BBC Music's Scores

  • Music
For 1,831 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 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Smother
Lowest review score: 20 If Not Now, When?
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 1831
1831 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The 36 minutes of Mid Air [is] a masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Seventy-four years on, he has recorded what is surely the blues album of the year.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You'll wish you'd been there. You'll wish it would never end.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A fans-pleasing eighth album from Britain's most consistently brilliant band.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    It sounds amazing, and represents an astounding return.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's come late, but Basic Instinct is one of the best RnB albums of the year.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Another classic of the genre is born.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wrecking Ball is a work of commanding range and masterful execution.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's not merely a rehash of the original, but a cohesive, considered masterpiece in its own right.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    21
    21 is simply stunning. After only a handful of plays, it feels like you've always known it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Innovative, dark, bold and creative, it’s an album only David Bowie could make.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Purity Ring have pulled off the feat of producing one of the year's most arresting debuts – a Grimm Tales for the 2010s, shrouded in the illusory threads of contemporary club music – while sounding like no-one else but themselves.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Until the Quiet Comes further catapults Ellison into the cosmos and away from all things terrestrial. He's the king of his domain, and there is no runner-up.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Seer might not be the album you spend most time with this year--it's too emotionally demanding for heavy rotation – but it's one you'll be listening to for years to come.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a dizzying fusion, marked by its lofty ambition and stunning central performance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The end-of-year lists for 2012 are barely gone from recent memory, but you can expect to read about Vertikal again in 11 months' time.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rather than adhering to type, Black Mountain now have a catalogue of songs that respect and rival their influences.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In terms of conceptual realisation, Liquid Swords is a blueprint for the perfect Wu record.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An original, accessible and highly recommended purchase.
    • 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
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Prepare to be smitten all over again, as the NYC outfit release a brilliant fourth album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ten
    Ten is incredible. It's up there with Gold, Substance and Discography in terms of greatest-hits sets.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Rage Against the Machine has aged extremely well.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Meir is an album that will be regarded with such reverence that it’ll be a marker for other acts’ work to be compared to in the future.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Full-tilt, power-pop catharsis and ecstatic blaze-of-glory euphoria – catchier than H1N1.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rock album of the year, if anyone's counting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of 2011's most absorbing, affecting and downright brilliant LPs.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The initial surprise on this follow-up is discovering that Grant’s songs work as well--if not even better--when paired with a synth-pop backing rooted more in the 1980s than the preceding decade.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This nearly flawless collection is simply the next step in the Baroness saga, and it's a beautiful one.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite the spare instrumentation, there's no sense of repetition or lack of variety, and these emotive, excellent songs stay with you. A late contender for album of the year.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Godspeed have once again created a challenging, intense, evocative work, worthy of their canon.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An extraordinary record.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dazzling.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Deserters, given a chance, will completely negate any such journalistic silliness with just one listen, because it is a jolt of psychedelic, oozing instrumental wonder and songwriting magnificence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wild Go is easily among the frontrunners for album of the year (so far).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A record that's easily as good as any punk release you'll hear in 2011.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Far from didactic or preachy, it's a lesson in the pure power of music.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a glorious summation of Blur's career, placing them firmly amongst the very best bands of all time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album, Mark Ronson's "imaginary follow up to Rio that never was", is their best for 18 years.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is so much personality, poetry, vulnerability and resilience here that most other records sound like dry runs by comparison.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With its high-minded lyrical concerns, its family-sized choruses and its authors' buoyant pursuit of what, in lesser hands, could be a restrictive musical form, True North is a superior addition to Bad Religion's already towering body of work.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An LP as weighty, compelling and brilliant as The Bad Seeds have ever produced.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is no doubt in this mind that Narrows have created one of the hardcore albums of 2012. There is a strange kind of beauty in unbridled monstrosity, and Painted is a stunning behemoth of an album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Referring to Quakers as a collective is a touch disingenuous.... But, fresh and subtle spins on hip hop are sufficiently widespread throughout this set that it's just about the only complaint worth making.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The criticisms are minor--a couple of tracks slide back into familiar Americana, but even then there's no sense of the band coasting.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's far ahead enough of that competition, intellectually and inspirationally, to exist on another plane of appreciation altogether.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fortunately, the remainder of the album is a powerful, intimate, sumptuous delight in which the orchestra enhances the innate grandeur of Antony's music.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shaking the Habitual is something else, but it’s hard not to find that profoundly exhilarating.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    He may just have produced his best album.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Whether as the fanfare arrival of a unique new voice or the peculiar indulgence of a future cult classic, this is an album that has to be heard to be believed.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Black Radio surpasses the excellence of Double Booked, which is a brilliant album in its own right.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    ECM may have its detractors, but they've given us an unexpected gem here and maybe one of the jazz records of the year so far.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Surrender your mind, body and soul to the Goat and one of the year's best albums so far.