CMJ's Scores

  • Music
For 700 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 90 Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
Lowest review score: 30 IV Play
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 1 out of 700
700 music reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Difficult to place in just one genre, Braids creates a colorful atmosphere around its songs that completely immerse the listener in its movement.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Much like the disordered thought patterns that come before sleep, dream-like backing vocals and twangy instrumentals transport us into another reality.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dye It Blonde blows away the fuzz and polishes the scratchy sounds off their last recordings, revealing a whole lot of something we didn't hear before.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Every detail of Ray's second full-length alongside Her Happy Hookers is imparted with vigor--be it her razor-edged howling, or the biting lyrics that comprise them.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sadly, Dan Bejar tuned down the distinctive cross-hatch in his vocals that has made skin crawl with delight, but, as has remained unchanged for over a decade, his continental blues are heard in his quick-witted lyrics; the lovely laments of Kaputt are full of tongue-in-cheek nuances.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Kweli blends a gritty outlook with a genuine interest in social issues to create an album that sounds refreshingly idealistic in a world still reeling from Kanye West's bombastic record.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Montonix's latest installment is just as spirited as its live shows, but doesn't include all the sweat and fear of burning to death.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    James Blake transcends dubstep, and perhaps artificiality as a whole.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A passive 12 song set that toes the line between nostalgic sadness and bright optimism with remarkable ease.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thank You has made an intentionally heavy album that provokes calls for more than a passive ear looking to fill silence. Listeners should expect to involve themselves in music in order to truly find what lies beneath the fuzz and distortion.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For Mogwai, it works; the sound's grandiloquent and goddamnit, loud.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In fact, a lot of the album may be confused for being from another time period. But nostalgia works in the band's favor on this first release--even though it wears its influences right on its sleeve.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Both aspects of the album exemplify great music played by great musicians and should be anything but a disappointment.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wondervisions, its lyric-less debut full length, does not fall short on its abilities to stir emotion.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sahel Folk is a steadily moving work of clean sound not typically found in live works.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An album that uses so much in so little time, Old Friends has everything to offer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though King Of Limbs may be the band's simplest and most inaccessible album to date, the tone and mood created by the chaotic start and smooth finish makes it an exciting work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is something refreshing about an artist that tries to create well written and well produced songs instead of ones that smack you in the face with the frying pan made of catchy hooks, beats and shout-along choruses.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The rest of the album holds up to the single's brilliance, as Bundick traverses quite a few genres-from his trademark chillwave, to acoustic dream-pop ("Before I'm Done") and severe piano-led ballads ("Good Hold").
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arbouretum brings back that good old fashioned psychedelia to rock music with its fourth album The Gathering.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rounding out Bradley's raw emotion is his bombastic backing band: Daptone's funky Menahan Street Band. But however many names are dropped, Bradley's innate showmanship and voice--a mournful alto bellow--are all his own.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Upon first listen, it sounds like all of the rest-cutesy vocals, romantic lyrics, peppy poppy guitars. But on Departing, the guitars are massive, the lyrics are gorgeous and the vocals are astonishingly expressive.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Space Is Only Noise is a paradox. It's a dance album that can't be danced to, a lounge album that you actually want to listen to, but most importantly, it's an electronic album with emotion.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It has continued in the same direction and spirit in Songs From A Zulu Farm, reinvigorating the soul of its isicathamiya (a sort of Zulu a cappella) harmonies and style, while also reviving the songs that leader Joseph Shabalala grew up singing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whether sweet, creepy, epic or hilarious, all 13 tracks on the album represent Faust's ability to dismantle the structures inherently embedded in our musical expectations and free us into a world of unique and thoughtful organized layers of sound.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Under Streetlight Glow is a collection of intimate songs written by Spencer during film school when she aspired to place her music in her film projects.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album can simply be described as a great band supporting quality lyrics, served up as organically as possible.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While artists such as Dam-Funk, Onra and Krystal Klear resurrect this sound some 20 odd years later, Back To Reality establishes that Tony Cook was, and still is, the real thing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite its homage to its predecessors, the album holds its own and shows signs of Ringo Deathstarr developing its own signature sound.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The group's stab at human emotion is a smashing success because it's coming from a real place: the death of former band member Beau Velasco.