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 Harmonicraft
Lowest review score: 30 IV Play
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 1 out of 728
728 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The music is smart, diverse and tuned to perfectionist standards, but frequently the lyrics leave the listener wondering, “Where is White’s gut on this?”
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sleeper will probably be viewed in hindsight as "That kinda boring Ty Segall album."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Silver Gymnasium has Sheff getting increasingly personal, though it sometimes seems as if he has no more personal secrets left to reveal. The new experience is stunted by the fact that everything really just sounds like a memory.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Overall though, there’s more comfort than debauchery on Alvvays.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Tropics Of Love is an experiment in inertia. When it’s good, it stays good, and when it’s not, it’ll be over by the time you swallow your pina colada.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What results is a satisfying but somewhat uneven listening experience.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Long.Live.A$AP, his major-label debut, is both cunning and desperate in its attempts to please every possible demographic without looking like it's trying too hard.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not good, bad or disappointing, but frustrating.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album doesn’t bring anything new to the table, opting instead to build on established structures.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The unpredictable mix incites some strange transitions, occasionally cutting off promising grooves to the album's detriment ("Groundskeeper Rag," especially, peaks prematurely). But what Family Perfume lacks in momentum it makes up for in brevity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It’s equally as innovative as it is mundane, equally as ambitious as it is safe, and equally as fun as it is tedious. Well, the last one isn’t quite true, this album is a ton of fun.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too much of the album feels as if she’s chosen the comfort of being back home, retreating from the brief spotlight she’d been slowing stepping toward since 2008.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With Love is by no means a terrible album, but the bar that Dedication set was in no way reached. It’s worth giving a listen, but be prepared to edit it into a condensed and sensical format.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ab-Soul puts out a solid release here, helped along by some big name features and big performances from his TDE labelmates, but at times These Days feels too generic or just flat out stale, ultimately failing to carry the Black Hippy torch in the ways that good kid m.A.A.d city and Oxymoron did for the crew.