American Songwriter's Scores

  • Music
For 1,077 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 Led Zeppelin IV [Remastered]
Lowest review score: 20 Muppets: The Green Album
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 1077
1077 music reviews
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Regrettably, Break The Spell never fulfills its mission of delivering an unabashed rock effort and genuine nuggets of musical magic are few and far between.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    [A] well meaning but ultimately disappointing release.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    From the album’s clunky title which is simply a list of all 13 tracks with no punctuation, to its incessant use of a brittle, dated drum machine (could Doughty not afford to hire a live drummer with the money he raised from fans to finance this?), most of this feels calculated, deliberate and stiff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Buffalo Killers aren’t offering you anything you haven’t heard countless times before. Whether or not you want to pick up the phone to have that conversation again will be determined by how much you value novelty.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The bulk of these songs feature clichéd lyrics and arm-waving call and response construction.... That said, there is talent and maturity in the song craft, production and playing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nobody's asking the Killers to restock their eyeliner, but if they insist on making everything so over-the-top, it would serve them well to crack a smile every now and then.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's such a disappointment when something you hope is going to be great is, well, such a disappointment. That's the case with Dreams, the latest album from Neil Diamond.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Where Cale would experiment with horns, vibes, female backing vocals and even restrained orchestration, these tracks stay rooted in a respectful if rather heavy lidded closet.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Overall the Haden Triplets don’t bring enough of anything special to these songs to make the album an overall success.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As it stands, it’s another entry in Young’s bulging catalog that, like Storytone, Greendale, Le Noise and others, you might play once or twice to see what he’s up to, then return to far more listenable classics like Rust Never Sleeps.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nothing here hasn’t been done many times before, and much better, by either the original artists (do we need a shockingly feeble-voiced Willie Nelson dueting with Lauper on his “Night Life”?) or others closer to the country aesthetic.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As it stands though, Foxygen bit off more than they can chew, leaving ...And Star Power as an occasionally interesting failed experiment.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s hard to imagine anyone other than extreme DM reactionaries finding anything here essential besides the abovementioned tracks [“Soft Touch / Raw Nerve” and “Soothe My Soul”], the stirring “Secret To the End,” and the mid-tempo “Broken.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The songs are pretty, well-written and well-constructed, but the album as a whole lacks the vitality that would give it necessary variety.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately, it takes a real curmudgeon to dislike this often enchanting, rosy-cheeked, harmony laden alliance, even if you wish it was better. It also does little to display the vocal talents of Kelly Jones who has a handful of terrific albums under her own name but whose own style gets lost here.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lovett sounds so tired on all of these songs. All those years with Curb weigh heavily on him, which makes Release Me less of a triumphant good-bye and more of an unceremonious shuffle out the door.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Tiger Suit wears a different skin than her previous recordings, and the highs and lows are obvious.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The veteran guitarist's 36th album is a predominantly instrumental set that tries too hard to do too much over its hour long length.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As far as this legendary foursome's new offering, Content, is concerned, well, at least they're not simply cruising on the laurels of their formidable back catalog, and to be fair, Content is no worse than other recent comeback albums by fellow post-punkers Mission of Burma, The Buzzcocks, and Wire.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, this album just doesn't make it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    More often these tracks wander in search of melodies that seem frustratingly out of reach.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Grey and his band’s drive, energy and enthusiasm go a long way to selling this music but at nearly an hour the effect is diluted. Leaving a handful of the weakest cuts in the vaults and honing the best parts from some of the others would have resulted in a stronger outing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There aren’t many hooks to latch onto, his emotional tenor is difficult to gauge, and although his four-piece band works hard to vary its sonic palette, no amount of electronic drums, thickly-layered synths, Spanish guitars and theremins can cover a humdrum set of songs.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While we give Young a pass for getting new music out, and worthwhile moments are scattered throughout these 10 tunes (that don’t break 40 minutes), just as often you’ll lunge for the track-skip button in exasperation of hearing a major talent and unquestioned cultural icon who has spread himself too thin.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This whole idea might be a little overdone for everybody by now.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While it doesn’t come close to their best work, there is enough spunk and pluck on Mystery Glue to provide the Parker faithful with confidence that better work remains in him.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If you buy Bingo! expecting to hear some burning blues, or to hear another of the Miller hits that may have excited you in the '70s, you'll be disappointed either way
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Give Mayer credit for keeping his languid country pop organic and as rootsy as someone with his honeyed voice can sound. Yet that only reveals the mediocre quality of the bulk of this material and is no excuse for his sleepwalking performance of it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Back To Land is a little too much “vibe” and not enough “oomph”--a not unpleasurable 40-minute cruise, but one which sometimes feels lo
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The lack of thematic diversity strikes another blow. Certainly, songs about being unhappy with relationships are nothing unusual. However, the ability to write anything meaningful or refreshing about the subject is quickly exhausted on Mine Is Yours.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Writing this review would be so much easier if you didn't seem like such a nice dude and if you hadn't had such a disaster fraught year so far. we'd totally let into you about that Miley Cyrus duet and probably scold you for including that atrocious remix of the Rock of Love theme, but frankly, we can't. Not now anyway.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In one sense, it’s commendable that The Strokes are so willing to branch out and take on different styles, yet the effort often sounds overplayed or undercooked.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In its original, and here remastered, 10 track format (a somewhat superfluous if clean 5.1 remix, audio only DVD is also included), it’s every bit as memorable, timeless and nearly as entertaining if not quite as challenging as Astral Weeks.... But hearing so many working versions of these songs can be a trying, time consuming yet occasionally enjoyable experience.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Chili Peppers try to strike that same balance on their latest, I'm With You, which may turn out to be a minor installment in their canon but still accomplishes the impossible.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The lack of the Spector-ish sound, while understandable--Ronnie’s marriage to Phil was legendarily troubled--along with material that is far more powerful and enjoyable in its original form, makes this an experiment that fails on most levels, in particular from Scott Jacoby’s ill-fitting production and sonic approach.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It shows his restless ambition as an artist, but not his ability to make a great, lasting musical statement.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately this is a missed opportunity to either unearth obscure, under the radar gems from this era or push Krall outside her comfort zone with challenging interpretations that reveal new meanings in songs we already know by heart.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There are no crescendos, no peaks or valleys. It's a straight line all the way through, which, as we all know from watching medical dramas on TV, can only mean one thing--the lack of a pulse.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Despite two new numbers near the end of this album, New Blood feels, despite it's occasional avant-garde touches, like another holding pattern from an artist who has not been particularly prolific since his 80s commercial heyday.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Noah and the Whale are a fine band, but they seem to have lost their direction.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    If this underwritten, over produced debut for Capitol (after being affiliated with Columbia since 1973) is the best he can muster up in six years, it’s sad to say, it’s time to consider retirement.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    North seems destined to forever relegate Matchbox Twenty into the next generation of unremarkable dad rock.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    On Indie Cindy, there’s not a lot of danger, or passion--or excitement for that matter.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Taken individually, the songs resonate better. But lumped together the effect is claustrophobic and cheerless.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The end product is an incoherent jumble of occasionally pleasant soft folk with mind-numbingly aimless pieces that seem arbitrarily constructed with little direction or focus.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The problem is that the band seems to want to go mainstream as it stood in 1995. As a result, they've lost a lot of what made them unique.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Another Country has far too many moments that will have them lurching for the track-forward button while admitting this once talented songwriter needs someone to tell him when his reach exceeds his grasp.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Bridges' rough baritone talk/sung voice just doesn't connect with songs and production that seem lazy, if somewhat less self-indulgent than other successful actors who try to make their mark as singers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's all pleasant and inoffensive but with production that sounds phoned in based on market research, little is memorable.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This is a tough listen and not in a good way. Most of the songs are little more than unfinished sketches, most just over a minute long, waiting for more inspiration to be completed.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As 25 Years proceeds, the music grows fussier and increasingly self-impressed in its jazz and world music flourishes, yet even as Sting's voice grows slightly deeper and more textured over the years, he never really evolves or develops as a solo artist.