L.A. Weekly's Scores

For 70 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 90 Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
Lowest review score: 10 Bridge
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 70
  2. Negative: 6 out of 70
70 music reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Argyle Heir is the Brooklyn-based combo’s most perfect recording, loaded with gently baroque, quietly cinematic tunes that leisurely melt away in your head.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not as consistent as The Coup’s outstanding Steal This Album from 1998, Party Music still manages to be one of 2001’s best.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In a just universe, Nikka Costa, with her near-perfect American debut, Everybody Got Their Something, would become the ‘00s answer to Janis Joplin, Teena Marie and Like a Virginal Madonna.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cast in layers upon layers of aural intricacy, Toxicity charters new frontiers, yet it’s still grinding rock at its most deafening.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Scorpion propels her into pop stardom’s embrace, smartly blending party anthems with thug themes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His best effort yet.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tortoise have finally integrated their influences and discovered how to do more than mimic...
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An early contender for album of the year.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The sound of a band blissfully uncoiling under the sun of self-assurance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mellow, dramatic and bathed in atmosphere, Exciter is the sound of a band at the height of its powers.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A beautiful album that even non-Harvey fans might relate to, Stories is an undeniable, unrelenting triumph.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Propelled by her aggressive but seductive voice, Haunted walks the line between dark, beat-driven trip-hop and warm, melodic pop. What separates the album from its competition is Poe?s smart and emotionally charged songwriting, rife with raw energy balanced by gorgeously understated hooks.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kid A may feel cold and ahuman at first, but stick with it for the full 50 minutes: Listen long enough, and a fragile, flickering glow becomes apparent amid the chill. It?s the sound of human warmth flooding into a formerly alien space -- of Radiohead finally going exactly where they wanted.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hands down, this is one of the best-produced albums of the year...
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yeah, it's a party. And it's great rock music. Those who claim Manson "went back to Goth" and reclaimed Antichrist's noise after Mechanical proved too subtle for kids are only partly right. Okay, he virtually cloned his hit "The Beautiful People" in "Disposable Teens." And there are several familiar yell-and-stomp numbers on Holy Wood. But even those almost all contain a double-take chord change or a textural overdose or a mind-blowing bridge, and they'll be terroristic in concert. More important, there are a bunch of plain brilliant tracks where Manson anoints bits of rock history into his own church.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Warmer, more soulful and worldly than the average drug-fueled ravers, Basement Jaxx may not quite have relaid house's foundation, but they've at least redrawn a few of its rules -- beat by gleeful beat.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A wonderfully warm recording, Silver & Gold is country-folk soaked in co-producer Ben Keith's crying pedal steel, Neil's harmonica, fiddles, acoustic guitars and even Emmylou and Linda for good measure on one cut.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Played quiet, Epitaph is like rain on the roof; when you’re rattling the casements with the monster bass, it’s like an air mattress.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The recipe has changed little; if anything, it?s only become more articulate. Hauntingly beautiful backing tracks that could easily stand on their own float along, barely moving.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There?s a magical sound potion that can cure lovesickness, and it?s called Parachutes, the first full-length CD by Coldplay.... Every song sounds like a hit.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Point is even weirder than previous Cornelius records, even if its emphasis on acoustic guitars makes it seem uncharacteristically mellow at first listen.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Devoid of the cartoonish cabaret crooning of 1997’s breakthrough Cassanova, Regeneration is more down-to-earth, with less grandstanding and more adventurousness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Under Rug Swept is Alanis Morissette in top form, exercising her God-given right to vent and sound beautiful doing so.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's all very precious stuff, sounding like some of Sebadoh's best material. Kids who've eaten up the whole indie-rock thing thus far will go bananas over Pedro the Lion.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There isn't the slightest pause between any of the tracks on Thirteen Tales, just one big schmeer of good-rockin' vibes cresting and troughing for the length of this ode to, well, hipness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Alive to Every Smile doesn’t indicate Wratten is ready to move on thematically, it does show him evolving musically.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Amiable multi-instrumental pop shuffles in the hazy mode of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, gauzed with intricate four-part harmonies and a host of sound effects, bump up against loping, kitchen-sink ambientronic instro-ludes in albums that seem created somewhere outside of standard time by art students with a serious pop jones.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His latest finds the Jamaican lyrical wizard working Rasta magic on a humorous pastiche of sexual posturing and socially conscious manifestoes, all nailed down on a canvas of ass-shakin' ragga, hip-hop, reggae and dancehall jams.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Argument provides a rough blueprint for Fugazi’s current music: more melodic, fascinated as much with miniatures as grand anthems, more tensed, better prepared for the inevitable explosions.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Blueprint is his best since debuting with Reasonable Doubt in 1996.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Remedies some problems and amplifies others.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Eitzel’s written with genuine warmth before, but it’s been several albums since he’s backed it with sounds that stand on their own this well.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sure, the songs are short, fast and catchy, but Clinic isn't filling prescriptions for ear candy; the music cuts into you with a desolate, sarcastic, scalpel-sharp edge.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s more going on here than mere escapist fare.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Moon and Antarctica is darker and colder than their previous stuff, but maintains the very particular blend of peculiar lyrics and uncompromising rock that consistently weaves through all their records.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If I were suddenly appointed Minister of Improving Music, my inaugural act would involve sending shock troops to ransack the CD racks of every would-be cookie-cutter punk in, say, Orange County, replacing all recordings by Social D. and Suicidal T. with copies of Dizzy Spells.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Equally comfortable in the realms of rock and dance, Holmes is hard to pin down stylistically; his latest album, Bow Down to the Exit Sign, like Moby's 1999 Play, draws from classic blues to add new life to electronic music.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The fly in the ointment is the lyric content, which plumbs depths of misanthropy that make labelmate Bill Callahan (Smog) sound like Bobby McFerrin.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Vanguard, the same basic formula is employed, only the emphasis is much more on reggae influences, and the experimentation with genre boundaries is considerably toned down. There’s still much that shines, however.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For Solaris, Photek sticks to his signature style of clinical percussion etching a variety of danceable rhythms. Of the 11 tracks, only "Terminus," the disc?s opener, is truly jungle. The rest of the album features a technophile's gift bag of futuristic dance cuts... Most all of it's gorgeous stuff, and high praise is in order.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s on the more open instrumental jam sessions -- "Dead Can Dance"'s pseudo-bossa tempos and especially the bluesy twang of "Highway to Heaven" -- that they distinguish themselves as live players eagerly retrofitting rock/dance hybrids.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Perverse as it may seem, this album is more tightly arranged and crisply recorded than anything the group managed on a major label; in fact, it’s a small masterpiece of home production, with Eno’s economical drumming framing stabs of rhythm guitar and precisely placed daubs of vibes and viola.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The clean-cut Stereophonics are the Black Crowes you could take home to your mom, only with stronger songs and without the high school histrionics.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite having gotten a bit too caught up in imitation rather than innovation, the trio have succeeded in making an album that's accessible without compromising their artistry.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Their sound is steeped in rare grooves, enhanced with hip-hop electronics and designed for lighthearted dancing. If the pair occasionally turn their rhythms on autopilot and rely on algorithm, you can't really hold it against 'em.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Iron Flag owes its lack of cohesion to some simply dull songs, plus the growing disparity in lyrical ability among the Wu’s members.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The resulting mélange doesn’t always work, but the songs on 10,000HZ Legend still succeed often enough to override the record’s occasional shortcomings.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    After three discs, Merritt's mesmerizing display of sustained inconsequentiality starts to seem like one of those Guinness Book of World Records stunts, impressive but pointless.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    His songs are beautiful if simple ballads to whatever crosses his fancy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Come With Us is too much of a mixed bag to induce a full-length journey; it’s best experienced in short walkabouts.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Hammering a shade softer, MDFMK daubs layers and layers of sophisticated balance -- all depth, no surface.... And the guitars and vintage synths, formerly sprayed on like aerosol cheese, now blend and complement each other -- like, you know, music.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Deftones, Slipknot, etc.) brings a degree of alt-rock punch to the proceedings, but there's more than enough garage grit left in the grooves to keep the indie kids smirking. There's certainly some downtime on Relationship of Command, but when it hits you'll be smarting, and smiling.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Anchored by moody, mid-tempo songs enveloped in pop-washed trip-hop..... a stylish collection of well-tailored backdrops for Boyle's mournful soprano.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Music as kitschy, joyful and grand as it clearly intends, a tongue-in-cheek soundtrack to the James Bond movie we'd all like our lives to be.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Now, it’s the chilled tracks that seem limited and generic... The fortunate tradeoff is that the album’s three strobe-lit tracks definitely bring it on.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    I'm assuming the problems began when Rubin presented Cash with a cache of songs to choose from. From there, Rubin's production only makes a bad situation worse, putting Cash's dusty, reverbless voice -- which is beginning to show its frailties -- unnaturally in your face.... But if you can wade through the chaff, it's Cash's originals that save the disc.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Wyclef seems to reinvent himself for the worse on his sophomore effort. In place of his trademark iconoclasm, he delivers some good old-fashioned conformity in a bid to renew his street-credibility card... Thankfully, 'Clef strikes a balance with some outstanding selections, starting with the acoustically driven ballads "Diallo," "911" and "Something About Mary", which show that Wyclef armed with a guitar is still more powerful than an army of producers strapped with drum machines.... It's enough to make The Ecleftic a good but not grand album, one that finds Wyclef's vision falling short of his abilities.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The group's lack of growth has begun to make their well-established talents wear thin.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It just isn't as much fun this time around, no matter how fresh Dre's beats are or how many worthy targets get shot down along with the innocent.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Chambers' voice is a birdie chirp. She's sexy, but has less edge than the tiniest bleached-blond in the Dixie Chicks and half the sass of Dolly Parton.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    You yearn for raw guitars, gritty beats or at least a broader dynamic range.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The new set lacks Kingdom's cathartic exuberance, not to mention the myriad bouncy sing-along hits that made Gwen Stefani to the '90s what Madonna was to the '80s.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A 12-song mess that veers unsteadily between the fuzztone freak-outs of his original concept and panicked-sounding rewrites of older Monster Magnet material.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Redman comes up frustratingly short on thrills with an indulgent, complacent effort that takes you on a loooooong road to nowhere.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Sadly, nothing about the unspectacular Golden State will save them from the Where Are They Now? file.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It’s not just that Crown Royal is a mediocre album; it’s how it manages that feat. Run-DMC, former trendsetters, now seem to be chasing after every pop fad in the book, including the ones they helped start.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The music?s the problem. Given a typically goofy, urbane Merritt turn of phrase like ?You can find your own messiah/in the pit of a papaya,? Ewen crafts the most predictable and robotic of faux-techno settings. There are mildly bumping drums and sequencers, but no Hawaii, no magic and, most fatally of all, no melody.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    With the exception of only a handful of moments -- most of which are more interesting in theory than in execution -- it's a very bad album, both in its politics and its sound.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    The real crime is that these guys are good musicians who happen to have horrible taste.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    A 38-minute spoonful of slop, the sound of a band pissing it all away.