Ink Blot Magazine's Scores

  • Music
For 85 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 80% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 18% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 10.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 82
Highest review score: 100 Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Lowest review score: 40 The Sophtware Slump
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 85
  2. Negative: 0 out of 85
85 music reviews
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Scattered among the jewels are shiny bits of glass that aren't as valuable as they might be.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    They've locked themselves in a room for a year, learned to play 11 songs in one style, and counted on the singer to come up with a couple of ace-card tunes. Result.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most exciting album in years....as punishing and urgent as any music you've ever heard.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a kaleidoscopic ode to the joy of music, and it's the most exciting debut album since Mos Def's Black on Both Sides.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    She has conjured the dirty rawness of funk and the smooth, hyper-articulation and commanding, ass-shakin' beats of hip hop and coated them with her own strange, space-age gloss. It is brilliant.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yet another emotion-evoking masterpiece.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Chiming, richly textured and potently rhythmic, this is starkly, explicitly rock n' roll, and the back-to-basics approach beautifully frames Polly's tales of fear, love, sex, sadness, ugliness, and beauty.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Homogenic, Post, and Debut were emotionally frenetic and often musically confrontational, Vespertine is rich in its tranquillity and spiritual divinity, full of astute observation and patient acceptance.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's one of the best albums of 1999 in any genre... [and] one of the finest house LPs ever recorded.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is really a leap forward.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The voices are front and center throughout, but the trio has wrought its most elaborate frames for them yet: brass, strings, and distorted guitars amplify the songs' sentiments and reinforce the cumulative strength of their melodies.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This is the best hip-hop album I will never love.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rings Around the World flows extraordinarily well, making it all the more powerful.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I highly recommend this album - musically, politically, aesthetically, thematically - you name it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What makes this album special is that it's a big wet kiss to music.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Perhaps the most important album of the decade.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At first listen, this album is downbeat minimalism à la Leonard Cohen, but it actually covers a lot of ground.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What SFA have done here is beautifully sublime, and they've done it without ploy or pretension.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The measured use of electronics recalls nothing so much as OK Computer, and in some ways Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots sounds like that album might have if Thom Yorke believed in God.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If anyone's making radio-worthy rock 'n' roll nowadays, it's Guided By Voices.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gorgeously melancholy... mid-tempo grooves and hushed ballads dressed up in dreamy keyboards and liquidly reverberant guitars.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's pretty much just a silly, goofy, fun record.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Once in a while, a record will come out that's simply perfect... their finest record to date - pure, gleeful pop virtuosity.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Elbow understand how to make an album flow without sacrificing the unexpected turns any good record should have.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The music on The Moon & Antarctica is as lonely and desolate as the title suggests...
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike most of her peers, she knows that fun is really the fifth element of hip-hop, and she keeps finding thrilling new ways to make this music danceable and fun.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A dreamy, layered work that merely ups the rock ante of his perfectly balanced 1998 release, XO -- an exquisite union of wistful acoustic stylings and polished pop.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Almost every song here seems unfinished, and while the The Sophtware Slump sounds great -- misfiring machines duel elegant pianos, guitars chug and grind, ancient synthesizers burst through the top end - it never goes much of anywhere.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Harkens back to the European pop of the '50s and '60s.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Much like Orbital, they have the ability to synchronize ideas without over-saturating their songs.... Unfortunately, at 19 tracks, there is plenty of ambient trickle filling in the gaps.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An uncommonly moving singer whose deliberate delivery extracts volumes of yearning and melancholy from her own material and the work of other writers.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For an album that apparently grew out of the band trying to get away from melody, there's a lot of it here. They can't help themselves. They try to do a song with a robotic dance beat, load it up with bleak phrases like "laughing till my head comes off" and "take the money and run" and "this is really happening," call it "Idioteque" for chrissake, and what stands out are not the beat and not the phrases or the apparent concept of dance music being silly when horrible things are happening in the world, but the seven or eight different heartwrenching vocal lines and the amazing way they intertwine.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's everything we say we want in music: gutsy, introspective, innovative, bold, real in a way that few other albums even try to be...
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Akin to a perfectly plotted soundtrack to an unplanned psychedelic journey - multi-dimensional and anything you want it to be.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Electric Circus turns out to be a place that exists in Hip-hopolis and Rawk City and Bacharachville and DixieLand and Heaven, all at the same time. Holy crap, people, Com did it: he broke on through to the other side.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Neither modern rock nor dance, Death in Vegas straddle the middle ground -- and prove that it's an extremely good place to be.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the secret they're trying to keep here is that Built To Spill quite frankly write some of the most original, interesting and catchy pop songs you'll ever hear.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The aged authenticity of these songs comes so easily that you'd be forgiven for thinking that they discovered the formula.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    13
    If Blur was a tentative step away from the pop past, 13 is a suicidal leap - the little girls are not coming back after they hear this.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beaucoup Fish is a steady step above second LP Second Toughest in the Infants, and while it never scales the more spectacular heights of Underworld's debut, this album sounds like a grower.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every song contains four or five things that will just whip your head around in disbelief.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whilst Daft Punk's elaborate practical joke of an album, Discovery, reeked of childish trying-too-hard elitism, Felix's party is both exclusive and enjoyable, sharing a sense of humour and musical ethos with Scouse synthesiser aficionados Ladytron.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Standards is disarmingly stunning and instantaneously consuming. Tortoise are unquestionably skilled artisans, electrocuting the framework for the typical rock song and reconstructing the fragments into a wonderfully surrealist space mission soundtrack.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    These songs are sonically interesting and pretty as Mom on Easter, but they don't really ring true...
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A completely out-of-control garage-folk-psych-pop record that is always in control and is neither garagey nor folky nor psychedelic nor pop.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This record is just a party from beginning to end.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    I've smiled and whistled right through every listen. But I haven't felt overwhelmed even once.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On
    Ridiculously catchy melodies, driving synths, sharp, snapping drums, and super lo-fi bass and guitars churn out straight up dirty rock'n'roll, some twisted pop, and the occasional ethereal mid-tempo composition.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are echoes of every good movement in rap history on Quality Control, from old-school to Def Jam to Native Tongues all the way to Wu-Tang...
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    There are elements missing and sometimes out of place on the disc.... Godin and Dunckel, however, succeed in interpreting the film's dreamy '70s vibe and creating sonics with appropriate drama and cinematic flair.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If, 18 minutes into this album, you are not ready to proclaim these two London-via-Leeds hedonists the most exciting thing in dance music, you need your feet examined.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Oberst] infuses his figurative laments with a melancholy earnestness, communicating a more gut-wrenching breed of angst than the Limp Bizkits and Eminems of the world could ever hope to.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    One Part Lullaby's songs are the ones a man writes when he realizes he doesn't have to be bummed out forever, the music a person makes when he can afford to trade in his four track for a home studio complete with Pro-Tools and some swanky electronics. Most of all, this is the kind of record a guy makes when he spends a lot of time tooling down the freeway with Beck on the stereo and the sun in his eyes.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's not quite as immediate as, say, the Champion Versions EP, but 10 plays bear out the truth: this is the best Beta Band record yet, which means you should waste no time getting your hands on it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The reason to get excited about this release, the reason to wake the kids and call the neighbors, is the second disc, Mono.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Universal Truths and Cycles has got something for everyone who's ever liked Guided By Voices even a little.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "The Wheel and the Maypole" might be the greatest song the band has ever recorded...
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A richer, more confident manifestation of their languid dysfunction than their previous work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wonderland is a modern pop classic that combines all the best things about this band, spikes the mix with ace tunes, and keeps the concoction coming.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Howdy! is made up of everything you'd expect from Teenage Fanclub: warm and inviting acoustic pop, fluid melodies, rich harmonies, and head-nodding rhythms.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Weezer have faced their challenge with confident, easy-going nonchalance, offering one hell of a tight little record.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Word has it that the band had more studio time than ever before, and the result is a concept album which combines elements of Lennon-McCartney experimentation with elements of Yoko Ono eccentricity.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Most of the time these low-key meditations on enduring love and friendship ring true...
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the sound of a man finding a new place for himself, liking it, and reveling in it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is a strange album for Sunny Day in that it lingers in an abstract realm that the band previously only hinted at.... album is SDRE's most mature work to date. It is so musically dense and complex.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you usually enjoy pop music made by young white males with guitars, you'll almost certainly like Parachutes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the sound of musicians realizing how good they are at what they do. And then doing it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All in all, a really great debut for this quintet.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Where most rock bands that try to play pop forget that pop music requires pop songs, Sefchik and Laguana are constructionists in the classic pop tradition.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A coming-out party for one of the most important artists of our time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Groove Armada have a knack for producing fantastic underground dance tracks, in a variety of tempos, and packing them full of hooks.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For the most part, Richard Ashcroft's debut solo disc delivers.... an album full of soulful and genuine expressions of hope.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Buy this album and hold it dear, because you won't hear a better one any time soon.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their disparaging wails and hums are strangely magnetic?
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A fundamentally unselfish record, as simply enjoyable as a day off or a light beer buzz.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album is truly affecting -- it is an instant, irresistible, bounce-in-your-step morning cup of coffee of an album.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Where Kraftwerk, MC5, and Miles Davis used to tempt them to excess, here the production unites their diverse influences, every track attacking the speakers like an angry lunatic thrashing against the walls of a poorly soundproofed room.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    We Are Science is striking, very bold, and very sexy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Closer than any previous mass-market Sonic Youth album to the avant-garde sound that's always popped up in their extracurricular work.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An exquisite collection of thoughtful lyrics and lovely harmonies.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's made up of some songs you think you shouldn't like, some you weren't ready for, and some you'll have to rewind to make sure you heard correctly. It is an album with no peers. And that, my friends, is a recommendation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, despite a couple of missteps, is brimming with life.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The material hints at strength, but pieces that should have been severely pruned and used as a song's bridge stretch on and on. Perhaps they're just too thrifty or unwilling to toss anything out once they've gone through the trouble of recording it. The First Of The Microbe Hunters is for completists only.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    More interestingly, it gives a peek into Yo La Tengo's working methods. It's been a long time since they brought finished songs to the practice room; instead the combo jams together and lets the improvisation mutate over time into tunes which sometimes become the basis for songs.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The music is occasionally difficult to embrace, to say the least...