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 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 What's Going On [40th Anniversary Edition]
Lowest review score: 20 If Not Now, When?
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 1831
1,831 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Another classic of the genre is born.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With its extra content engineered to appeal to collectors and casual fans alike, this is a justified addition to the many Rumours already making the rounds.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Forget the boycotts and controversy, and marvel once again at the magic that Simon conjured up on Graceland.
    • 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.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An indispensable guide to an iconic band.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Similarly reissued in expanded form it presents proof that, even on sunnier days, Mould still had angst to burn.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In terms of conceptual realisation, Liquid Swords is a blueprint for the perfect Wu record.
    • 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.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though the additions don't enhance the original album's legend, nor do they diminish it any more than the fact that the band sagged once again into artistic complacency after its release.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There is plenty on Golden Xplosion to suggest that Neset is well-equipped to be massive in the future, provided he can build on the strengths of this album and avoid repeating its worst excesses.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even though much of the album is inwardly gazing, there are repeated outbreaks of jazz toughness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fans of the man whose Brill Building work helped shape the pop landscape of the mid-60s can enjoy this interesting collection: 23 mono tracks from the period where Diamond was only beginning to make his name as an artist in his own right.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What remains is a solid collection of pop-soul renderings through which Ocean tries to find himself.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He reaches beyond his home state for a broader sound, and the results are remarkable.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This treasure trove of well-recorded European broadcasts from ORTF and Swedish Radio represents the first official CD set tracking Miles in transition from acoustic quintet to all-out fusion.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a dizzying fusion, marked by its lofty ambition and stunning central performance.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Jarrett has separated the ingredients into bite-sized chunks. With an audience as ecstatic as the one at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, where his new album was cut in April 2011, this works to the advantage of both. Jarrett builds a rapport with his public, and they can more easily adapt to the changes of mood and genre as his ideas develop.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The n’gonis are always upfront, but this is also an album of stunning vocals.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beautifully recorded, Ali & Toumani lives up to and perhaps exceeds expectations.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yeah, Gregory Porter is the real deal.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though The Witmark Demos' contents may occasionally be unkempt, the same cannot be said for its trappings. As with all Dylan Bootleg Series releases, it is beautifully and thoughtfully packaged and annotated.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While this isn't a great album it's still a very good one, and even lesser Waits is worth a lot in any other currency.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album is a gift from Vijay Iyer.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Yet if Lonerism's epic psych-gasm has a weak spot, it's how it rarely slows down to take in the extraordinary view whizzing by.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Without compromising their artistic vision one iota, Sweet Billy Pilgrim have gone from black-and-white art-house to breathtaking widescreen, and the results are quite simply glorious.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This eighth studio album sees the four-piece climb the next step of the stairway of relevance.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mellon Collie is no masterpiece, but its ambition is clearer than anything else Corgan has ever been involved with.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It sounds amazing, and represents an astounding return.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's not simply a retrospective affair, but a calling card illustrating why this beat-maker wears a crown on his album cover.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On one hand, this [move to a much smaller, California-based independent label] represents a gentle lowering of expectation. On the other, however, it's given Bilal space to explore what he does free of the stifling expectations of a label trying to work out what they can sell, and to whom.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Surrender your mind, body and soul to the Goat and one of the year's best albums so far.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Felt is a transportative album, a balm for troubled minds.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Captured here, however, the band is still full of the future, and as fascinating and beguiling as such things always are.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A startling debut from a young Canadian RnB artist with huge potential.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Rage Against the Machine has aged extremely well.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Staff Benda Bilili sing songs of strife and redemption. Yet when the mixture of French and various Congolese languages breaks into sing-along "la la la"s on Ne Me Quitte Pas it becomes as pure a life-affirming rush as the best pop music in any language.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The three new songs tacked on at the end are indicative of their latter day torpor: hardly awful, but hardly memorable either; just three middle-aged millionaires going through the motions. But remember them as they were during the majority of this fine collection.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    God bless unique, unfathomable, great Queen Polly.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The first genuinely exciting, no-filler, pure pop full-length album since The Fame.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The pair can knock out enormous, memorable hooks from limited resources, the instrumental make-up stripped-bare in the extreme, just drums and guitar. But scarcity of equipment never once hinders their considerable ambition and inventiveness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is an album that's best aired on headphones, at critical volume.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of 2011's most absorbing, affecting and downright brilliant LPs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The message is, essentially, Times are hard, but let's make things better. As honest and uplifting statements of intent go, it's hard to fault – just like this album.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The vivid nostalgia remains, with these all-original cuts sounding like they could easily have been laid down back in the golden ages of the 1950s and 60s.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A fierce, melodic affirmation of sadness and grief, love and lust, attachments formed both strong and precarious, Young Man in America is a marvel of a record from start to finish.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result a stunning, profound, moving and soulful record.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shorter is firmly at the helm, yet benevolent enough to play the background when needed. The rhythm has taken him far.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Enjoy Kaleidoscope Dream for the rarity that it is: an unerringly consistent, very good pop record.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout all this, though, lies a sense of warm experimentation that should feel familiar to fans of Deerhunter's unique brand of ambience-loving indie-rock. Halcyon Digest is simply another solid entry in the discography of a mighty band.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is an album that will make many a listener feel like the cat that got the cream.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is unnervingly delicate, endlessly distracting and ultimately addictively tactile as it sneaks under your skin.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Because in constantly mutating just when you begin to pin it down, drawing everything around in before rearranging atoms before your very eyes, Cosmogramma proves itself time and time again as mind-meltingly boundless as a black hole.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It transcends the boundaries and expectations of its genre--even those previously set by the very band that made it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shields pushes and prods at musical boundaries in a similar way to Talk Talk's 1986 masterpiece, The Colour of Spring.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's little coherence... but the best moments are breathtaking.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Vintage touches and modern twists combine on an irrepressible soul record.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The voice is still there, as is the attitude, and Auerbach has done an excellent job bringing an artist who will never be out of date into the 21st century.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hecker's latest seems to ultimately be about making peace with our mortality, and as such is his most powerful album yet.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There’s enough ambition here to elevate The Mavericks’ comeback above the perfunctory.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gojira is one of the finest bands of our generation, and with L'Enfant Sauvage they've created another album to suit such a reputation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shaking the Habitual is something else, but it’s hard not to find that profoundly exhilarating.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's one of the best things you'll hear all year. Bring on the next two.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album only really reaches the heights Bush has set for herself when she appears centre stage.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bawdy, smart, big-hearted and mischievous, Mermaid Avenue is simply all about a personality that is rich with life.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A record that's easily as good as any punk release you'll hear in 2011.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yes, it's a ridiculous, sometimes patchy affair, but that feels entirely apposite.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With staggering live versions of Spoon and Mushroom to boot, The Lost Tapes turns out to be even rarer than its contents: a collection almost as vital as Can's official album output.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though born out of a fraught gestation period, this second LP is a thing of beauty.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rumer's debut is an immediately engaging, gently engrossing set. It wears its cracked heart on a neatly stitched sleeve of the most luxurious fabric, strong and elegant despite the hardships that sit of the centre of every song.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As an album, it is huge, sometimes overwhelming-- but such is the strength and individuality of Newsom’s vision, it seems almost inconceivable she could produce anything unremarkable.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Once more they've turned sludge, slime and slurry into heavy metal gold.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It all clicks into gear by the end, and it perhaps bodes well that they appear to have worked out how to finish things on a high.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's nothing "next" about Ware: she's here, now, and superb.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Muchacho is a vibrant, evocative LP, and a welcome addition to the Phosphorescent catalogue.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There's a distinct valedictory tone to his customary musings upon life, love and the spirit, with one track titled "Amen" and another "The Darkness". But if it is to be his last communiqué, at least the old smoothie's going down swinging.