New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 158 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Van Lear Rose
Lowest review score: 10 Charmbracelet
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 158
  2. Negative: 22 out of 158
158 music reviews
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    On their astonishing new Stankonia (LaFace/Arista), Outkast explore their own disappointment with hip-hop's self-satisfied acquisitiveness. But though it attacks the genre's tunnel vision, the album -- which takes its name from George Clinton's vision of funk as expressing the raw, unruly side of life -- does so with joy (and huge doses of absurdity) instead of with the polemics of Public Enemy.... Stankonia is among the most exciting albums of the year, not only because it brazenly addresses hip-hop's spiritual emptiness (other well-intentioned rappers have tried) but because it musically surpasses the most innovative work of street production dons like Swizz Beatz, Manny Fresh, and Timbaland. By offering something for both the mind and the ass, to borrow from George Clinton's slogan, Outkast, like Gang of Four and Funkadelic before them, make revolution you can dance to.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A darkly compelling masterpiece that taps into the pitch-black id of Johnny Cash’s best records.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Here, Nas is so fierce, so plainspoken, so lean with words, that he demolishes not just the oeuvre of our ruling rappers (yes, including Eminem's) and recalls the music's lyrical champs like Rakim, he even brings to mind hip-hop progenitors like Muhammad Ali in the "Rumble in the Jungle" era.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Musicology is a thrilling, electric statement by an artist who just might be building toward another creative peak.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is stranger, thornier, and meaner than anything in the band’s past.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "Love and Theft" showcases the gloriously sloppy spontaneity he's displayed onstage but only rarely captured on record.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the heaviest rock albums since Seattle's heyday.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What's most exciting about Miss E is its sense of playfulness: It's the rare hip-hop album in which unabashed joy -- rather than acquisitiveness or grimacing gangsterism -- is the main ingredient.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not content to embrace familiar dance-music genres like trance (the way Madonna does when she's feeling experimental), the band delves into the most outré electronic music imaginable, from the amniotic soundscapes of Brian Eno to the industrial gristle of Coil. The result is Radiohead's best album...
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Her new album, Vespertine, is the singer's most complete and compelling expression of that wondrous worldview yet.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hail to the Thief is overloaded with miraculous sounds.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    How the West Was Won proves that Led Zeppelin was nearly peerless in creating gigantic, thunderous rock.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Bubblegum is a blues record, a powerfully original reinterpretation of the genre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Skinner’s finely honed sense of place still has a nearly hypnotic effect.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Especially when heard on headphones, Medulla is an overwhelming sonic bliss-out, Phil Spector’s wall of sound channeled through the voice box.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A profoundly emotional, uncynical brand of songwriting that showcases Antony’s obsession with nature.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best record of his career, a collision of the idiosyncratic charms of Portastatic with the exuberant rock power of Superchunk.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Broken Social Scene has pulled off the rare feat of making a heavily produced record sound instinctive and spontaneous.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A deeply satisfying work of storytelling through pop.... What Are You On? is emotionally complex in a way that few of the more prosperous songwriters of Cornog’s generation are capable of producing at this point in their careers.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dirt Farmer is an iconic album, this year’s "Time Out of Mind" or "Freedom." Just give him a Grammy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is pure non-homogenised, heart-on-sleeve, downright meaningful music, the sort of thing The Wombats cry themselves to sleep over on a nightly basis. For that alone it’s worth a tenner of anybody’s money.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    American Supreme proves that Suicide can reach backward and still remain ahead of the pack.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Parton's risks here bring great, unexpected pleasures.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's full of anthemic songs with echoing guitar, catchy choruses, and the kind of spacious production Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno also brought to The Joshua Tree.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band take their experimental ethos even further without sacrificing the emotional power of their debut.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album feels like a romp, with Thompson performing everything from delicate waltzes to roadhouse rock.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Strange and wonderful.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Rooty, Basement Jaxx refines the ambitious but untidy sprawl of its debut into a carnivalesque mix of two-step, house, funk, and disco with a modern take on George Clinton's late-seventies mission of "rescuing dance music from the blahs."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike her recent work, Stumble Into Grace is made up solely of Harris’s work--love songs like “Can You Hear Me Now” that perfectly suit her voice, which is sweet and whispery yet never sentimental.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By leaving her images blurry and her singing uncomplicated, Williams has found a way to capture the sound she hears in her head and obsesses over the recording process to find.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Murray Street is like falling asleep with the TV on and waking to rapturous white noise.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's less rootsy than its predecessor, as Shadow moves from the bohemian, jazzy hip-hop he's come to be associated with to more synthetic sounds like electro and synth pop.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Springsteen refuses to allow himself either vengefulness or excessive pride, and he avoids too-literal musings on the tragedy that ultimately undermined songs like Neil Young's "Let's Roll."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An album of taut, bilious rock that -- propelled, not coincidentally, by original Attractions members Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas -- has all the teetering-on-unhinged feel of Costello's very best work.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    And though his search for dance-floor transcendence gives the album emotional heft as well as a sense of pacing, the best songs on Halfway are the ones that look straight into the gutter and dive right in, corny catchphrases and all. "Ya Mama" -- which will likely do for "Push the tempo" what "The Rockafeller Skank" did for "the funk soul brother" -- is sped-up, silly, and, in the end, one of the more memorable songs on the album. It's enough to make an auteur look back fondly on his car-commercial period.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bionix continues the party that began on the first AOI volume, Mosaic Thump, but without the endless collaborations that made that album feel forced.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But despite collaborators as diverse as Chaka Khan, Busta Rhymes, and Mike D of the Beastie Boys, the album sounds more like the result of a raucous block party than of a careful marketing plan.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Tasty features predictable envy-inspiring flaunts of sex and cash, the album is good-hearted, too.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cover albums tend to be self-indulgent stunts, but not for Dulli. She Loves You comes across as the most natural expression of him as an artist.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Showtime, Dizzee doesn’t give up his sonic adventurousness, but he is a lot more disciplined about it.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Speakerboxxx--by itself the album of the year--makes the failings of The Love Below all the more evident.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Utterly raw and rocking.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Aha Shake Heartbreak showcases four feckless stoners speaking in their own shop-class patois, it also captures them playing alarmingly sophisticated pop.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In a larger sense, the shock is that Belle and Sebastian have grown out of their awkward adolescence. And they sound all the more interesting for having done so in full view of their fans.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beck integrates his personae into a fairly seamless whole, and his knack for synthesizing disparate musical elements (hip-hop, robot funk, blues, country, jazz, garage rock, etc.) extends beyond samples and individual tracks. The songs migrate smoothly from one to the next; there aren’t any throwaway numbers to sabotage the album’s momentum; the whole thing coheres.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stands somewhere between Nebraska and Joad in terms of impact and quality.... But this album doesn’t merely find the middle ground between those two earlier releases: Its best songs break new ground for Springsteen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The songs, which have the choppy angles and elegant dissonance of Pavement’s, are painstakingly layered with keyboards and all manner of funky blurps and beeps. It all sounds very labor-intensive—and pretty smart, too.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their debut album, released in the U.S. this week, proves that the Brighton lasses aren't only well constructed, but sharp and tough all on their own.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is a tutorial in finely textured songwriting.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What really makes Ghosthorse and Stillborn worthy of a jump for joy is CocoRosie’s transformation from self-conscious oddity into an actual songwriting force.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is nothing tentative or unpolished about any of these songs.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Each and every hand clap and piano chord on their foot-stomping, flawless new album, now streaming on their label's Website, is obsessively placed.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The latest electro-folk offering from these Canadian twins is somehow cuter, catchier, and more heartache-y than their last disc.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Underneath all of those lush, gorgeous strings, [producer] Hogarth then layered the electronic beats, delays, fades, and distortions that lend the album its freshness and vitality.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Animal Collective has evolved; its songs continue to meander and digress, but the mania seems driven by a greater sense of purpose.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although it lifts off with a flawless indie-pop opener and sounds somehow lively even at its most melancholy, the lovely new Weakerthans album disc is all about the art of settling in and telling a good, unhurried story.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s their most accessible and coherent to date.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Packaged in big, bright doses of piano-pop, her expressions of puppy love are as irresistible as puppies themselves.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Notice it now, or wait until people start hailing it as a lost classic in a decade's time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Badu has rejected the role of soul princess and chosen instead to embrace a raw, unhinged spirituality that separates her from the pack.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When in doubt, crank the amps. This is the philosophy behind R.E.M.’s new album, Accelerate, their best, and certainly their loudest, in years.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It rewards that attention with small pleasures: guitar and organ playing off each other’s reverb, bass and drum dancing in and out of step, horns and vocals collapsing into a single bellow. In essence, it offers that luxuriant buzz that made rock and roll one of the great narcotics of the last half-century.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The whole record is about the band skillfully weaving in and out of dramatically different textures and arrangements; each song plays with several musical ideas, not just one or two.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are no state-of-the-art flourishes (like Kanye West’s sped-up soul samples); he furnishes most of his own hooks, without the assistance of Auto-Tune, the now ubiquitous vocal effect favored by rappers who can’t really sing (Devin sings, and quite nicely too); and the only big-name rapper he invites is Snoop Dogg, with whom he shares some genuine stoner chemistry. Track after track (there are only twelve, and mercifully no skits), the beats land just so. And nowhere is he more confident than in his rhymes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The disc ultimately hangs together on mood; Price unfailingly accentuates the bright, shiny, and happy. This not only makes good pop sense, it provides an effective counterbalance to Flowers and his achy-breaky vocals.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His latest album, Hold Time, is as finely wrought and thoroughly affecting an indie effort as 2009 is likely to see.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    His solo debut, Stephen Malkmus, doesn't sound so different from late-period Pavement, but at least he's regained his smart-ass swagger.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    What gives A Little Deeper its heft, though, is Dynamite’s voice: She can hold a word so long it almost floats in the air, and she purposefully embellishes her girlish, almost kewpie-doll-like whine to deliver her most stinging rebukes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Goddess is the only forward-looking project by a Rolling Stone since the band flirted with disco on "Miss You."
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Ferry could seem too reverent toward the material on As Time Goes By, but his new album, Frantic, feels a lot looser (and less respectful) even as it revisits the singer's favorite sources (Dylan, Leadbelly).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Wainwright’s powers of observation recall both Morrissey and Cole Porter.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like the market-minded collaborations that run rampant on hip-hop records, Elliott’s range here feels like base-covering.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the album follows the path cleared by Wrecking Ball, Harris takes more confident strides... Unfortunately, a little knowledge of the recording studio can be a dangerous thing, and Red Dirt Girl occasionally crosses the line from mellow into mannered.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    When you’re treated to such a powerful front woman, it seems almost unfair to complain about the lack of sophisticated sonics.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mostly, as on Ray of Light, sophisticated production masks Madonna's shortcomings as a songwriter.... Often Mirwais is the real star here... It's his music that makes Music matter. [Sep 25, 2000]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Röyksopp is savvy at pulling out the joker in the pack just when the music threatens to become cutesy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    You can’t help but get lost in Minogue’s music.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite its faults--and there are many--Ray Ray is a startlingly inventive record.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With its fluttering horns, gauzy percussion, and the playing of smooth-jazz saxophonist Najee, Prince's new album, The Rainbow Children, is steeped in the kind of fusion [Miles] Davis pioneered.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s a lot less monotone than its predecessor.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A sprawling and undisciplined mess... but it’s fully attuned to what made West so compelling in the first place, namely chunks of samples that feel raw and convey an underdog sensibility.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Aside from the horrifyingly detailed stalker narrative of "Stan" and the homicidal fantasy of "Kim," nothing on Marshall Mathers rises above the level of locker-room insults -- nearly every song seems to feature Eminem's giving someone the finger.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Manages, despite an excess of throwaway material, to be an appropriately eccentric testament to Cobain’s talent.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Taken on its own, Live is still the best officially released evidence of the camaraderie that makes the E Street Band so vital, as well as an essential next chapter for an artist who hasn't released a studio album in some time. But there are still ways in which, as for so many of Springsteen's performances, you had to be there.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A romp as vigorous as any since 1982's English Settlement.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Marrying his sturdy rock-guitar talents to lively beats, he’s found a comfort zone.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Her songs still revolve mostly around the adolescent hell of looking right and pleasing jerky guys, a shtick that would be old if Hatfield, well into her thirties, didn’t genuinely sound as if she were still living through it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The first half, in particular, has irresistible momentum... The second half drags a little, and you wish Madonna would strip the synths back to work a bass line every now and then.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Entertaining and surprisingly consistent.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like The OC, Easy Tiger manages to be pleasurable without ever being interesting.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Per Vulture, the Curtis-shaming Graduation "has better songs waiting in the wings. Bonus: No Jamie Foxx!"
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you give it the chance, though--and if you’re not already a member of the tribe, it takes perseverance--Bedlam sinks its fangs into you.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Put the last eight years of Williamsburg micro-genres in a blender— all that electroclash, disco rock, retro glam, and psych-folk—and you’ve got a sense of the charming mess that is this Connecticut-via-Brooklyn duo’s debut.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the album can’t really stand with the Pretenders first three, it approximates them pretty well, like a faux vintage T-shirt that’s faded just right.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Q-Tip's flow on his new disc remains mellow, freewheeling, and vaguely inspirational. But it doesn't feel relevant.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Either way, this latest effort is set to be interpreted more ways than the Qur'an and see him sat atop an almighty fence pushing anyone who hears it either side with reckless glee.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Buckcherry now captures the decadence of seventies and eighties hard rock better than anyone who actually lived it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The W is the sort of back-to-basics album that rock bands like the Who and the Rolling Stones used to make when they felt they were losing touch with their audience. It's capable but uninspiring -- Wu by Numbers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    And though the smarter songs (the more personal "If I Had It All," the easygoing "Fool to Think") benefit from the concision, the group's newfound musical sharpness isn't that of a world-class bar band but that of an outsize stadium act -- all grand gesture and larger-than-life lyrics. Sometimes, as on "I Did It," the band recaptures the spirit of seventies rock in all its innocent fun. Other times, especially on the cloying, overdramatic "The Space Between," it recaptures only those moments that involve holding a lighter high above one's head.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Too tentative and slight to be genuinely moving.