Exclaim's Scores

  • Music
For 1,685 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 At War with Reality
Lowest review score: 10 Excuse My French
Score distribution:
1,685 music reviews
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Never in recorded history has there been an album of such audible variety, distinctive fidelity and lyrical intensity.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A heavily introspective tour de force, Lamar has created a stubbornly parochial soundtrack to his life in Compton, CA.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's unfortunate that Vicious Lies has come out after everyone has finished compiling their year-end lists, but it's already a contender for best record of 2013.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Excavation is a brilliant piece of work, one best enjoyed actively with a premium set of headphones, in solitude.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    To See More Light is a masterpiece that organically and coherently blends Stetson's avant-garde playing and dark, complex themes with accessible and compelling compositions that bring a ray of hope not just for the characters in his underlying narrative, but for the future of music.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the album on which Daft Punk are truly and convincingly "human after all." And on this toweringly grand achievement, they've never sounded better.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Lemay has reinvented Gorguts while showcasing their roots, as the immensely anticipated Colored Sands exceeds expectations and proves to be every bit worth the wait.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Existing in layers, The Electric Lady revels in its polarity. The overriding statement, however, is that Janelle Monae has arrived.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The lyrics and arrangements are stellar.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Recorded mostly live off the floor, and full of loose, garage rock accents and playfully shambling flourishes, everything about Most Messed Up feels exquisitely messy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As much as it is possible to describe the hissing whispers and supernova roars John Haughm's vocal performance, or the galactic wonder of Don Anderson's guitars, the sticky and celestial spirals of Jason Walton's bass lines, or the powerful alchemical engine of Aesop Dekker's drumming, together they form something greater: a massive, sublime universe unto itself.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Monolithic, heavy, raw and aggressive, A World Lit Only by Fire is 100 percent Godflesh, shattering any doubts that the duo, led by mastermind Justin K. Broadrick, could maintain their classic sound.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The impressive thing about the return of the progenitors of Swedish melo-death isn't the time elapsed since their last album; rather, it's how much it sounds like none has.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is masterful, it is heartening and it represents today's best from an R&B/soul perspective.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a gorgeous album.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Another 50 years down the line, it is a truly transformative experience to listen to these old, mysterious songs with fresh ears. You can hear antecedents of everyone from Dylan to Mumford, sure, but what is all the more exciting, as these 100+ songs pile up, is the sensation of access to a voice at once ancient and full of life.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With Everybody is Going to Heaven, Citizen have forged a visceral, stunningly nuanced work that is nothing short of immaculate.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On their new full-length, much-anticipated Epitaph debut On The Impossible Past, they exceed expectations once again.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's clear that White's bravery in baring his soul has resulted in a quiet masterpiece.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a minimalist masterpiece.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ghosts is the thinking electronic music fan's subtler and more paranoid alternative to Amon Tobin's brick-smashing A/V opus, ISAM.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    De Vermis Mysteriis is a bloody, hard-fought triumph.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With a more dynamic and drastically enhanced sound, this is how Dopesmoker was meant to be heard.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Live from the Underground is the best Southern rap record since Big Boi's Sir Lucious Left Foot dropped two summers ago.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Moritz Von Oswald Trio deliver their most impressive and spatially alluring album to date with Fetch.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There certainly is a great deal more to Guthrie's immense body of work than what is represented on Woody At 100, but apart from some newly discovered recordings that completists will want, this is an ideal package for the uninitiated, and one to be treasured for years to come.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sensual, artful and accessible, it is easily one of the best pop albums of the year.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one of the most rewarding and beautiful albums of the year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kaleidoscope Dream is a statement that Miguel has arrived.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Vast and breathtaking, RIITIIR is simply stellar.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Clark can do it all and it's entirely likely that Blak And Blu will be recognized in the future as a moment when American music suddenly got a great deal more interesting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Luxury Problems is a highly impressive full-length album of dark, atmospheric techno.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Young rappers take notice: you want to sound like this when you get older.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    NYC's Roc Marciano follows up his 2010 critically celebrated solo debut, Marcberg, with a sequel nonpareil in its originality and craftsmanship.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are few out there above what he has achieved with Lonerism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's when producer the Alchemist trims and arranges that Bronson becomes a salable bouquet.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's not often to encounter music this conceptually sophisticated and well executed that also, in its most secret depths, simply hates you.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the album is a drone-based record, Mountains never stagnate, unafraid of abrasive movement, and their sometimes intense palette never feels out of place or unpleasant.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If there were any doubts among the faithful about legendary Quebec prog-metal dudes Voivod being able to recapture the magic of their classic era in the absence of deceased guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, they're shattered within moments of the title track.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is Nguyen's strongest work yet, with the aforementioned songwriting taking a leap forward, while gradually perfecting her melting pot sound of country, folk and pop.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unlike most of his peers, Thompson is defying the march of time, continuing to write and perform at an exceptional level. Electric easily deserves a place alongside his best solo releases.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Twenty-two years later, My Bloody Valentine is still the band everyone's talking about, and although it may not necessarily build on Loveless, there's no audible reason m b v shouldn't be spoken of in the same hushed, venerating tones.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beach Fossils have found a balance that's better than anyone could have hoped for.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No World is a heady mix of opaque beats and Romy Madley Croft guitar lines that reverberate throughout the band's 41-minutes of modest club bangers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Portal are a band that never break character and Vexovoid is their fourth full-length release (along with two demos and two EPs), continuing their well-established theme of creating deep feelings of dread, alienation and confusion in the listener, all through exquisitely made and intelligently deployed aural assaults.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A record this sturdy in composition and delivery has the resilience to stand up to countless plays, and that timeless ache for a good, hard cry.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Bilal describes creating A Love Surreal as a surrealistic exploration of love and, indeed, he delivers on this end.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Although political in nature, the feel of the record is unabashedly joyful and if Jama ko doesn't form part of your summer listening, you are missing out on something very special.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Apparat's foray into ethereal compositions is a powerful, vivid work of art. Krieg und Frieden deserves a standing ovation.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After producing such a powerful, chimeric record, which will unquestionably stand as their masterpiece, there's no question that KEN Mode are currently at the peak of their collective talents.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a stunning balancing act between ingenuity and accessibility.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's an intense, sometimes violent, occasionally beautiful rock'n'roll record that once again proves the unpredictability and reliability of Deerhunter.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Last Spire, their tenth and last release, combines all that the legends do well: snail-paced doom, upbeat Sabbath stoner rock and craggly sludge.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Obsidian is a gorgeous suite of electronic pop songs that will draw you in and stay with you for days on end, and somehow it sounds like Baths more than Cerulean ever did.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    13
    Here, every riff is full of life, the chemistry popping out in the open spaces, Ozzy's melancholy once again finally, and fittingly, overtop the soundtrack of metallic joy and madness, the whole thing combining to create a perfect metal sound the way only the masters can.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If the self-titled debut was the unobtrusive introduction, Avalanche represents the showy breakthrough the duo have been angling for.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a perfectly flowing album that is, at times, as calming as it is chaotic.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Born Sinner is an honest account of Cole's growth and development, revealing his humble beginnings, challenging successes and bright future.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is easily Austra's most exciting and fully formed piece of work yet.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's Kanye West baring his fangs, over-sharing and consciously grappling with this over-reaching, over-indulging beast within.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Slow Focus was solely produced by Fuck Buttons; a decision that shows how confident, individualistic and fearless this duo have become in a short time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With this release, Locrian have created a gorgeous piece of musical architecture and filled it with unquiet ghosts.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ambitious, experimental and brilliant, The Inheritors is a unique release that confirms James Holden's place not only as a DJ to watch, but also as a producer to pay close attention to.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you like Soilwork, this is the album you've been waiting over a decade for.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is distinctly Dead in the Dirt. Subtlety is not in the cards, so the faint of heart, or those craving even the most inconspicuous of melodies, should look elsewhere.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The unlisted, sludge metal instrumental with crashing, crushing, demo-quality production only adds to the overall awesomeness and crazed attitude behind it all.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pushin' Against The Stone is a rare case when a young artist's natural instincts are spot-on. As both a singer and songwriter, June is a major talent with unlimited potential.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Most vividly, Loud City Song evokes the easy, tingling drift of early Robert Wyatt.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    King Krule is an artist moving a mile a minute, and 6 Feet Beneath the Moon is just the beginning of what will be an amazing career to follow.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Almost every song is worthy of inclusion.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Necrocracy is as perfect as we're all hoping Carcass will be when they bring their good ship back for another gruesome go at it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Electric Slave makes a strong case that Lewis is ready to go toe-to-toe with the Dan Auerbachs of the world, and easily has what it takes to go the distance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even through the heavier topics of illness and recovery, a melodic sense of dance carries the message, but what delivers the punch is Hanna's voice.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Factory Floor might be known for their life-changing gigs, but their album proves that, in the studio, they also have the ability to induce shivers, body jerking and a rush of blood throughout your entire body.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The textured, varied sonic flourishes provide a sumptuous foundation for Omar's malleable voice to articulate the album's lyrical theme of embracing maturity and responsibility, preserving and reaffirming his impressive artistic relevance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dream River is required reading, without a doubt.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are country-fried flourishes like "State of Mine" and "Can't Depend," but everything hangs together on one of Sebadoh's most eclectic and rewarding releases.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On Is Survived By, they've outdone themselves.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Reflektor goes after this eternal, existential tension in masterful strokes and is a significant musical contribution by Arcade Fire, who continue to find ways to tap into universal expressions while making music that's refreshingly topical, infectious and completely their own.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Calvi is unquestionably a great performer, but on One Breath, her work reaches a level of nuance that the majority of contemporary music lacks.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Each song is injected with sharp, drug-filled commentaries that deliver, brick-by-brick, a solid foundation for King Push's cocaine castle.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From the brash, banging tracks all the way to the idyllic soft touches, Beautiful Rewind is captivating and completely refreshing to hear.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    [Kwes delivers] poignant wanderings from within his inner-monologue, while voicing a soul-expanding sound that makes James Blake's noir&B cool seem like nothing more than ostentatious art school assignments.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the Body are experts at playing with aural textures and layers, the decadent variety of sounds on Christs, Redeemers is next level, even for them.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's safe to call Outside CFCF's magnum opus; it's an immaculate zenith that represents every brave, leftfield musical choice this young musician has made up until this point.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You will be hard-pressed to find a fresher-sounding dance LP this year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Halo's music has never felt beholden to nostalgia or thematic consistency, leaving Chance of Rain as a shining example of an artist striving to operate within a creative vacuum.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Uzu
    UZU is an album that uproots us and transports us into the unknown, but it's an adventure that we would happily go on again and again.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Free Your Mind won't surpass Screamadelica on any lists--it's far too much indebted to both that record and era--but you'll have a difficult time finding an album in 2013 that's as utterly energizing and sublime as this.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Cupid Deluxe, Hynes has revealed his exquisite vision, one that swells with inspiration from his various collaborators.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is minimalist yet lush, hopeful yet rooted in a stark and sometimes grim reality.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The songs just sounded great, and were played with such precision, at these shows.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Apart from a generic cameo from Kurupt on "Ride," 7 Days of Funk is an infectious, modern take on the funk genre--here's hoping that Snoopzilla and Dâm-Funk will collaborate again.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's an impeccable compilation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Realistically, Alternate/Endings is not for everyone, but anyone who's intrigued by the dark and unconventional side of things--or thinks that jungle needs a new platform--will devour this album.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Once adjusted to the band's change in dynamics, you're left with the distinct feeling that this is perhaps their most engrossing effort since the Young Team's debut.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This reissue of the first two Bottle Rockets albums from '93 and '94 brings back with startling clarity how in tune Henneman was with the times, lyrically foreshadowing the decline of the middle class amid the rise of urban sprawl and taking well-aimed shots at unchecked racism and political correctness, all while leading his band like Warren Zevon fronting Crazy Horse.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything is the most personal outcry of righteous indignation they've mustered. The result is something for a broader audience of like-minded people constantly muttering 'What the fuck?' at the world at large to connect with.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though Alcest have left the majority of their metal signifiers behind, they've discovered another kind of heaviness via gorgeous, shimmering melodies.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Here's one of the best records you'll hear in 2014.