BBC Music's Scores

  • Music
For 1,833 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Ten Freedom Summers
Lowest review score: 20 If Not Now, When?
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 1833
1,833 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Only behind such a distracting smokescreen could Damon Albarn get away with conducting a project as sprawling, daring, innovative, surprising, muddled and magnificent as Plastic Beach: not just one of the best records of 2010, but a release to stand alongside the greatest Albarn’s ever been involved with and a new benchmark for collaborative music as a whole.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even on a cursory listen, a water-testing foray into its 16 tracks, it's immediately apparent that this is an album unlike either that came before it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The set is a masterclass in how to respectfully update and enhance classic music, and proves how vital and relevant 30-year-old music remains today.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Seventy-four years on, he has recorded what is surely the blues album of the year.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Almost 15 years on it remains a stereo regular, and loved like the day it was delivered, awkwardly and self-consciously, into a world that didn't know what to do with it. And, largely, still doesn't. So give it a home, won't you; it could be your album of the year.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Promise is as compelling an advert for the Boss's beautiful, blue-collar soul as you're likely to find outside of the hits; an indispensible portrait of an artist at the top of his game. File this one under American Greats.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's come late, but Basic Instinct is one of the best RnB albums of the year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    21
    21 is simply stunning. After only a handful of plays, it feels like you've always known it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Listening to it today, marvelling at his seemingly effortless way with a tune, it's understandable why it remains a classic of its era.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A fans-pleasing eighth album from Britain's most consistently brilliant band.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's not merely a rehash of the original, but a cohesive, considered masterpiece in its own right.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    They are, right now, the most inspirational, intriguing, effortlessly enrapturing band at work on these shores. And Smother might well prove to be the album of 2011.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's no fault to be found with Skying--truly, every song here hits its mark, and while The Horrors are evidently a band happy to change its spots from record to record (and steal a few licks, too), only the most ungracious of observers could deny that they've now crafted two of the finest British albums of recent years.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In any form, What's Going On is an album that everyone should have in their collection; no matter how many times you play it, there is always something else to discover.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Should you be keen to pick your way through the evolutionary process of one of rock's greatest ever long-players, hearing every fuzzy demo and work-in-progress chorus, now you've the chance like never before.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Monkeytown is the sound of two men working in harmony, perfectly in control of their machines. And it may just be one of the albums of the year.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Quadrophenia is one of the few albums of its time that sounds as good today as it must have done then. For once, the term 'masterpiece' is not sold on the cheap.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The result is a remarkable display of creative unity and a stellar masterpiece sitting alongside the group's best work.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With its harder edge, its hindsight-laden sense of imminent loss and its sheer dirtiness, L.A. Woman comprises a brilliant bridge between the floral madness of the 1960s and the tougher decade to come.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wrecking Ball is a work of commanding range and masterful execution.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You'll wish you'd been there. You'll wish it would never end.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fourteen years later, this reissue reveals a record so unique and ahead-of-its-time that nothing else has sounded like it since.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Another classic of the genre is born.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The 36 minutes of Mid Air [is] a masterpiece.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It sounds amazing, and represents an astounding return.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Innovative, dark, bold and creative, it’s an album only David Bowie could make.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    That such a progressive, risk-taking LP wasn't celebrated across the board for its gutsy reinventing of a band thought pigeonholed wasn't that surprising, though – this is a difficult album.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's one of the best things you'll hear all year. Bring on the next two.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Origin:Orphan finds them finally able to out-wow the full spectacle of their magnificent shows, proving they are a serious and sophisticated musical force to be reckoned with as well as a mind-blowingly good gigging proposition.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    So while an army of griping fans and sniping critics will argue that Heligoland doesn’t match their early triumphs, or break as much new ground, there will be younger listeners who hear it as something entirely new and recognize it for the gloomily, beguiling beauty it is.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result of this is that many songs here, like Elbow's Mirrorball, are fairly modern, and Gabriel rarely dips into the obvious rock canon (Heroes aside). And the sparseness of the arrangements around the singer’s tender vocals makes this a thing of beauty.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a stunning, genre-transcending record that should appeal as much to fans of the esoteric, fuzzbox-psychedelia unearthed by Andy Votel and the Finders Keepers label as it will those fond of dubstep, the spliff-frazzled paranoia of trip hop, J Dilla’s vision of cerebral, emotionally rich hip hop, the head-in-the-clouds acid folk of Marc Bolan’s Tyrannosaurus Rex and dust-blown, voodoo-tweaked blues.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    She is, by no means, ‘retro’ in her art; it’s just been a long time since anyone sang soul music as passionately, wittily and inventively as she does here.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What pushes I Learned the Hard Way towards being something truly brilliant as opposed to just very, very good is how well it works as a cohesive, well-rounded whole.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Its charms are subtle, its grip soft and easily shrugged by those who choose to pay it only passing attention. Live with it a while, though, and High Violet rewards patience with songs that colour one's waking existence, becoming vivid night-time narratives when curtains are drawn.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is electronic psychedelic-groove, flush with drama. Neither space rock nor alt-dance but flickering somewhere on the cusp of both, it should win back deserters while glamouring new converts.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a dizzying fusion, marked by its lofty ambition and stunning central performance.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The quality of Georgia Peaches is expectedly sketchy – but such is the energy conveyed that it's tough indeed to not become caught up in the crackly cacophony.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In fact, every track on this superb album is a winner--and, draped in the quiet glamour, fun and stateliness of bygone radio pop-rock, evidence that Ariel has emerged from his bedroom to exact his revenge on Hollywood's Hills.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Aphrodite is pure Kylie magic. Everything that made you fall in love with her all over again before is present and correct here.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    That OutKast comeback will surely be killer, but for now respect is due the way of this splendid solo adventure.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are more ideas here than many bands manage in their entire career, but in inimitable Maiden style, it's woven together beautifully.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A brief, brilliant record that leaves you panting, Body Talk, Part 2 is the latest evidence that Robyn is probably the best, most versatile pop star currently at work.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Clearly neither advancing age nor years of unabated success have deprived Plant of either his constant appetite for challenge or his ability to deliver in a cogent, credible and thoroughly convincing fashion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rock album of the year, if anyone's counting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rather than adhering to type, Black Mountain now have a catalogue of songs that respect and rival their influences.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you're not quite there by the time six-and-a-half minute opus Eyesore encapsulates everything that's been wonderful about the preceding 36 before slowly fading out, turn it over and start again. It's worth it, because Public Strain is one of 2010's finest LPs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's when the ceaseless forward momentum of old hijacks Pop Negro's new structural nous that the most rewarding moments arrive here, the aforementioned Soca Del Eclipse, Ghetto Facil and Muerte Midi highlights of an album that's among the year's best, and that, while immediately enchanting, will take years to unravel.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Soundgarden, Seattle natives at the epicentre of the early 1990s' plaid-and-flannel rock scene, already have one best-of to their name, 1997's A-Sides. But Telephantasm goes further, spreading itself across 24 tracks and two discs, including excellent live performances alongside commercially released singles.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Senior makes a strong claim to be 2010's best electronic album. It's a record to lie back and drown in.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Some have decried the use of clicks and fuzz, but they're surely half the point in this exquisite album-length disquisition on memory and desire, love and loss.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If this isn't one of the albums of 2010, then it is certainly the album of their career.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Harnessing those tropes to dexterous finger-picking and chiming Gamelan, along with the often jaw-dropping vocal delivery of Alan Bishop (his bravura performance on The Imam is right up there with his blood-curdling incantatory work on Master Musicians of Bukkake's People of the Drifting Houses) has resulted in Sun City Girls' most accessible and consistent album (a far cry from their puzzling and profligate series of Carnival Folklore Resurrection volumes).
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In fact, this record's only flaw is that its scale is so awe-inspiring it tends to paper over any weaker cracks.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The first genuinely exciting, no-filler, pure pop full-length album since The Fame.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Love Me Back is worth so much more than the future classic tag it's been lumped with--it's an instant and self-assured blast of a record, its maker a new star to love
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album, Mark Ronson's "imaginary follow up to Rio that never was", is their best for 18 years.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their 11th studio album is 40 minutes of gorgeous nothings, full of intricate curlicues of sparkling Colin Newman guitar and synth given beef by the surging rhythms of Robert Grey aka Gotobed and Graham Lewis
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kaputt is a genuine classic, unlike anything any other artist will release in 2011.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An original, accessible and highly recommended purchase.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In a world overflowing with female singer-songwriters, Anna Calvi's exceptional guitar playing and raw, elemental style certainly mark her out as different from the herd.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    God bless unique, unfathomable, great Queen Polly.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The results are every bit as enthrallingly out of step with the group's "mainstream" catalogue as previous SYR releases, but fashioned into something that's perfectly coherent, and really quite a delightful listen.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    He may just have produced his best album.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Flash, brash and brimming with an irrepressible anarchic vigour, more than anything, Bring Your Own is a thing of unfettered joy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rarely does a British debut album forge such a fully formed, genuinely unique direction that attempts to slot it into established scenes prove almost entirely fruitless. But Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam, the full-length bow of late-20s wisdom dispenser/producer Obaro 'Ghostpoet' Ejimiwe, achieves such a feat.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's not an album for those with short attention spans but, in a world of lightweights, Tabor's a colossus and this is one of her finest hours.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Full-tilt, power-pop catharsis and ecstatic blaze-of-glory euphoria – catchier than H1N1.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Prepare to be smitten all over again, as the NYC outfit release a brilliant fourth album.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Driven by Simon's uniquely percussive acoustic guitar, and with his world music leanings embedded naturally rather than overtly, this beguiling album shows him to have lost none of his ability for finding universal truths within the guise of introspection. It's a profound statement from a master of his craft.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Although less varied and dynamic than Rated R, Queens of the Stone Age simply crackles with energy. At its best, it's just as electrifying, even if it doesn't maintain the dizzying momentum which rolled its follow-up to instant glory.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Far from didactic or preachy, it's a lesson in the pure power of music.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For the flagrant pop thrill-seeker--judging by this incredible, irrepressible, ecstatic, brilliant record--neither will they ever disappoint. Don't believe the anti-hype: pop album of the year, by at least a dozen choruses.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dive into their magnificent depths and you might find a record to fall in love with several times over.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are around 20,000 records like this released every year by female troubadours. But there's something just very right, and really quite splendid, about Get Well Soon. It could well prove to be a timeless little wonder.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Please enjoy someone actually putting a bit of effort and imagination back into pop, and keep the sneering and lazy comparisons in check. Not that they can take anything away from what is, simply, a marvellous record.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of 2011's most absorbing, affecting and downright brilliant LPs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One brilliant rock song follows another, defiantly leaden in construction but stalwart in performance. Rarely does such simple rock sound so satisfying.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A record that's easily as good as any punk release you'll hear in 2011.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What can't be denied, however, is that the album easily deserves its place in the hearts of those who admire fellow fuzzy-edged slackers Superchunk, Pavement and Guided by Voices as much as those new to the game, who'll find echoes of the band's sound fizzling through modern-day collegiate grungesters like Milk Music or Gun Outfit.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Released in the summer of 1986, the grammatically challenged Lifes Rich Pageant was their fourth long-player and, with hindsight, a watershed album residing on the cusp between the group's initial chiming-but-oblique garage-rock signature and the stadium-tailored sound of the albums with which they would seduce the world later in the decade.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wild Go is easily among the frontrunners for album of the year (so far).
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is louche and intoxicating.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Route One or Die they have managed to destroy not only their previous releases, but potentially anything else released in 2011.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is about as good and sustained a riposte to the grubby, grabbing times we live in as any artist has mustered, which makes it essential listening.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a pure, you're-only-as-old-as-you-feel joy to hear British hip hop's most original and inspiring voice hitting his peak as he approaches his 40th year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a mesmerising album which confirms that Björk can weave dumfounding wonders from Silly String--whatever's placed before her, she can turn to her advantage, taking her audience on a trip the likes of which no other contemporary artist is capable of planning, let alone embarking on. In a word: amazing.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Memories are fuzzy, but the music now it's here is pure and gorgeous, the familiar mesh of brotherly voices exquisite as ever.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Twenty years on, Achtung (German for "Attention") Baby still sounds zestful and compelling, with some of U2's all-time highs.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The exceptional musicianship and impeccable vocals may not be to everyone's taste, but for 40 very happy minutes, you can revel in SJDK's very discrete world.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it won't please those expecting a selection of aggressive dubstep workouts, Severant is a stunning debut that gives up more secrets with every listen.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For metalheads who like their music sharp and executed without recourse to compromise, then this is a contender for genre album of the year.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To listen to the pioneering Tago Mago in 2011 is to hear the blueprint for much of the leftfield music of the past 40 years, and this reissue will hopefully inspire further invention for decades to come.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's brilliantly realised, thanks to Del Rey's extraordinary delivery, her ability to slip from deep-toned haughtiness to breathless ecstasy to velvety vamping – often in the same gorgeous melody.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the most uniquely sublime, meticulous and heroic 40 minutes of 2011.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Barchords is an enormously likeable set of songs... ranks as one of the most refreshingly direct and enjoyable albums of the year so far.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It might only be February, but you wouldn't look foolish calling this one of the albums of the year.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yeah, Gregory Porter is the real deal.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Black Radio surpasses the excellence of Double Booked, which is a brilliant album in its own right.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album is a gift from Vijay Iyer.