CMJ's Scores

  • Music
For 724 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 Too Bright
Lowest review score: 30 IV Play
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 1 out of 724
724 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rise Against have slowed their music, and in the process, have created a hell of a rock album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, it's a solid, well-crafted effort from a well-loved indie-folk band.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This album is clearly not one you would want to put on in the background of your next party. In every aspect (its forms, melodies, instrumentation, etc.) it is a challenging and engaging hour of music.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite a new sense of freedom, Ebert carefully crafts the album to keep a good balance between a full sound layered with an array of instruments and vocals to simpler textures that showcase just one element of the music.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not necessarily a great narrative rapper, Monch's lyrical strength lies in his ability to flip phrases maniacally and tease out tangential theoretical connections through his staggered, pile-up rhyme schemes.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tear The Fences Down is open and inviting, and it's hard not to be pulled in by its verve and genuine sincerity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Telling The Truth is an hour of purely enjoyable songs that could have been, and are luckily not, lost gems.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's the motion of the album that compels you through it, leaving you with a need for some resolution in what the next track will bring.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the heartbreak overtones, Belong is not a depressing or down-tempo album. It remains upbeat and concludes in a manner that ties up the loose ends of the story, all while raiding your new-wave album collection for inspiration.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mind Bokeh signifies a union between sonic exploration-typically condemned to musical isolation by being defined as experimental -- and the consonances of modern pop music that are readily accepted by mass listeners.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her cold-blooded style meshes well with Hince's clanging guitars and the sleek world they have created inside of Blood Pressures.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Low's ninth full-length album, the slowcore trio from Duluth creates its most inviting work to date.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is a beautifully poignant and cinematic album, a post-hardcore masterpiece.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's hard to tell if the seemingly random, incoherent screeching and shouting from Siegel is meant to be a gimmick, a cop out or a totally genuine mode of expression. Whatever it may be, it's working.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is very much her record-it's a fractured gorgeousness, with Garbus embracing her oddness in a gesture of self-love that results in an alarming, startling, fun and playful record.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though easy to peg a purely pop album, with only one track that dares to venture beyond the 3:30 mark, Evening Tapestry's controlled psychedelic overtones help the songs go beyond run-of-the-mill pop tunes.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As Hauschka takes his orchestral style into this new musical sphere, his music demonstrates the constant evolution ignited by combinations of diverse musical influence.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    You aren't likely to find a single track that you'd want to put on repeat for the drive home from work, but the experience of listening from track to track, beginning to end, is a moving experience worth lending your ears.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In between the soul-searching, Fleet Foxes cranks out some pretty great singalong songs. And that's what it's all about, isn't it?
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In all, this is a muscular yet not flashy outing from Gang Gang Dance, and its smooth confidence is a welcome respite from its self-indulgent neighbors.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Burst Apart is smart and calculated without feeling as though you're being duped by artificial feelings.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Man Man has an image to uphold, and it does that while refining its focus. The group has moved forward conceptually but at times still sounds like the trained animals and clowns from the circus that ambushed the orchestral pit, and that's just fine.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For the eccentric young artist, James Pants once again makes the statement that Pants' music has made many times before-he creates to celebrate his bizarre style, carefree of the expectations of mainstream audiences and trends.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album lags a bit on a few songs where it sounds like one half of the group had the majority of the say during the writing process. These instances are few and far between though, leaving the rest of the album as an intriguing concoction of two bands coming from polar opposite sides of the musical spectrum and meeting in the middle to make something new.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As a debut and a fleshing out of Stelmanis' previous eponymous work, Feel It Break is a solid place to build from and a reason to expect good things from Austra in the future.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    That all changes with Nursing Home, as production legend Steve Albini sharpens the group's teeth into the fangs Let's Wrestle was always meant to bare.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The lyrics are undoubtedly tragic, but they are what give Brilliant! Tragic! its brilliance.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    That's the type of music that the band knocks out of the park: music for lovers to do romantic things to. On Codes And Keys, those lovers are encouraged to be happy-an emotion that sometimes has evaded Death Cab.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most resonant part of Doi Todd's music is the quiet darkness that she twists into an undercurrent of tenderness. Cosmic Ocean Ship is more openly joyous than other songs on previous albums, like 2008's Gea, and perhaps not as "mysterious" or grabbing.