Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,319 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 Shadows in the Night
Lowest review score: 25 Based on a T.R.U. Story
Score distribution:
1,319 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Despite its undercurrent of outrage, Branches--which expands Pedro's folksy sound with creamy keyboards, processed drum beats and the occasional spritz of glam-rock guitar.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Cassie Ramone sounds like a more confident guitarist, stretching out her leads, while the bass lines of Kickball Katy bubble out front to carry the melodies. And once again those melancholy harmonies are to die for, as Ramone chips off pieces of her heart in lamenting the boy who got away.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Heartbeat Radio is Lerche's most eclectic outing yet, with no overarching concept beyond a consistent level of excellence.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The music of AFI wasn't always as daring as its fashion sense, but the NoCal band has grown with accelerating sophistication, stepping further beyond easy pop-punk thrashings to something grander, with music to match the mopey melodrama of Havok's words.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Love 2 is not a make-out album in the traditional sense. It's about the love of silence, stillness, of being a conscious human being and watching the world float by.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    He filches from a variety of genres--Brazilian Tropicalia, glam rock, lounge jazz, Zeppelin-like psychedelia--but it never sounds awkward. He loosens the stitches on each to fashion his own unique costume.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The 10 songs course through the highs and lows with equanimity, from the pride and hope in Charlotte she expresses to the kindheartedness she displays for those acquaintances who've moved on.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    At times Iyer and his charges exhibit so much virtuosity and skill it's almost overwhelming how quickly ideas rise and fall through a given track, but attempting to parse all this trio is trying to say is well worth the effort.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's music that balances with uncommon elegance the desire to observe with the need to engage.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Johnston's best songs remind us that every mirror, like every voice, is always in danger of cracking. But that doesn't take anything away from the beauty of our illusions.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Transference has the act experimenting more with textures and mood. The result is a collection of melodic fragments and unexpectedly welcome left turns.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    IRM
    Throughout the follow-up to her 2006 album, "5:55," Gainsbourg never sounds out of her element, no matter how the music shifts underneath her feet.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Odd Blood ultimately reveals that beneath all the weird sounds, tribal harmonies and otherworldly textures, Yeasayer are still a bunch of indie-rock sentimentalists.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There is no instant hit of the "Living Dead Girl" variety, but across 11 songs, "Hellbilly Deluxe 2" is Zombie's most consistently tuneful record to date, without sacrificing the noise and industrial beats of the past.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    "Soldier of Love" is unique in its confrontational tone, but it connects to the other best tracks on this album, which employ minimalism and the rules of cool to carefully reconstruct various musical styles.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Mercer's knack for twisting and turning melodies is impeccably served by Burton, who tempers and fulfills those melodies with laid-back but elaborate scores of synth, piano, organ and sometimes a full string section, the only instruments not played by Burton or Mercer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This 11-track album--the second collection of collaborations by Touré and the Malian kora player Toumani Diabeté--doesn't sound like death. Rather, it's an early contender for the warmest, most life-affirming listen of 2010.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Whether the specifics involve being needed or wanting to fly away, lusting for someone or letting go, "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh" is a velvety, but still appealingly odd, exploration that feels more like a casual counterweight than a heady sequel.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This bluesy, heartland-soaked musical excursion features meaty support from guitarist Doug Lancio, bassist Patrick O' Hearn and drummer Kenneth Blevins, wittily informed nods to such influences as Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones and Willie Dixon and plenty of the rock soulfulness that's integral to the sound he's been honing for decades.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Hutz has said that Rubin encouraged him to focus on his songwriting as opposed to the band's frantic live show, and "Hustle" bears out that claim with catchier melodies and more slogan-ready lyrics.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The group's debut oozed with chemistry, and that musical empathy has just grown stronger and tighter here. And both in songwriting and musical execution--the operative word throughout here--the Dead Weather has crafted the equivalent of a taut, expertly directed movie thriller.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The pleasure is in listening to how often the National scrapes up close to maudlin, only to retreat in the nick of time.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    At times, the fumes of ambition are so thick off "The ArchAndroid," it's hard to absorb in one sitting. All the same, it's a star-making debut.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Tasty cuts abound here, but Sir Lucious is most enjoyable as a complete listening experience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In its 12 tracks, M.I.A. explores both what it means to serve as a sexual/romantic ideal in the Beyonce way, and what happens when a self-consciously political artist like herself confronts the sentimental streak deep within.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    One of the best summer blockbusters in recent memory, Teflon Don proves how thin the line is between a flight of fancy and something fantastic.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Suburbs is an accomplished love letter that radiates affection as much as bitterness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The songs are so good they can disarm any skeptics.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For much of the record, Mellencamp is eyeing death and laughing at the devil or, as in the back-porch-folk of "Easter Eve," bonding with his son by brawling with strangers. A little cranky, but far more carefree Mellencamp slips into a rocking chair groove on the lost-lover lament of "Don't Forget About Me" and concedes that he's "spotty at best." Over the course of his 30-plus-year career, sure, but not here.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise has a natural feel, comfortably ranging from bar-band rave-ups to contemplative acoustic numbers, with master pedal steel player Greg Leisz leading several tracks into the expertly unfussy territory of blue-chip Nashville country rock.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As this accomplished one-two punch attests, Gibbs boasts the rare ability to be both crude and refined.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    I'm Having Fun Now distinguishes itself from Lewis and Rice's solo efforts, or hers with band-on-hiatus Rilo Kiley, by going for a very specific tone.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Thirty-four years after the band's debut, Heart's dreamboat sails on.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Cave's skill at crafting work drenched with the blood and tears of human flaws remains unparalleled, and makes Grinderman 2 an essential rock and roll document.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Le Noise is not an epic -– if it were a book, you could read it in an afternoon -– but it's statement enough from a man who's already said so much.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Clapton and Bramhall also have pulled off a minor miracle in assembling an ad hoc group that manages to sound like a blues band whose members have been absorbing one another's abilities to the point of musical osmosis.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For all its stylistic variety, though, Sinners hangs together thanks to Malo's consistently remarkable vocals. Listening to this guy sing--listening to him sing anything--is an act of pure pleasure.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Stevens ventures widely on this 85-minute disc to find the best way to express what turn out to be basic home truths.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Though it might sound like a cold place, Eno's primordial milk sea is often choppy and warm, the kind of rough and imperfect environment where ideas ignite.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Most songs here emphasize Lynn's signature feistiness, but Williams zeroes in on the deep heartache she's also adept at, choosing her 1976 hit "Somebody Somewhere (Don't Know What He's Missin' Tonight)," one of 16 singles Lynn took to No. 1. There's a full record of this soul-scorching facet of Lynn's music lurking somewhere, for somebody.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    L.A.'s veteran indie rocker is on a tear in his third outing with the up-for-anything Miracle 3 - guitarist Jason Victor, drummer Linda Pitmon and bassist Dave DeCastro - fusing Wynn's penchant for Americana rock, psychedelia, brutal punk and extended jams into an intriguingly seductive blend.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    On Love Letter, he does away with the freakiness and lays down a full record of slow-simmered, grown-man emoting. And it feels like a wayward husband who's finally come home for good.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Apollo Kids shows that one of rap's company drivers is still on the speedway--zooming slightly slower than before, but with better pacing and control of the wheel.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's haunting, often harrowing stuff, but Allman knows this territory well, growling, yearning, pleading for some sense of peace that seems as if it will ever elude him--and maybe anyone who walks the eart
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Now with his fifth album, Beam may not have abandoned his roots, but he's certainly stretched far beyond them.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Kaputt is hallucinatory and unstructured, grabbing for whatever it likes in the moment -- it's the radio of Bejar's mind, floating off to sleep.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    DeVotchKa creates music that explodes with the desperate passion of someone standing at the end of a pier, or lost in the middle of a desert.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This music reminds us that subtlety is sometimes worth the time it takes to comprehend it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Carll is every bit as expressive a singer as he is a writer, drawling his trenchant observations with deceptive ease.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The soul-endangering threat of our current man-machine moment is unlikely to register.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    She's a mediocre singer with a very interesting voice, a fan of classic handmade pop and the ways laptops can serrate it, and a writer obsessed with sex and with sexing up obsession.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang is his successful quest to return to the days when it was simple, blessed with the wisdom to know which philosophies work.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    More than 20 years in, Screeching Weasel is providing tuneful evidence that one can be childish without coming off as adolescent.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Best of all, Angles captures that now-all-too-rare excitement of musicians playing off of one another.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As a result, Holy Ghost! has created a classic pop album, albeit one dressed for dancing in hipster finery.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Most contemporary country musicians steadfastly bypass the dark territory Krauss and her mates mine here, missing out on the deep emotion lurking within it. The loss is theirs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Playing with a band of her own (an alt-country collective dubbed the Siss Boom Bang) for the first time in a couple decades, Canada's sometimes strings-besotted crooner has found her guitar groove again.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For Simon, the divine isn't in the persistent hook of pop music but in the most far-reaching of global folk, where sounds, structures and techniques long ago abandoned can be employed in the service of something new and unknown.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Any TVOTR fans hoping for a return to the band's heavier early days might have trouble with Nine Types of Light, an album full of such a brilliant clarity that the title could be referencing its track listing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Producer T Bone Burnett and his ace crew of musicians help Earle with masterful skill and deft subtlety.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In its best moments, "Helplessness Blues" sparkles like some sort of divine plan, but a plan that knows the value of mistakes, surprises and even regret.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Dismissing it as overly familiar obscures the point. Saadiq is a classicist of the best kind - one who not only carries on tradition but expands it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's not the exquisite crispness of Yacht's bass lines that makes Shangri-La so appealing (though that certainly doesn't hurt). Rather, it's the band's knack for giving weighty ideas the lighthearted gift of groove.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As usual with the ever-insightful Alvin, the specifics of his raw material are the means to broader truths rather than an end in themselves.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Parton's irrepressible personality is the star attraction, and on Better Day it shines.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Long trafficking in a sometimes spare yet intricately drawn sort of Americana that could fit just as comfortably at the turn of the 20th century, their latest delivers the same deceptively simple alchemy of dustily lilting voices, vivid lyrical twists and crisp acoustic flourishes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Taken in its full, cumulative glory, Skying ultimately dazzles, musically varied but singular in its ambition.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Each of the thousands of individual beats, bumps, dots and dashes on Dedication sound forged with a sculptor's eye for form and shape, crafted and shined until they glisten.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Traffic is a handy metaphor for the album; it's a gorgeously orchestrated mess.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The R.E.D. Album orbits around contradictions like that. It might be the most compelling portrait of confusion we'll hear from a rapper this year.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    With Keeper, Doe beautifully balances a rocker's heart and a poet's soul.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Relax is Das Racist's first commercial release, yet it shares the dense sprawl and uncomfortable laughs of the group's previous Internet mixtapes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The result on The Whole Love is a work by a group of exceptional musicians who, four years into their collaboration, have melded into one.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Toward the end of this thoroughly bewitching album, Danilova even dispenses with the security-blanket gloom, singing a stark piano ballad not far removed from Adele's "Someone Like You."
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The production makes stellar use of his major-label money; the sound is refined and dynamic in a way that's wholly missing from pop radio.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    She's found a way to honor her Bjorkian appetites for lavish orchestral spectacle while finding the depth and subtlety of her voice.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    With all seven of the songs clocking in at six to 10 minutes each, Bush takes her time, but the songs aren't built of different parts; it's more like mounting meditations on one theme.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's both bleak and unexpectedly beautiful.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    As is the case with most Pollard releases, it's hard to pick a best moment, because catchy new favorites pop out with each successive listen, timed to explode in incremental bursts.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Taken together, Reznor and Ross' score to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (available as a three-CD set and as a download) not only does its job in service of Fincher's vision, but it's also one more step in the ongoing evolution of a restless musical mind.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Teebs may not be as acclaimed as Flying Lotus or labelmate Thundercat, but he's making music just as inspired.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The result is a rarity in the Chocolate Drops' world: roots music as useful as it is beautiful.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Anchored by Glasper's masterful, hypnotic work on piano and Rhodes, and filled with cameos by the likes of Bilal, Lalah Hathaway, Yasmin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def), Lupe Fiasco and more, it's a sensuous and smoky affair.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    At 14 songs and 53 minutes, Ugly is a workout, and there's nary a moment in which Paternoster doesn't seem at risk of losing control to her guitar.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Alabama Shakes' first album, Boys & Girls, is an electric jolt that anyone who loves blues-based rock music should track down immediately
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This ability to maneuver through complex emotions is one of Wainwright's strengths and makes "Out of the Game" an essential recording.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Throughout, Santigold never stops playing spin-the-globe, and she also never loses sight of her mission to keep listeners moving.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is Los Angeles hard-core. Long may it rule.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Banga is both a return to form and her best album in many years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The result confronts old age without giving in to self-pity. It earns its title.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Cherry Thing reclaims the unpredictable outlaw energy and impulses of hip-hop, jazz and punk, organically linking them all.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It might be the year's most beautifully sung recording.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Dirty Projectors still get itchy at the prospect of sleek surfaces, and their uneasiness is a thrill to behold.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Repeated listenings only prove how strong and artful this collection is.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    While it's great to have the old albums re-mastered, the real draw here are the remixes and the concert performances.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Sun
    A big, confident, and captivating pop album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Silver Age is an exclamation point to those [Sugar] reissues, a nod to the past but with clear direction forward.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Ever confident of her allure both as a woman and an artist, Furtado on The Spirit Indestructible proves nearly untouchable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's a minor miracle she's been able to make room for another Lavender Diamond outing. But when the results sparkle this brilliantly, the multi-tasking seems exceedingly worth it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Jiaolong boasts nine timeless dance-floor bangers that resurrect a moment.