CMJ's Scores

  • Music
For 728 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 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 90 Bon Iver
Lowest review score: 30 IV Play
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 1 out of 728
728 music reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    D
    While D is undoubtedly a grower, it's unfortunate that White Denim's experimental tendencies don't always lend themselves equally well to good songs.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It seems like in each song Wiley is talking about a million different things all at once, but there's always the possibility that it's totally focused and you're just not keeping up. It's hard to tell.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On Skying, the group has definitely matured, jettisoning much of the divisiveness that marked its brash origins, but it feels like some of the edginess that first made the Horrors notable might've been discarded with it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The back half meanders through woozy loungers like "Chemtrails" and "Sunday Morning" before wrapping up with the spindly, tom-heavy "Neon Dove," which breathes just enough life into the pacing to make you feel like you've listened to something complete by the time the percussion's abrupt exit signals the record's resolution.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Dedication, while a great exercise in atmosphere, doesn't get anywhere past where it started. It begins in gloom and minimal electronics, remains there-hell, it wallows there-and finishes off its life there.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Perfect Darkness becomes half a dip in lukewarm water, when it should be a moody walk on a cloudy day.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite its inconsistencies, La Liberacion undoubtedly mixes it up.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The band aims for epic heights but all too often goes with the assumption that grandness is necessitated solely by noise. That said, there are glimmers of great things to come all over this record.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At every turn and every track the album is pushing up the RPMs to the point the engine begins to whine, smoke and threaten to explode.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Acousmatic Sorcery is an occasionally iridescent collection of songs, but at the end of the day it feels too tasteful, too self-consciously curated.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    So this is the real Temper Trap: less fuzz, more grit.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On the whole, there is a lack of connection that makes it hard to qualify Synthetica as an entirely memorable album.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If this album were condensed into an EP, it would be great, but as an LP, the Aussies seem to be stretching the good stuff too thin.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If the album has a significant weakness, it's that despite the impressive attention to detail and the impeccable production work, the record can't quite shake that side-project feeling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the xx allowed itself to get mildly playful on its debut album, those moments are stripped out on Coexist as the band further minimizes its already minimalist approach.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album, however, cannot shake off the feeling that it's a melting pot of Segall's previous albums from this year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Some tracks are wildly successful on an individual basis, but they're cut short or steamrolled right over as Riggins whips through what seems like every sonic concept he's had in the last two decades.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Instead of making the more personal record that he intended by telling his side of the tour story, Owens has created his most detached album yet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Over the course of 14 songs, when the emotional range is the difference between singing, "I just wanna get really high" and "I feel like shooting up," the content [getting wasted and having a good time] can wear on you--or, much like Andrew W.K.'s party music before it, it can fuel you.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Forming an identity is a difficult task, and Reasons To Live is honest about the painful and revelatory nature of that process.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Smoothing an epochal shift with a sonic mix of new and old isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Arguably, the band did the same thing when it cast aside the spacey sounds of Leave Home for the alt-leaning Open Your Heart. But on New Moon, the transition is rocky, more of a cop-out than a compromise.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Still branded with his punchy, pop-punk melodies, as well as venturing back to the fuzzier roots in several instances, the real issue with Afraid Of Heights is a lack of constraint.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    After so much rapid reinvention, he’s found himself stalled in the middle of a transformation. In his constant quest to learn new tricks, he’s only ended up chasing his tail.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the band’s return to its gruffer roots on Desperate Ground has its redeeming qualities, the reliance on pop-punk catchiness feels like a crutch.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You may find yourself cringing along to these missteps, but the album also a pretty fair split between between good and bad.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album lacks one basic fundamental of general pop music: lyrical hooks. The primary reason why they’re lacking though is because Wasner’s voice blends so well with Ehrens’ synth hooks that she is at times barely distinguishable from them.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album doesn’t bring anything new to the table, opting instead to build on established structures.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Smilewound traipses all over the place, sometimes tripping as it finds it’s path. But when it does, it surges with moments of delicate finesse and threatening omnission.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There’s no doubt that Royal Bangs are fully capable of splicing a broader set of influences into their quixotic mix, and Brass offers several great glimpses into a sonic evolution in progress. It’s just a shame that the metamorphosis isn’t quite complete.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Those with some patience will eventually get a smattering of the heavy, grainy goods on This Song Is Over, Warble Womb‘s tellingly penultimate track. This certainly doesn’t make the album a wash--the swampy tunes are still fairly enjoyable. But it does change the formula for the band.