Los Angeles Times' Scores

For 1,330 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.2 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:
1,330 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though long and featuring a bounty of ideas, The Electric Lady is surprisingly slight.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Lips' catalog is exhaustingly long, but Arabia Mountain is a fine reassertion that its talents extend far beyond running from venue security.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    She's clearly capable of belting a worthy song out of the park, but once again she's hampered by bloop singles and the infrequent double.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In his determination to establish his own lane, though, James has let his once-strong songwriting sag.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As a set of songs, though, Divine Fits' debut feels pretty process-oriented, more workbook than showpiece.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The King Is Dead clings so closely to formula that it doesn't sound like homage or even truth; it sounds like the studious but unconvincing work of an extremely gifted mimic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If the style is intact, though, the songs here seem a bit lackluster; only the relatively jangly "Harmony Around My Table" and the Velvet Underground-ish "Peanuts" (think of O'Hara in Moe Tucker's role) really stand out from the tasteful mid-tempo blur.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    1989 is a deeply catchy, sleekly-produced pop record with the slightly juiceless quality of an authorized biography, a would-be tell-all bleached of the detailed insight she’s trained us to expect from her.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There are exceptions, but most of "Talkie Walkie" is static and not fleshed out, like a perfectly produced series of unfinished demos.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album's polished, middle-of-the-road approach isn't exactly for everyone, but its agreeable heart doesn't hit any sour notes, either.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's no denying that, three albums in, the winning novelty of Art Brut's tightly defined project is beginning to wear off.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Acoustic guitars replace glistening synths, bittersweet steel guitars slide in to provide the patina of rural rootsiness, yet Richie still never really steps away from the polished sheen that characterized his musical heyday.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Suck It and See (English slang for "give it a try"), slows the pace but ultimately feels even more detached.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As impressively specific as those sonic ideas are, though, Deschanel's songwriting here is less distinctive than it was on "Volume One." Too many of the tracks bleed together in a well-appointed mush of major-minor melodies and hand-me-down lyrics about the inevitability of heartbreak.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Wack Album feels awfully short on fresh ideas.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Where Does This Door Go feels like a once-promising OK Cupid date that's gone off the rails.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The sounds are largely tepid arrangements that fail to generate much excitement.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Freeway's penchant for ham-handed hooks and emotionally flat attempts at introspection ('I Cry') and romance ('Take It to the Top') reveal, over the course of these 14 songs, an ultimate two-dimensionality.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It seldom gathers enough momentum, and doesn't feel the least bit cohesive.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cussing, the horror, the anger, the disappointment, the alienation, the frustration, while real and scary and sad, gets tiresome. That's a lot of Tyler, and so much ego-maniacal nihilism, while fascinating and at times revolutionary, wears thin very quickly.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In his quest to impress, Big Boi short-changes the street-level swagger that always kept his partner Andre 3000 here on Earth.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Yet for all the sleek settings and the vocal firepower Ledisi deploys, Turn Me Loose doesn't really present an artistic persona any more memorable than the earnest traditionalist from "Lost & Found."
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    "Idlewild" leaves the ears longing for something. Coherence, basically. There's no sustaining mood, no clear message, only Benjamin and Patton's efforts to outdo whatever they came up with last.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Roots have always been more about the music than the lyrics, but "Tipping Point" excels at neither. [11 Jul 2004]
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    More often than not, though, Nas offers windy whines instead of innovative ideas.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The singer has no trouble making herself at home in these cuts, but the flimsy material can't quite conceal her hit-hungry desperation. Braxton fares better in the album's slower, more sensual songs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If Gaga had only spent as much time on pushing musical boundaries as she has social ones, Born This Way would have been a lot more successful.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Between this and the first "Alone" installment, there's enough gristle for the third-best Weezer album as yet unmade. Cuomo's Patron problems are beatable--it's the "Pork & Beans" that's really derailed him lately.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Home may be where the heart is, but Bentley was a lot more compelling when he was poking around up on the ridge.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Hombre Lobo is much more effective when Everett keeps things one-dimensional, as in 'Tremendous Dynamite,' a deliciously fuzzy blues-punk rave-up in which he describes being "on the prowl for a restless night," and 'Beginner's Luck,' a jubilant ode to the boundlessness of new love.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The duo's taller half, Ronnie Dunn, was long regarded as the more distinctive singer, and on his solo debut, there's no more sharing of the spotlight to hold him back. That's about the only difference between a Brooks & Dunn record and this similarly hit-and-miss collection of odes to blue-collar empathy, patriotism and the transformative power of love.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Mostly, though, Blown Away finds her using her remarkable voice to deliver feel-good bromides.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album is a pointedly minimal production, though -- most tracks are simple guitar-bass-drum affairs with a few tasteful harmonies that put the surprisingly durable hooks up front.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The singer cuts loose only as '8th Wonder' winds down, building to the kind of fury that causes one to wonder what this album could've been with less polish and a lot more Ditto, unfiltered.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The characteristically festive result is generous to a fault: Collins triggers warm memories but leaves us with only a shallow sense of how precisely his four decades in the business have affected him as a man.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The challenge in coming back for Round 2 was to make it more than a one-note joke, but the Darkness remains in its Spinal Tap mode for most of "One Way Ticket." [6 Dec 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's all familiar stuff - too familiar - to warrant sustained attention.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Snoop and Wiz make a sweet couple, but this lightweight trifle is unlikely to cement a committed relationship.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The third studio album from Major Lazer, Diplo's project inspired by Jamaican dancehall music, features a few hot tracks and a few so tepid that we need reminders about what made Diplo interesting in the first place.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Klaxons, if you're going to shout in our ears a bunch, can you at least have something to say?
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is pop music, and it's all in good fun.... I just wish the recipe would have included a touch more poetry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The 16 songs vary in tone, from grease-and-nicotine-stained jams to spit-shined ballads, but too little of it is adroit enough in construction or execution to stick in the craw.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It rarely puts the original material in a new light or reveals much about songs that were already close to perfect.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's unclear whether the creative languor stems from the inherent commercial pressure of being the Young Money meal ticket or whether Wayne has exhausted his ideas after compressing a career's worth of songs into three years.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A competent but very late-adopted pop-trance slurry.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Toning down the sonic drama creates an appealing intimacy, but an hour's worth of blues- and folk-flavored ballads becomes monotonous.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    However well-crafted and hummable it is, Exhibitionists is hardly groundbreaking. Each song feels borrowed rather than handmade.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    That spitfire spirit carries over into the most electrifying moments of Just Like You, a batch of tuff-girl tunes for the torn-fishnets set, but too much of it sounds impermanent, like so much Manic Panic rinsing down the drain.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A sense that his musical vision hasn't stalled in 1978 might add some urgency. Some kind of retooling might also help with his larger problem: trying to do the same job with old equipment. [11 Sep 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album should keep him atop the country commercial firmament, but doesn't really advance him as an artist.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Once you get past the surface attractions, Sam Endicott's arch singing and rock-rebel posturing are forced, and his production is as stiff as the mechanical discoid rhythms. [24 Apr 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nearly every song overstays its welcome; what may have felt like a bunch of great jams in the studio grows tedious over the course of 12 tracks.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As meticulously as these sounds and instruments are recorded, as beautiful and haunting as they sometimes sound, they don't add up to more than one or two truly memorable songs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Chesney's tone-deafness here seems especially egregious because it's surrounded by better, smarter material.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's all very fun and creative, but, ironically, the duo fall into the common hip-hop traps of being short on actual hooks and not knowing when to edit themselves. [15 Dec 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It may not be fair to rag on the group for picking the wrong decade to rip off, but right now Kasabian's allegiance to the '90s sounds especially uninspired.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    All that star power can leave little room in these futuristic R&B songs for Hilson, whose sturdy but unremarkable voice rarely transcends its role as a melody-delivery device.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    One just wishes the band did it with a bit more grace and inventiveness than on Appeal to Reason, where straight-outta-the Nation song titles like 'Collapse (Post-Amerika)' and 'Re-education (Through Labor)' disguise some pretty conservative ideas about how modern mainstream punk should sound.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    She's sounding as genre-bound in her way as the synthetic singers she was supposed to be a relief from.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    At 16 tracks, though, Fifty Shades of Grey is a bit of a slog, with too many dreary midtempo numbers--by Sia, Laura Welsh and Skylar Grey--that only feel more glazed (and less enticing) the longer you listen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If only the others brought aboard were extended as much freedom to do something other than trace outlines over the contours of this familiar canon.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Don't expect a record as breathtaking as U2 at its best. Rather, this is average-grade stuff with a couple essential songs.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But extracting a narrative from these delicate sounds can feel like more trouble than they're worth--even if you haven't half as much happening as Albarn does.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The cartoonish sound compensates for Spears' lack of range and lung power by allowing her to ham it up.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album offers evidence that the singer has fallen behind, that she is no longer setting the conversation in a genre she essentially invented - blending Top 40 pop with club music.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It surrounds a handful of his sharpest, most insightful songs with far less effective material--tracks that either vague out into club-rap utility or sag hopelessly under the weight of cornball sentiment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For all the innuendo and introspection, Talk That Talk contains little sweat, slobber or fluids and a lot of plasticized, inflatable insinuation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Her sadly depleted voice is again propped up by multi-tracking, and the occasional dog-deafening shriek hardly proves she's recaptured her early acrobatic power. [10 Apr 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What the album leaves you with is the image of a little lion man, rattling his ever-expanding cage.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    E=MC2 is a little better--the songwriting is more consistent, the feel a bit more natural--but it too lacks a ruling temperament or artistic vision.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not surprisingly, the music is heavy on acoustic guitars and steel drums, light on powerhouse percussion, making for a musical tour as relaxing as a ride in a hammock strung between two palm trees. And about as uneventful. [23 Jan 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As with all of the installments, half are good, half aren't--all depending on your mood and tolerance for soft rock.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Picked by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, the second volume has a lot of good makeout songs and just as many calls for courage.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album lags in its second half with songs that feel half-baked and are not aided by clever production. Many were penned by Sparks, whose writing abilities are far from hopeless; they simply need more development.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There might be a compelling story in there, but when the Furnaces' songs come in to elaborate on her tales... it's all but impossible to figure out what's going on. [6 Nov 2005]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With imagery haunted by death and lyrical allusions to alienation and angst, Avenged Sevenfold's fifth full-length is almost impossible to appreciate unless you fit the prime demographic: tormented teenage boys.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Gentle on the ears and soft on the heart, Kisses might be of no greater or lesser consequence than an easygoing golf outing among friends or a weekend spent digging a garden near the back fence, but its pleasures, though small and sleepy, can be gratifying.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Trouble is, there's never been an ounce of menace in his boy-next-door vocals, so there's a credibility gap in those performances, no matter how catchy they are.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    ...And Star Power is scattered, often silly and mostly inconsequential.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Emotional Traffic isn't dramatically better, worse or all that different from what he's been doing since the beginning.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It certainly weaves a wide range of up-to-the-second pop styles into the mix: throwback '70s funkiness, dance music's two-step and drum 'n' bass, new-wave soul.... Still, he is no Prince.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Eventually all this mellow reflection begins to resemble a retreat rather than an advance.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    He and band move through riffs, guitar solos and drum fills with a compact tightness that shouldn't surprise; Prince is a legendary taskmaster. The problem, though, is that half the songs, most obviously "White Caps," don't pop, don't scream for replay and should have landed on the cutting-room floor.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the new Rihanna record may be at times sonically exciting, what resides beneath the new bass-heavy, Skrillex-inspired music is still a fast-food burger, one with a lot of extra sauce and some very disturbing ingredients.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    All the songs are encased behind such stylish glass that it's hard to feel much of anything while listening to Destroyed, much less identification with the plight of the nomadic musician.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    McGraw's album leans heavily on the soap opera-ish tales that have brought him his biggest successes. [5 Sep 2004]
    • Los Angeles Times
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The result is a disjointed, artistically confused release that's not only way too long but also doesn't really ring true as an "album" at all, at least if your definition is a collection of new songs with a central premise or statement that one listens to from start to finish.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Smoke + Mirrors puts across strong feelings, but it refuses to reveal how they work.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While Rhymes has always been more pop savvy than his peers, his eighth studio album feels compartmentalized at the expense of cohesion and clarity.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Its latest album, Love Hate and Then There's You, is a stereotypical dilution of the Stooges/MC5 canon, there are a few unexpectedly tight tunes that hit as hard as, well, a sock in the eye.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As a rock star side project, though, Dead by Sunrise has an unlikely fault--it's not nearly indulgent enough.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Gloriana's pop acumen (and virtuoso hair-care abilities) are a sure bet to fill arenas very soon, but they shouldn't forget to toss an occasional 'Landslide' in for the grizzled oldsters out there.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    LP1
    The result, surprisingly, is Stone's most conventional record yet: handsome soul singing, sturdy blues-rock arrangements, lyrics about refusing to cry oneself to sleep.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's an impressively focused and clever work. But this music is not transcendent. It's still stuck in Marshall Mathers' muck, his fundamental mistrust of pleasure and love.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    the atypical sincerity of La Liberacion suggests that something--whether the burdens of relentless sexiness or beating pop music at its own game too soon--still does.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The downside is that along with heart and brains, Hollywood Undead has filtered out any sense of humor from its music, which makes American Tragedy virtually impossible to listen to for longer than a few songs at a time.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Blurred Lines is a celebration of plasticine funk, warbly bass and plump booties.... Just as often, though, Thicke and his producers, which include himself and collaborators Pro J, Dr. Luke and Timbaland, dip from the cheesier realms of '70s pop.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A slickly produced collection of largely generic, meandering songs about self-affirmation in the wake of heartache and romantic disillusionment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Imagine Phil Mickelson in a round of putt-putt and you'll get a sense of what's on the line for Beck's first studio album in seven years.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The problem is the Duchess herself. Fergie exudes earthy charm, but can't keep up with the breakneck music. She forces emotion on the slower show-stoppers, and she's all cartoon kitten on the come-ons. [17 Sep 2006]
    • Los Angeles Times