dirge-like if you put them on in the background. Shut out the distractions and bring them in close, and they become razor-sharp reflections of the long road out of purgatory.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Most telling is how glad he is to be free of concept-Obscurities contains songs from five(!) different projects, all of them rescued from any context but musical, which is all the overwhelmed guy who made five projects in the first place wants to focus on in his old age.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With After The Disco--Broken Bells’ second full-length album--Mercer and Burton up the ante with a set that builds on the promise of their debut and fleshes out that aesthetic into an even stronger set of songs with loftier ambitions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a perfect combination of restrained vocal phrasing with madly creative production and a certain candidate for one of the finest albums of the year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ford and her band have increased the quality of their brazen, breathless blend of garage-soul to an even more satisfying level with the new Untamed Beast.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If these results reflecting about two years of work in Rhodes’ home studio with producer Chris Price don’t quite capture the vibrancy of his earlier work, they are close enough not to disappoint those who stuck around waiting for them.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His calm, ageless voice is perfect for this material and it’s clear he’s in his element on 13 songs that capture and condense the essence of his Americana blues, soul and country influences.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finn is still as sharp as ever with his details and as striking as ever with his lyrical gambits.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His latest, instead, is rife with sumptuous arrangements steeped in gorgeous layers of piano and organ, with much subtler licks of guitar sliding in like skin on silk sheets.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Twelve members and five records in and the Dears have made their best album yet -– Degeneration Street is one of the rock albums to live up to in 2011.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Over the course of 16 tracks, Costello flexes his stylistic muscles and exercises that famously acerbic wit.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s Okkervil River’s most mature album yet--coming after six previous records that were already fully formed.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are no enduring classics here like the songs on 2007's Live At Massey Hall, or anything to rival the material that helped define late '70s AOR from, say, American Stars 'n Bars or Rust Never Sleeps. But this is a record well worth having, and it's a blessing that we still have enduring artists like Neil Young creating such vital music.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s the start of a somewhat short but compelling 10-track, 41-minute ride that rocks hard while remaining firmly in country/roots territory.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is this consistently enjoyable, often terrific, frequently challenging 11 track, 51-minute aural rocket ship exploration quite rightly tagged “delirium” by its duo of frontmen.