Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,300 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Kala
Lowest review score: 25 The Endless River
Score distribution:
1,300 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Such guests hardly bring commercial cachet. What they add is a depth and dynamism that transcend genres, generations and language, transforming Los Lobos' trademark sound without throwing the band off its foundation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a near-perfect piece of art, a level of accomplishment Harvey achieves with amazing consistency.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Charming, unpretentious and effortless, the singer presides over a party whose pace never flags and whose soul is fun-loving and wholesome. [22 Aug 2004]
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    OutKast's duo have made a cohesive statement that not only cries at the boundaries of rap music but vaults over them to a place where the music sounds like neon colors and the only rule is that you must free your mind. Your ears will follow.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    [Bono] explores epic themes, from faith to family, with such indelible grace that the CD stands with "The Joshua Tree" and "Achtung Baby" as one of the Irish quartet's essential works. [21 Nov 2004]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Freed from the more formal sound and circumstances of his previous work, Smith indulged without being indulgent, and the revelation here is the exuberant, instinctive, playful and daring sonic pilot who was hidden inside the meticulous craftsman of such albums as "XO" and "Figure 8." [10 Oct 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Demanding and artful, he just may be this generation's Joni Mitchell. [5 Dec 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    "Smile" emerges as a beautiful and cohesive work, at times deeply moving, at others oddly whimsical, at still others eerily disturbing but celebratory. [27 Sep 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An album with the simmering glow of a masterpiece.
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The biggest advance is that the Kills now wrap their songs, from the enchanting "The Good Ones" to the especially anxious "I Hate the Way You Love," in melodies that are disarmingly sweet and seductive. [6 Mar 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is metal that swings, heavy with a deft touch. [24 Apr 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The heart of the CD is filled with the compassion and craft that have made Springsteen such an invaluable figure in rock. [24 Apr 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the most fascinating things about the Stripes' fifth album is that on first listening it is likely to baffle fans of the Detroit duo as much as it will eventually delight them. [5 Jun 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The tone of subdued romanticism is balanced by a fine, seductive sense of melody and arrangement. [3 Jul 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    [An] even more ambitious, superbly crafted follow-up. [28 Aug 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If Bob Dylan has been for years our best guide to exploring the complexities of human experience, Young may be the songwriter who expresses most eloquently the simple ties that bind us all. [18 Sep 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wilson delivers a knockout as she serves up enough of the rowdy tunes to keep the jukebox pumping most of the night — most powered by a lively mix of ringing guitars, spunky fiddles and powerful backbeat. [25 Sep 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Every song on this exhilarating debut... is almost as good as its first hit, "Crazy." That's saying a lot. [6 May 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sheer brazenness of this collection is refreshing after years of timidity in the upper echelons of the pop world. [6 May 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It overflows with the kind of music the Chili Peppers do best: a physical, often psychedelic mix of spastic bass-slapped funk and glistening alt-rock spiritualism. Only they've never sounded this good as musicians.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The songs zing with the excitement of two music nerds caught up in a game of "Top This!" [16 May 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is their third collaboration, but neither the casual, light-bodied "Mutations" nor the intimate "Sea Change" anticipated this kind of flowering. [24 Sep 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What makes "The Black Parade" so exciting isn't anything rock is quite used to.... My Chemical Romance expresses the next generation's quest by redrawing the boundaries of reality itself.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's almost too much, really, but Waits doesn't release albums very often, so you can make it last.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Murphy succeeds by stretching in two directions — finding a new musical center, and showing his humanity beyond the laughs.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music doesn't always live up to the demands of the journey, but Oberst's trembling, vulnerable voice carries through to a rewarding conclusion.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A bluesy, psychedelic witches' brew that feels like one long, complex incantation to keep us safe, to make us see there is indeed some kinda way out of here.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    "Year Zero" is a total marriage of the pop and gamer aesthetics that unlocks the rusty cages of the music industry and solves some key problems facing rock music as its cultural dominance dissolves into dust. It's easy for even Reznor appreciators to overlook this accomplishment, because "Year Zero" also works as pure pop.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This latest LP is manna for rap purists.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not since "Mechanical Animals" (1998) has he stared within so unblinkingly; the focus pays off in conflicted, nuanced singing that makes some of his past rage sound rote.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The album hits hardest by embodying the process by which certain voices are bottled up and distorted within the global noise of what M.I.A. calls "Third World Democracy."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Now, like an intermittent short-wave transmission that suddenly catches a clear and vivid frequency, Radiolina comes into sharp focus, defining a mature sound in a mesmerizing collection of 21 new tracks.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's the way Springsteen injects his American bible stories with the air of disbelief that makes Magic a truly mature and memorable album.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Odd Couple is every bit as musically inventive as "Elsewhere."
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is adult contemporary music that's enough fun for the kids and true-blue country without any trace of flag-waving or bigotry.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His melodies curl to drive the stories, while his lyrics illuminate the road with a sometimes dazzling light.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Parks proves an ideal partner for George, who grew up studying Shakespeare and is married to a film director, Jake Kasdan.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Believe it or not, though, they've got the right stuff.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Dear Science, the third album from the Brooklyn-based art rock band TV on the Radio, is a vivid, angry, sensual soundtrack to the haunted life.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    No one intones like the stentorian Warhol muse -- and then she breaks into vibrato-driven song, throbbing and strong.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As music, it's simply exquisite--more controlled and considered than anything Antony and the Johnsons have done and sure to linger in the minds of listeners for more than a season.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    On her latest full-length collection, Marianne Faithfull, the queen of torch songs for the damaged soul, reteams with producer Hal Willner for another beautifully haunting tour of a landscape littered with the detritus of shredded hearts.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's a sense of timelessness rooted in rural America, along with a stripped-down musical ambience, that makes this a worthy companion to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand," for which Buddy was part of their touring band.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Chasing allusions is half the fun of listening to Dylan's music. On Together Through Life, the other half involves plainer pursuits, shaking a tail feather and shouting along.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music remains ageless and weird, fueled on chaos and clarity, but these are songs, not sound experiments for their own sake.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A record that not only tops any solo offering that the late James Yancey released during his lifetime, but also rivals Slum Village’s “Fantastic Part 2” and his own “Donuts” as his finest full-length effort.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's no joke here--just mountains of chest-rattling primal rock designed to reassert the elemental power of the four-piece rock group. Mission accomplished.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For those who like their pop delicate and unapologetically deep, this is one for turning up loud and wallowing.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The lightness and dexterity of the playing throughout Backspacer, and of Vedder's hard-driving, often playful vocals, come from Pearl Jam's members taking this music seriously, honing in and nailing it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their contributions serve only to enhance Rosanne Cash's renditions of songs that Johnny Cash understood to delineate cornerstone facets of American culture.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A complex and fascinating portrait of a young woman's emotional process after enduring abuse.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Tom Petty, another classic rocker, has assembled an impressive collection of his live work with his band the Heartbreakers that's similar in spirit to Young's remarkable anthology if not quite as expansive.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sound is sterling, Richards’ guitar soaring effortlessly over the nimble rhythm section work by bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Sea is a remarkable accomplishment. It's a step toward something--Rae's inner peace, and her next artistic breakthrough--that has its own considerable rewards.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Wringing beauty from her pain, Moorer creates music that illustrates an age-old truism: Without sorrow, there is no joy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    She goes deep, as deep as any artist working today, into the loud forest of stories where our ideas about love and the self are born. Her trail of crumbs isn't always obvious, but you can follow her there.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Here, he and Johns are working with a faultless batch of songs.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With The Guitar Song, he's made an ambitious work that goes down easy. Johnson may masquerade as a throwback but what he really aims for is timelessness, and he usually hits his mark.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Promise album, with gems like the Crystals' homage "Ain't Good Enough for You" and the lilting ballad "Candy's Boy" (a far cry from "Darkness' " aggressively lustful revision "Candy's Room") showcases the danceability, catchiness and even sentimentality Springsteen had to rein in to create "Darkness."
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The double in the room on Let England Shake is the whole modern world. PJ Harvey has given us a righteous scare.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Combined, the result is a dynamic, human album, one that's easy to fall in love with. Highly recommended.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Beasties' irreverence is what made them stand out in the first place; that their willful chaos continues to charm and mutate so many years on is the big surprise.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Following a pair of brilliant EPs, Shabazz attacks with Black Up.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What a beautiful record. Truly gorgeous, the kind that wins both hearts and awards--perfect for a dinner party, a drive along Pacific Coast Highway, or a good, healthy cry.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Embedded in a world of crashing, pounding pop music, Adams' solo rawness brings with it sweet release.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sometimes, a CD scratches an itch you didn't even know you had, and El Camino is that record.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A few private recordings have surfaced from the early 1960s, but none capture her essence like 1966.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Accelerando is a rambunctious yet nimble celebration of the groove that turns as much on the fulcrum of drummer Marcus Gilmore and bassist Stephan Crump as it does on Iyer's restlessly inventive piano.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is one of the best of his career.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ace producer and longtime champion of underground hip-hop El-P walks a fine line on Cancer 4 Cure, crafting aggression with militaristic precision.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's essential 2012 listening for anyone interested in popular music as art.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While hearing the band tear through early takes on pillars from the trumpeter's electric period such as "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" and "Spanish Key," it's hearing the band upend some of Davis' older material that may be most striking.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Awash with beats, rhythms, electronics, the occasional guitar and Yorke's soaring if still mostly unintelligible tenor, Amok is a record to get sonically lost within, a work whose every measure teems with a quality and a precision that only musicians at the top of their game can touch.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    They've captured a sound as tangibly uplifting as pop music gets. The Mavericks are back and indeed, just in time.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bombino and his band have released a killer document not only for fans of North African guitar music; anyone who has ever appreciated a master player make magic on a Fender while a band, which on Nomad is augmented by a few Auerbach’s go-to session men, organizes structures behind him, will find comfort in Bombino’s music.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Doris features instrumental interludes, expanded mid-song diversions and enough surprise to warrant repeated--obsessive--evaluation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you've ever fallen in love with a Costello record, be prepared for a new obsession.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Genre jumping aside, it's the patterns as much as the riffs that are beguiling here.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's an album we'll be looking at in December when it's time to single out the most powerful works of 2014.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Brash, polarizing, fearless and filled with a purity of vision that would make Col. Kurtz blanch.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Mandatory Fun is a stone cold masterpiece.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You want immaculate structure and production, there are plenty of albums available. You want the sound of life, of a voice summoning all its powers to shake a room and be heard, this recording is waiting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you're looking for a freaky good time, Art Official is your ticket.... An exquisite Prince R&B album.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What could have been a random collection of odds and ends--or worse, a nostalgia grab--isn't so much a look at Wilco's alternate-history past as it is a glimpse at ground the band still has to cover.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Rife with the kind of sublimely loose grooves achievable only through instrumental precision, Black Messiah is as vital as it is sublime.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His voice raw, pitchy and quivering, Dylan croons his way through elegantly crafted songs with seeming disinterest in flawless takes or perfect pitch. Yet it's profound, thematically devastating and so well curated as to feel essential.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This swinging, sometimes mournful, often tender set of 10 songs proves an easy album to, well, love. [25 Aug 2006]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The first time I listened to Radiohead's In Rainbows, I loved it, no holds barred.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The new box set does indeed help shed new light on the music and the entire project by way of the various bonus features that now accompany the original album... To paraphrase Rod Stewart, every album may indeed tell a story, but some stories are dramatically more compelling than others. The story of "Graceland" is one of the most compelling in all of pop music.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A confident, brash, inventive collection featuring songs that lock into the psyche after only a few listens, the White-produced creation is lyrically and musically challenging and filled with many fresh avenues of exploration, even as it nods to key tones and ideas from throughout the history of pre-rap American music.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The songs are structured firmly in the classic tradition, evoking Dylan, the Band, Hendrix and Beatles. They're enriched by a bottomless well of melodic invention and find an emotional core in Tweedy's shy, plaintive vocals. [20 Jun 2004]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The album is a bit daunting and demanding. But it's also compelling and rewarding. [22 Aug 2004]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This may not make new converts, but Spree fans will find much cause to rejoice. [11 Jul 2004]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    "Crow" is a striking redefinition, an album that roars and twitches with the raw, aggressive, fury of urgent rock activism.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is no more a perfect album than "Come Away With Me," but its highlights again carry the stamp of a singer whose talent is strong and whose vision is true.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Filled with just the kind of unpredictable twists and turns that you'd expect from someone who lists Doris Day as one of her idols and hopes someday to be compared to Bob Dylan. [29 Feb 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Music that at once revels in and transcends rock traditions.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's Em's show, for sure, and being surrounded by a talented, fast-talking crew has made him even more engaging than he is on his own.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    By sticking to a single subject, "Stone Love" lacks the range and ambition of her splendid "Mahogany Soul" album in 2001, but it is still a joy. [11 Jul 2004]
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    With deft, powerful strokes, the singer-songwriter chisels emotions, impressions, yearnings and regrets, giving these 13 songs exactly as much room as they need and no more.