Blender's Scores

  • Music
For 1,854 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 39% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 58% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 X&Y
Lowest review score: 10 One
Score distribution:
1854 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The demo versions... sound like an incompetent Clash cover band rehearsing in a sock.... If you're considering buying this glorious record for the first time, save 20 bucks and go for the basic version. [Oct 2004, p.136]
    • Blender
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite Wilson's wrecked voice, it's surprisingly grand and moving. [Nov 2004, p.146]
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    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Some of the most gripping singing you're going to hear all year.... A brave, unrepeatable record that speaks to her whole life. [May 2004, p.123]
    • Blender
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lush and languorous, velvet-robe decadent and soft-focus steamy, Histoire is a make-out record and a gross-out record.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A torrid album that marries old-school rap aesthetics to punk-rock concision. [May 2004, p.127]
    • Blender
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not since 1966's Blonde on Blonde has Dylan sounded so happy and alert. [Oct/Nov 2001, p.102]
    • Blender
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The momentous band [on the 1980-81 disc] stretches out and jams, both celebrating and escaping the band's trademark anxiety. [Sep 2004, p.158]
    • Blender
    • 92 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The jumble of stuff that spills out -- from Delta blues to nineteenth-century ballads to spoken-word rambles -- is surprisingly consistent, at times transcendent, and not just for people intimately acquainted with Waits’s honeyed craziness.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His hard-edged, dance-inflected debut makes East London sound like the new Dirty South. [Jan 2004, p.108]
    • Blender
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They break their own rules, even adding expansive guitar solos, to keep themselves interested and fans off-balance. [May 2003, p.123]
    • Blender
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This 'boxxx holds an explosion of creativity that couldn't have been contained in just one LP. [Nov 2003, p.118]
    • Blender
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The exact opposite of background music, A Grand Don’t Come for Free demands the same attention as a movie, and that’s why some people will hate it while others will find it uniquely riveting.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The biggest draw is the Iggy-Jagger sexual charisma of 22-year-old singer Julian Casablancas, whose self-possessed cool is astonishing. [Aug/Sep 2001, p.130]
    • Blender
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A mesmerizing history lesson. [Aug 2005, p.114]
    • Blender
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most distinctive producer-rapper Britain has coughed up since Tricky. [#11, p.143]
    • Blender
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    After decades, Waits's theater of musical cruelty is familiar stuff. But the old dog's tricks still have bite. [Applies to both Alice and Blood Money, Jun/Jul 2002, p.111]
    • Blender
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Reveals added nuance with every listen. [Jan/Feb 2005, p.102]
    • Blender
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album works as an ambient whole, its fog-bank synths, yearning vocal slivers and stoic basslines filling the room with melancholy.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Z
    The band's warm way with weirdness remains; it's just flashier now. [Oct 2005, p.140]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hebden treats software as a rocky road to hummable compositions of seductively intricate invention. [#17, p.135]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It radiates the observant calm of old masters who have seen enough life to be ready for anything--Yeats, Matisse, Sonny Rollins. [Sep 2006, p.139]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    "Get Ur Freak On," the frenetic lead single, relies on boilerplate hip-hop braggadocio, but the beats are something else: head-snapping electro-funk spiced with tablas that herald Missy and [Timbaland's] return as the rulers of the hip-hop avant-garde. [Jun/Jul 2001, p.106]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    He is clearly invigorated by the tensions between pretty and ugly, simplicity and chaos. [Nov 2004, p.130]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Presents a rarity--a genuinely new sound. [Nov 2004, p.136]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This is their sunniest, most likeable record, leavened by hints of light-footed dance music.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While cliches abound... this huge music is delivered with panache. [#9, p.154]
    • Blender
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's ghetto viciousness as literary exercise--an episode of The Wire with a better soundtrack. [Nov 2006, p.142]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They've been compiled to death, but this two-disc set is the most comprehensive survey yet of the Mancunians' brief, tear-stained blaze through the mid-'80s indie-pop firmament. [Feb 2009, p.67]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Convincingly lovely through and through. [#17, p.140]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Their second album is equally charming and more consistent. [Nov 2003, p.120]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The world's heaviest band turn out to have metal's lightest touch too. [Nov 2005, p.137]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They've toned down the distorted-guitar squall and ash gray skronk that blanketed their first two albums, the rhythms are friskier, more vigorous; the hooks accessible and easier to love. [Oct 2008, p.77]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On their lush major-label debut, the haunting Peter Gabriel-esque yawlps of singer Tunde Adebimpbe are punctuated by singer-guitarist Kyp Malone, whose raspy falsetto provides a sense of deadpan panic. [Jul 2006, p.103]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bejar's most accessible album yet. [Apr 2006, p.111]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Lost in an eerie, graceful torpor, he opens his mouth and lets words seep out and linger, like so much intoxicating smoke.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Vespertine is her most intensely private and intimate-sounding work, a journey through an interior world that is quietly ecstatic, erotic and playful.
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His bleakness was never this naked or all-consuming. [Nov 2004, p.143]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In Rainbows is far more pensive and reflective than its predecessor.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Valhalla, they are coming! [Jun 2005, p.114]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Singer-songwriter Britt Daniel's gift for obtuse yet engaging melody is now where it ought to be: up front. [#9, p.155]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The kind of boiling, roiling blues the Bad Seeds haven't cooked up in years. [Nov 2004, p.131]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    These bluesy spirituals are so raw they bleed. [Mar 2005, p.136]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Strange, spooky and brilliant. [Apr 2006, p.114]
    • Blender
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It doesn't feel like soapboxing; it feels like life. [Mar 2005, p.142]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pacific Ocean Blue [is] a moody, groovy and deeply congenial solo album. The earthier Banbu. regularly rises to the Malibu heights of the first album. [July 2008, p.79]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    None of the album rocks, or gets particularly rootsy. [July 2008, p.72]
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He has his own personality: not a gangsta or a player but a diligent pragmatist. [Apr 2004, p.124]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Some of Dizzee's insecurity is replaced by newfound swagger. But swagger works, too. [Oct 2004, p.112]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These rough, bitter, ruminative songs are slower, longer and wordier than those on Decoration Day. [Sep 2004, p.139]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Their first protest record. [Oct 2006, p.137]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike 2001's spare Essence, this album prickles with the lyrical details that make Williams's work exceptional. [#15, p.126]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even more surprising is how dynamic the duo sounds, as their voices both blend together and draw each other into fresh territory.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band's debut struts and flirts like the best-looking guy at the bar. [Apr 2004, p.126]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You can only discover fire once, though, so instead of a revolutionary blueprint, Neon Bible makes a triumphant clamor that's nearly as cathartic. [Apr 2007, p.109]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tweedy whittles down the arrangements and drops in enough experimental nuances to make the whole thing sound refreshingly lo-fi. [Jun/Jul 2002, p.116]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Phrenology is a celebration of self-determination, a nonstop joyride through some very complicated brains. [#12, p.149]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    [She] displays the true grit of a younger Bonnie Raitt.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The impact of M.I.A.'s music isn't in what she says, but how it arrives: in tracks so irritating they're irresistible. Anything but naive, M.I.A. brings a connoisseur's ear to her beats.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Beneath the sweetest of the album's retro harmonies, though, lurk harsh synths and dark thoughts. [Oct 2003, p.128]
    • Blender
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The handclaps will make you happy, but it's DFA's prog moves and knowing, if self-deprecating, nods that make this music for the head as well as the hips. [Jun 2006, p.147]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Turns out there's a functioning soul beneath the smirk. [Apr 2007, p.115]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The diversity isn't as effortless, but the pushier, poppier beats dislodge A&M from their polite safety zone. [Apr 2009, p.58]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The outfit dispels any virtuoso vibe with their joyous absurdism. [Jun 2007, p.104]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This album is luxuriously, fantastically gay, a nod to the origins of disco, when the music was known for its queer fan base as much as anything else. [July 2008, p.73]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Folding in lean funk, tender arias and as many catchy tunes as West Side Story, Ze makes his cryptic polemic perfectly enticing. [Jul 2006, p.105]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The hooks come off-kilter and all killer.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sounds like the best bar band in the world. [May 2005, p.122]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    British Sea Power's vision makes most independent rock seem callow and weak-minded. [Sep 2003, p. 119]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is really a missing Greatest Hits in disguise. [Jul 2005, p.118]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It sounds so damn joyous. [Nov 2005, p.134]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A nearly flawless collection of hummable overtures. [#17, p.138]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Murphy pushes the near-immaculate music into the realm of genius with witty lyrics and wonderfully tetchy vocals. [Mar 2005, p.141]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not all connect, but a bonus disc, the soon-vanished 2002 full-length Nothing to Fear, compensates. Buy this before it vanishes, too.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The proceedings get a little bit samey, but the band's fearless optimism and knack for a bookish groove are hard to deny. [Dec 2004, p.140]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is Newman’s most unwound album.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's not so much what Zevon says as how he says it: with an air of ragged, nothing-to-lose spontaneity. [Sep 2003, p.133]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Where his pals Outkast seem like genuine freaks of nature, he sometimes seems apologetically weird.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The eighth volume of the erractic and fancinating Bootleg Series, exhumes his unreleased music. [Nov 2008, p.80]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    An album of languid grooves and slowly descending melodies. [#16, p.117]
    • Blender
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    OST
    Any collection that encompasses A Guy Called Gerald's peerless dance anthem "Voodoo Ray" and Joy Division's exquisite "Atmosphere" is "double double good," as the Happy Mondays' drug-addled singer Shaun Ryder used to quip. [#9, p.158]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Meiburg] applies this Audubon-ish enthusiasm to his songs, too, crafting a rich, occasionally macabre, fantasy world populated by starlings, gulls and solitary falconers.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On this sublime set, Case's own sweeping, backwoods melodies and bloodstained Southern Gothic lyrics finally match the drama of her wails. [Apr 2006, p.111]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite all the lonely missives and political outrage, Oberst comes off more like a troubadour of hope. [Mar 2005, p.132]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Is it uneven? Yes. Self-indulgent? Unbearably, at times. But that's what makes West one of hip-hop's most exciting, funny, and human stars. He's unafraid to make a big, fat mess. [Sep 2005, p.130]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Finn has been sharper and funnier before, and their fast-and-down-the-middle rock has gotten more experimental, which isn't the same as better. But it's still a pretty good way to spend 45 minutes. [Aug 2008, p.86]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's Twin Cinema's relative melancholy that makes it the band's best album yet. [Sep 2005, p.134]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    New Moon sounds less like a pile of outtakes than an official album released in a parallel universe.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Drift is like a nightmare you look forward to repeating. [Jun 2006, p.148]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Another assault of angular, Sonic Youth-style guitar and earnest anger that's more leftfield than most punk, and more engaging than many of their post-rock peers. [Feb/Mar 2002, p.110]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album is wonderfully cohesive. [May 2005, p.119]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sounds like a greatest hits set. [Dec 2005, p.156]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lanegan has finally produced his long-threatened masterpiece. [Oct 2004, p.125]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This trip is an easy, late-summer cruise. [Oct 2006, p.142]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Here, they combine hardcore punk’s combat-boot side with its tortured-noise side, layering what sounds like scores of tsunami-distortion guitars over an atomic-speed drum blitz to attain rarely witnessed levels of obliteration (think Black Flag reincarnated as psychotic yetis).
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Strangely compelling. [Nov 2004, p.129]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Feuled by a ninth-grader's nausea they refuse to grow out of, they take their skateboards and chase down the horizon. [Mar 2009, p.64]
    • Blender
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Consistently compelling. [Oct 2003, p.116]
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    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    [Finn] tells better stories than anyone else in music these days. [Oct 2006, p.131]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ys
    The emotional peaks are so sharp, the wordplay so juicy, that all excesses are redeemed.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their most violently inventive album yet. [Nov 2003, p.109]
    • Blender