American Songwriter's Scores

  • Music
For 1,106 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 Rumours [35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
Lowest review score: 20 Muppets: The Green Album
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 1106
1106 music reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There’s not a weak track in the dozen making this another candidate for blues release of the year from brothers who almost never got to play another note together. Making up for lost time never sounded so good.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tempest is fantastic, but being impressed by Dylan is old hat. That he still finds ways to surprise us is an achievement beyond all comprehension.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Union brings up two very good points again and again: No amount of celebrity shenanigans or animated transgressions can eclipse the fact that Elton John is an absolutely amazing musician and there's a never-ending list of reasons why Leon Russell is your favorite musician's favorite musician.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Earle is far too musically adventurous to linger too long in any one genre, and kudos to him for that, but Terraplane is such a standout that we can only hope he makes his way back around to the blues relatively soon.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Everything connects emotionally and musically in front of an enthusiastic crowd on one of the year's best and most vibrant live albums.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After the celebri-beef and ALL CAPS blog posts fade away, Fantasy will stand as an album that dare to push the entire medium of recorded music forward, for better or worse.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even as he enters his 60s, Waits still sounds as lively and as cagey as ever, indulging both his most brazen and his most sentimental urges to upend all of our expectations.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This stunning entry into his already impressive catalog shows he refuses to rest on his laurels.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Both as a songwriter and as a performer, Laura Marling has never soared so majestically.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Plant continues down his remarkably innovative path on the combustible Carry Fire, further expanding an already eclectic, forward-thinking solo career and creating an artistic, often edgy persona largely removed from past glories many younger fans may not even be familiar with.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even without the obvious gravitas hovering over the project, this is an exceptional work and arguably Allman’s finest non-Brothers release.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The absurdity and terror that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have so often courted aren’t absent on Push The Sky Away. They’re just muted, and rendered all the more seductive via lush arrangements and Cave’s crooning baritone.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Four the Record retain all the pain and personality that drove those dark songs [of her first two albums] and redirects her energies toward some of her best and most eloquent singing and songwriting yet.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s an album that shows again and again that very few songwriters on this planet illuminate the oft-unfair rules of this game or the inner workings of the players quite like he can.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mermaid Avenue project is essential for showing that Woody Guthrie could illuminate what was going on inside of him as well as he could detail the plight of his fellow man.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For their part, the band is spotless. The majority of the record adheres to the lilting and forlorn brand of country that one might expect from an album called Invariable Heartache.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though these songs cry out for DVD treatment, this audio-only collection is still an unparalleled document.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Since PJ Harvey is a veteran artist who, in her 20-year career, has yet to either make a bad record or repeat herself, to call her latest, Let England Shake, one of her strongest efforts to date is a bold statement, but it's true--this a brilliant record by an artist impervious to aging.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album is harrowing and not for the timid, but those who stick with it will be treated to a truthful, moving journey and a master class in songwriting to boot.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s required listening for even moderate rock fans. This upgraded version, while not necessary for casual listeners, especially those who already own the first pressing, improves on it with supplementary music and, almost as importantly, expanded liner info, rare photos and enhanced track details in a 44 page book that dedicated Zepp followers will revel in.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's about people, and Mellencamp continues to write and sing about them better and better with each passing year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not all of Hope Six is mired in dissonance. Harvey frequently returns to the well of pop music, but the irony of wrapping a grim lyrical message in upbeat music is that those uncomfortable truths become that much harder to overlook.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Surveys of his life and work still manage to produce fresh revelations, and American Radical Patriot, Rounder Records’ just-released collection of government-related Guthrie recordings, provides extraordinary new insight into the complex mind of this simple-sounding folk icon.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s intimate and sprawling, personal and universal, affectionate and daring.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s impossible to overstate how marvelously moving and purely enjoyable the end result is, paving the way, we hope, for a follow-up.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even diehard Neil Young fans may not fully appreciate this offshoot in his bulging catalog. But this remarkably vibrant and immediate live compilation shows that Young took this side road very seriously and it was more than just a forgettable, momentary quirk in his diverse and winding career.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When it’s all over, you listen again, with equal amazement. No, albums like this one don’t come along very often.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As diverse as ever, this is the kind of comeback every once-defunct act strives for but few deliver with the consistency and sheer enthusiasm exhibited here.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His keen insights into human nature and today’s America are revealed in melodic, deeply-felt tunes on Still Fighting The War, which ranks as one of the year’s best singer-songwriter albums.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are standouts everywhere.