American Songwriter's Scores

  • Music
For 977 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 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Led Zeppelin III [Remastered]
Lowest review score: 20 Dancing Backward in High Heels
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 977
977 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As with the previous three reissues, the pristine remastering removes a slight audio film that was still present after the 1992 versions. That’s especially obvious on the guitar parts of the more delicate songs but also shines a brighter light on John Bonham’s remarkable drumming that both grounded the band and pushed the other members into expanding their own boundaries.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's geek rock's holy grail courtesy of the sub-genre's flagship band, and an album that, though rife with sincerity, songwriter Rivers Cuomo has seemed to run farther and farther away from ever since.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Five stars aren’t enough, of course, to sum up this music. Maybe there are some tapes hidden out there for the bootleggers to scrounge up, but it seems likely that The Basement Tapes Complete has given us everything we truly need to hear from that extended magical moment in musical history.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their finest album, 1977’s Rumours, addresses with heart and sharp insight the romantic disengagements and re-entanglements of the members in the free-spirited, free-love 1970s.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The 65-66 era of his career occupies rarefied space in the annals of rock; The Cutting Edge somehow demystifies it and makes it seem more impressive all at once. For a guy who once warned us not to look back, Bob Dylan keeps giving us irresistible reasons to do exactly that.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Little more needs to be emphasized about the lasting importance of these prototypes other than this third reissue tweaks the sound with Page’s new remastering revealing nuances in the playing and arrangements that further enhance their already substantial historical cachet.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As with the previous three reissues, the pristine remastering removes a slight audio film that was still present after the 1992 versions. That’s especially obvious on the guitar parts of the more delicate songs but also shines a brighter light on John Bonham’s remarkable drumming that both grounded the band and pushed the other members into expanding their own boundaries.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A well-known perfectionist, it took her eight years to craft and release these tunes that fly by in just under 40 minutes. Every one is a gem.... This is the first title on Williams’ own label--a new album is due in mid-2014--and is essential listening for every Lucinda fan and anyone even tangentially touched by her timeless music.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Little more needs to be emphasized about the lasting importance of these prototypes other than this third reissue tweaks the sound with Page’s new remastering revealing nuances in the playing and arrangements that further enhance their already substantial historical cachet.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It remains thrilling to hear the whiskey throated Stewart charging through these songs, urged on by Kenney Jones’ often frantic drumming and McLagan’s ever present keyboards. It’s also clear that a solo career was inevitable, a fact that ultimately broke up the band. None of the Faces’ four albums were without flaws, but even at their weakest, they get by on energy and a loopy yet palpable enthusiasm any act would envy.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it doesn’t include some of his best post-jail efforts, the set documents the beginning of one of the greatest second acts in rock history.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Little more needs to be emphasized about the lasting importance of these prototypes other than this third reissue tweaks the sound with Page’s new remastering revealing nuances in the playing and arrangements that further enhance their already substantial historical cachet.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though this remastered 40th Anniversary Edition tightens and polishes every tone, L.A. Woman isn't exactly a studio marvel.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The famed slide guitarist and world music enthusiast releases his most incisive and sardonic political album.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a mammoth and comprehensive overview of one of the major musicians of our time and as such, is essential listening for all enthusiasts of funk, soul and rock.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Such is the bounty contained on The Ties That Bind that it might make you question Bruce Springsteen’s judgment even as you marvel at his ridiculous talent.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Carrie & Lowell demonstrates, brilliantly and harrowingly, over and over again, how life’s most valuable lessons can only be gleaned by enduring its worst circumstances.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Part of what made Nirvana’s final studio album so monumental was everything that made Nevermind a classic--an abrasive retooling of the pop songwriting handbook.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    St. Vincent is an overwhelming listen the first, second, maybe even third time around.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    That sense of hostile irony may be one of the most underrated qualities on Nevermind, whose sly dismissals and cagey lyrics sound like an extension of Cobain's scabrous guitars and Dave Grohl's thundering drums.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The sound on these remasters crackles, revealing musical and lyrical nuances along with spotlighting how critical Mark Ortmann’s in-the-pocket drumming is to the vibe.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Somewhere between the clear narrative of Boy's Night Out's Trainwreck and the Dear Hunter's ongoing musical saga, it's one of the most compelling realized moments Trophy Scars' madness has produced. [May 2014, p.94]
    • American Songwriter
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like an open wound, The Idler Wheel isn't always pretty, but it pulses with life, brutal and true.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    12 Stories, a record full of humor and pain, remorse and reckoning, is one of the very best country debuts of 2013.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With newly remastered sound and a second disc of worthwhile rarities including live tracks, remixes, B-sides and the like, even fans would do well to take the plunge on this refurbished, expanded reissue of an album that Frame, despite multiple later attempts both under the Aztec Camera moniker and later his own name, never could build a career on.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Perhaps a better balance of rockers and reflective selections might have made this stronger and more diverse. But those who shied away from Wynonna’s slicker commercial heyday will find this direct, collective style a refreshing transformation for the better. For the rest of us, it’s yet additional proof of her tough/tender, sassy/sensitive vocal prowess and arguably the finest release of her extensive career.
    • 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.