Billboard.com's Scores

  • Music
For 825 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 81% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 16% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Sticky Fingers [Deluxe Edition]
Lowest review score: 40 Water for Your Soul
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 825
825 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Entirely produced by the Black Keys (except for the Danger Mouse-helmed song "Tighten Up"), the pair's latest album, Brothers, lures with its spooky throwback sound, preternatural grooves and dark bluesy jams.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Deerhunter isn’t repeating itself: This creatively restless group doesn’t stand still for long.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Bowie and producer Tony Visconti, who helped shaped his sound in the 1970s as well as produce seven T. Rex records, have struck gold in creating a work that is modern and well-connected to the artist's fabled sonic-past.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The music is at its best when it emulates an animated conversation, one voice leap-frogging the other with no one losing sight of the central theme.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    This smart four-disc package commemorates the concert's 40th anniversary with a pristine remastered version of the original recording, five previously unreleased songs from the same show and an entire disc devoted to the fiery opening acts, B.B. King and Ike & Tina Turner.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    Vampire Weekend's second album, Contra, finds the New York-based band pushing its eclectic, intellectual indie rock further using a mash-up of musical genres, clever wordplay and emotional heft.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The brothers have tapped into the amorphous joy at the heart of dance music, and have peppered Settle's masterfully executed tracks with that feeling.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Don't mistake the softness for weakness. While nothing is as biting as the aging hipster takedown 'Femme Fatale' (from his 2006 set "At Home With Owen"), he pulls out the knives and slices pseudo-intellectuals on 'A Trenchant Critique.'
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    New York duo the Books continue their tradition of using intriguing vocal samples behind folk-and electronic-based compositions on fourth album "The Way Out." This time around, the group also mixes jazz-fusion with quirky dialogue that ranges from meditation speeches to intimate voice mails.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Clearly you can take McBride--who co-wrote six of these tracks--anywhere and she'll sound just fine.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    "I Learned the Hard Way" finds an eminent R&B band playing within its comfort zone and Jones continuing to distinguish herself as a multilayered frontwoman.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While its recent recordings have reflected a more subdued approach in the studio, band members Norman Blake, Gerard Love and Raymond McGinley never lose their knack for composing concise pop gems.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    It's not so much that Merle Haggard has established himself as an American gem on his ambitious releases in the past decade; it's that we finally took notice.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Globetrotting frontman Damon Albarn then returned to Hong Kong to write lyrics, hoping to recapture the spirit. He has largely succeeded, as The Magic Whip is a fascinating snapshot of a group coming to personal and professional crossroads in a strange city where modern living leads to bewilderment and alienation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    11:11 is another winning showcase of exotic instrumental brilliance.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Ariana Grande's debut LP is a surprisingly varied affair for a 20-year-old Nickelodeon star with a devastatingly strong voice.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The act should be credited for not hewing to the tried-and-true formula it pretty much invented with previous releases but many of the double-disc's 18 tracks feel like they are embryonic rather than fully formed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Give Up the Ghost is another rich offering from this distinctive female talent.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    At 71, Staples still knows how to hang tough and shows no signs of slowing down.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    After 15 years of recording together, the members of Guster deliver their poppiest, most cohesive effort with Easy Wonderful.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What Sound & Color does best is hard to describe any other way: The music chugs, boogies, churns and rolls. Among rock music of its kind, it's one of the most ­muscular collections in some time, yet it accomplishes this by hardly even flexing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The vibe on the new album may be rootsier and more acoustic than Walker's usual fare, but it still emphasizes his knack for memorable wordplay and melodic know-how, which have earned him writing and producing gigs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Evolution will silence all but the omnivores, and Shamir has the right taste buds. But he also has a great voice, a stunning countertenor that some have mistaken for female.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Plant has steadfastly resisted a return to the Zep fold; Band of Joy makes us glad for that.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The group spit-shines its soundtrack for working-class America.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On Souls, Maiden mostly hits its target.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 76 Critic Score
    There are some moments when the mood lightens, usually for romantic fare like the funky Estelle-assisted song "Midnight Hour." But these tracks display neither Kweli's lyrical precision nor Hi-Tek's adventurous sounds. The set also falls short of its opening promise to engineer a "shift in the paradigm of hip-hop."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    On Praise & Blame, that gusty Northern soul voice sounds as righteous and true as it does when he's operating in the more carnal regions of his catalog.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Spoon's seventh studio album, Transference, strikes a balance between its early angsty indie-rock and the soulful deconstructed pop of its 2007 release, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Clocking in at an hour and twenty-five minutes, Reflektor drags in parts, though it contains plenty of moments (most often in its uptempo, dynamic first half) that sound ready to breathe life into the middling state of commercial rock in 2013.