American Songwriter's Scores

  • Music
For 752 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 1 point lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Lucinda Williams [Reissue]
Lowest review score: 20 Muppets: The Green Album
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 752
752 music reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Simpson lets his band, and his songs, do the talking on Metamodern Sounds, which is surely one of the very best straight up country records of 2014.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lambert’s new record is a challenging statement from one of the very few female singers that has a stage to be widely heard. That her statement manages to weave together nuanced humor and sarcastic wit with huge pop hooks only makes it that much more impressive.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is more than just a stroll down memory lane since the emotions and lost love laments remain timeless, as does the sound of a man who understands his musical strengths and plays to them with class, authority and soul searching intensity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its timid trepidation, Stay Gold is an ambitious sounding record, full of massive hooks, and expansive arrangements.
    • 81 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This may be a side project or a one-off, except in many ways the sum exceeds the (very distinguished) parts in terms of emotional effect.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is challenging Americana that never takes its audience, or its influences, for granted.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Based on its variety and power, Strand Of Oaks’ Heal seems like that special kind of album that can serve as a temporary buffer for others just as the aforementioned artists did for Showalter.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is a warm, generally introspective but far from musty set that revels in predominantly acoustic material sung with Hiatt’s increasingly gruff, whiskeyed voice.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Voyager, however, is Lewis’ most cohesive and powerful set of songs since her Rilo Kiley days.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stripped of the beefy, full-band arrangements of The Constantines, Webb loses none of his potency. He’s just found a way to channel it without cranking up the volume.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hypnotic Eye is a bastion of consistent excellence.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By any standards, this is an expansive, terrific and lovingly curated set that displays the impressive life’s work of a classy, talented, journeyman rocker yet to find the commercial or critical acclaim he deserves.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While O’Connor never really went anywhere, this self-assured and confident release feels like a comeback. It has elements of what made her so strong and startling back on her still dynamic 1987 debut but tempered and matured with the wisdom of a quarter century of experience.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bahamas Is Afie is a triumph in soulful, roots music, and instead of just trying to sound old-timey, the record is full of personality.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Brill Bruisers providing another example of their amazing chemistry, it seems more and more likely history will show that this group was meant to be their day job all along.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a feisty, dynamic hour long set that does what it sets out to: captures Armstrong’s indefatigable spirit and keeps his music alive for a new generation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s another remarkably strong and mature entry in a sturdy body of work that hasn’t shown any missteps yet.
    • 82 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whatever category you might inhabit, Justin Townes Earle has something here you need to hear.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Considering the hit or miss variables of other such tributes, Dead Man’s Town is remarkably focused and consistent.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Winchester won’t be recording any more music, but he has left us with plenty of classics and undiscovered gems with this final one a wonderful example of his humble yet impressive gifts.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those who dismiss his vocals as monotone are missing out on the soulful power he brings to “Did I Ever Love You” or the sly humor he ladles on “Slow.”
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I Speak Because I Can is composed of mature, sophisticated but relatable songs, performed as only Marling can perform them, showcasing not only a broader vocal range and more intricate guitar parts than on her previous album, but a new breadth of experience, resulting in a balanced album that can sound as enshrouded in shadow as it does enlightened.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While his vocal style is not for everyone, Matsson is an imaginative songwriter whose songs deserve your attention.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As much as Broken Social Scene's identity is wrapped up in it's concept as a collective, their most transcendent moments are not their speedy grandiose party anthems but are instead the small soft details like the band setting into a slow almost improvisational groove in "Sweetest Kill" or the hushed vocals of Emily Haines, Leslie Feist and Amy Millan singing in poignant unison on "Sentimental X's."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite the distinct musical talents involved, Together is surprisingly as its name suggests--cohesive.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The songs are rich with relentless, complex instrumentation, the smooth, ethereal voice of Yannis Philippakas, and dubious lyrics about life.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This cohesiveness is the very thing that was lacking from previous efforts, and ultimately dulled their impact. Kudos to the Casadys for finally accenting their highly inventive songwriting in a unified manner.