Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 1,508 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Decline Of British Sea Power
Lowest review score: 20 Greendale
Score distribution:
1,508 music reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The last album's title ['Perfect From Now On'] was a promise; this one makes good on it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An enchanting, rhapsodic album of uncommon depth.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The tones and the story told -- wordlessly throughout -- are exquisite.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wincing the Night Away makes both [previous] albums sound like fragmented potential.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    At its core, this constitutes a hearty glimpse of young Bob Dylan changing the music business, and the world, one note at a time.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Perfect.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Nomad is more than a beautiful offering for the world music crowd. It's the defining work of a guitar hero.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    All told, Saltwater's the most refreshing indie pop LP since Sufjan Stevens' Illinois.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sound System presents the complete Clash, lovingly remastered on six discs, comprising the five studio LPs the classic lineup released between 1977 and 1982, plus a 3-CD set featuring non-LP singles and B-sides. A DVD unspools archival footage, plus every video. The sonic upgrade sounds best on the earliest material.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This self-titled album, released on UK indie Rough Trade in 1988, began her journey to becoming a household name. In a newly remastered 2-disc edition, Lucinda Williams blossoms all over again.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Eschewing categories entirely, let's just call this trippy l'il slice of vinyl a masterwork, combining elements of salsa, house, reggae, hip-hop, and ska into one remarkably cohesive whole.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Their four-way harmonies soar to meet that now-familiar, West Coast country jangle, tart pop songs blending into a deep, rich mulch out of which melodies grow like wildflowers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Sea Change joins Weezer's Maladroit and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way on the list of beautiful-but-sad 2002 L.A. LPs.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    While the album retains some of the lo-fi insularity of his earlier four-track work, the full band backing makes Supper more of a living-room album than a back bedroom one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It almost goes without saying that the D4 kick the Vines, Hives, and White Stripes right square in their trendy asses.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    If you haven't heard the plaintive and curiously uplifting songs of longing and loss from this rising phenom, you're missing the emergence of one of the most affecting new talents of the past five years.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    An astonishing debut.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Every song but one falls fully developed in the five- to seven-minute ballpark, brimming with enough dissonant wizardry, smart vocal imagery, and tonal shades of rock to fly the freak flag like no aging rockers ever have.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    This is the first absolutely essential UK disc of the year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It sounds unfiltered, raw, and rough, and the quartet's mixture of guitar, organ, fiddle, percussion, and flute (Jethro Tull in the house) makes it all the more authentic.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    A rare record from an extraordinary artist, and one of the year's best.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Grandaddy's third full-length is the band's Dark Side of the Moon, a musical snapshot of postmodern existence in which things are often not what they seem.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    There's not a bad spot on the album, 12 tracks that taken as a whole make up the most exhilarating UK rock album in years.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The Bad Plus plies a refreshingly playful, forcefully dynamic, and knowingly irreverent sensibility that stretches the boundaries of the format without dislodging the music from its foundation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    If the Datsuns' retro sound is currently getting them Strokes/Stripes levels of hype, their blow-the-doors-off passion should allow them to leave their peers in the dust.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Their music is an amazing nexus where surgical precision, ace musicianship, and thrifty minimalism intertwine joyously.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Scarlet's Walk not only evinces Amos' musical maturation, it's also the singer's most ambitious lyrical work.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Marshall has a voice as distinctive and enchanting as Billie Holiday, capable of summoning the same emotions in the listener -- awe, lust, bewilderment, a burning desire to reach out and shelter the delicacy of it from all the crude harshness of the world.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The Love Is Hell discs are far more dense and dark, making the songs a fun challenge to crack open, though it isn't difficult to determine what a no-brainer it must have been for Lost Highway to favor the brilliant Roll over the more spotty Hell discs. [Review applies to both EPs and 'Rock N Roll']
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    An album that absolutely cannot be ignored.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    One listen, and you'll be hooked.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    In the years to come, Low will trudge onward across the vast tundra of gross underappreciation, but in retrospect, their canon will likely be seen as one of the most important and influential of our time, so you might want to start paying attention.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Giddy, confident, and instantly memorable, The Remote Part is great Brit pop and great rock & roll.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    This is breathtaking, life-affirming music with the power to heal and restore. It's that beautiful.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Since I Left You is as much of a revelation now as Primal Scream's life-changing Screamadelica was a decade ago.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The dramatic, melancholy undercurrents of string-driven pop nuggets "The Drowning Years" and "Never Look at the Sun" showcase the Delgados as the smart, cutting-edge descendents of the Carpenters: everything Belle & Sebastian want to be, but are too damn precocious to pull off.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Let's just hope it doesn't take another near-death experience for their next album to be this good.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The Costello formula takes over: minimalist but experimental instrumentation, eternally durable vocals, and literate punk-wave bittersweetening.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The disc alternates between unsettling, exhilarating, and devastating in its emotional impact; it's also difficult not to get distracted by everything going on musically.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    No chips or cracks in this debut's silly-grin inducing veneer, just one short, sharp jolt of postmodern skank.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    By the Way is orchestral, taunting, sinister, beatific, rousing, jocular, nervy, ethereal, and dare I say it, mature.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    "Black Dog" and "Over the Hills and Far Away" back-to-back are gonzo.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Great albums are great from the very first note, and the first 10 seconds of Walking With Thee will stop you dead in your tracks.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Much of Play sounds like it was beamed directly from planet Sad Guy, but it's far and away Moby's most cohesive and affecting work to date.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Any rock album that tackles such a wide spectrum without compromising the music deserves respect.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    A deeply personal album that will resonate with anyone who's ever found their life's path leading them down a dead end.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    After a while -- a familiarity period if you will -- it becomes clear that these songs are not only fully realized, they're damn near brilliant.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    With Showtime, the very idea of diagramming a single line is enough to cause black wormholes to open in the listener's mind – quantum physics by way of South London slang.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Ultimately, it all plays out like a 60-minute calling card that illustrates hip-hop's most liberal producers aren't afraid to keep on keepin' on.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The Black Album stands up alongside Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint as Z's most ambitious work.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The whole much greater than its parts, Dead Cities is creation imbued and then muted again.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Kudos to White's preservation of Lynn's loving, narrative songwriting even when paired with his own grittier sensibilities. In doing so, the two unlikely bedfellows have cut a classic.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Every emotion is intense and genuine, and the musicianship is just as moving as Mercer's lyrics.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    American Idiot is one of the most politically volatile albums to come out since the ascension of the Accidental President. It's also the best album of Green Day's 12-year career.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Their robe is cut from cloth that matters: melodic Peter Hook-like basslines; the divine shoegazer textures of My Bloody Valentine and Ride; a peppy, Strokes-like bounce; and a singer who's a dead ringer for Ian Curtis.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The first hip-hop classic of the new millennium.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Sketchy sound quality (on The Vanilla Tapes), to be sure, but its rawness makes the final product that much more impressive.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Not only does it capture the unstructured verse of a masked maniac within a sheer net of plausibility, it parades his inner dementia among instrumental adornments of the highest order.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    For the fan-atic, WTLO's scrapbooklike discography unveils both a gold mine of (still) unreleased material and the Seattle trio's penchant for dashing off B-sides, tributes, and noise at the smash of a guitar.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    If Alabama's Drive-by Truckers are the Second Coming of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tennessee's Kings of Leon are ZZ Top -- barons of boogie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    One Beat is the Portland, Ore., trio's best work to date, illustrating yet again that women can play and will be heard, with or without a political platform.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Jaysus lads, get out the oven mitts – this one smokes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Some Cities builds on the band's propensity for melodic grandeur and achieves pure sonic bliss in the bargain.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Fortifying her monstrous singles "Galang" and "Sunshowers" with further molten munitions, Arular is primed for worldwide insurrection.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The songs spring from a warm hearth, upping the ante from their well-received sophomore LP, 2003's Heart.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    [They] have taken their love of Fifties kitsch and Sixties pop off the Jesus & Mary Chain Gang of Love and down to the Velvet Underground.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Like Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot into A Ghost Is Born, Spoon's fifth full-length finds further symbiosis between Britt Daniel's emotional obfuscation and the band's spare, uptown backbeat, then looses drummer Jim Eno to metronome the rest.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The results are reason enough for Damon Albarn's other outfit to finally pack it in.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Fans may have to have The Woods surgically removed from their players. It's just that powerful, demanding to be heard.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    No other big band out there makes their pieces fit like this. Not Queens of the Stone Age, not Nine Inch Nails, certainly not Crossfade, Seether, or Chevelle. Audioslave are officially in a league of their own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Burrows deep into the collective unconscious of American song.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The force of Okkervil's last LP, '03's Down the River of Golden Dreams, is strengthened and stretched on Black Sheep Boy, bursting with the heaviness of heart.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The 22-song epic marries Stevens' personal history to that of the state, as well as knitting spare emotional lyrics with lush orchestral and choral arrangements, upping the ante for singer-songwriters everywhere.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It's evident that the band's traditionally simple sound has been augmented with greater influences and a desire to overstuff, miraculously without overkill.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Aww, our little freak is all grown up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It shimmers and sulks, adding a rich dimension to the group's already delicious sound.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    This album is alive.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    [A] psychedelic rap reality worth wigging to.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Rogue Wave has reinvented itself with soft-edged, yet masculine, music that's far from fluffy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Birds Make Good Neighbors is autumn wrapped up in cashmere: rich, comfortable, welcome.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The Life Pursuit is certainly nothing new in the pop lexicon, but Murdoch's keen observational eye gives these songs vivid life.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Ten tracks equal one very explicit diary entry of lust – for life, as much as intimacy – nearly every single line worthy of another song cycle.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    T.I.'s Southern drawl bends pedestrian phrases into irresistible melodies hotter than the summer streets to come.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It's music-making for the pure joy of it, and that delight overflows in a manner that's truly rare.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The lengths of hiss and silence can be unnerving, especially when his ethereal prose floats into a void. Yet when the swells come and Walker breaks the waves, it's a thing of absolute beauty, and the black turns neon.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Like That gives new meaning to the word "alive."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Avalanche,... is all over the place musically but never loses the singer-songwriter's jaw-dropping vision.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Like Blondie circa 1981, Allen breathes needed fresh air into the game.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Solid and gaseous, dark and light in all the right places, this is the Comets' brightest so far.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    One of his most accomplished recordings.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Not since the maniac thrash of 1986's genre-eclipsing Reign in Blood have these SoCal wastrels managed music that sounds so frighteningly out of control and yet wholly, idealistically pure of intent.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Ben Kweller is breezy and buoyant, hallmarks of grand pop albums. And this is indeed a grand pop album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    A haunting disc that lingers long after the laser dies.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The Crane Wife could be the best Robyn Hitchcock album made in several years; the lyrical marriage of whimsy and death bear the fruits of a master class led by the former Soft Boy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    How a band from such an incestuous scene produced an album with such keen pop instincts that nonetheless stops well short of ripping anyone, local or national, off continues to boggle the mind.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    A near-perfect sonic snapshot of London under Blair's blowback blitz.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    If Richard Swift isn't on your radar yet, time to adjust the antenna.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    We Were Dead sounds like Modest Mouse, only better.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Thirty-six minutes of a detailed, agonizing shot in the arm, a veritable buffet of musical stylings, each song bettering the one before, from a band that just as easily could've released a new version of "Gimme Fiction."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Shinsian popsters rejoice. Here's another dreamsicle caked with sugar sugar.