Okayplayer's Scores

  • Music
For 148 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 96% higher than the average critic
  • 1% same as the average critic
  • 3% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 12.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 85
Highest review score: 98 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Lowest review score: 50 Beaus$eros
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 148
148 music reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    With My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West transgresses paradigms and defies the limitations of genre, thusly granting himself the highest compliment payable to an artist.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    GZA for his part conveys overarching ideas of war with self, the world at large, and pushing oneself artistically to the limit as a coping mechanism--expressing a coherent worldview through top flight craftsmanship.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The music is powerful, but the moods and mental space Channel Orange occupies are often macabre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Surely there's despair and persistent uncertainty, but there's an unspoken beauty to the struggle.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is sophisticated music for the adult soul.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Even though there were a few points at which this album dragged for me, (see back to back six-minute songs), there is no doubt that this is not only a strong debut for Saigon, but a strong album that indicates he'll be a force in hip-hop for years to come.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    If I were asked to document the unrest within Detroit, The Left's Gas Mask would be the backdrop. Journalist 103 and Apollo Brown have created a beautifully ugly masterpiece that seethes with urgency and raises the bar considerably for their peers at home and beyond.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    House of Balloons is a surprisingly strong and confident debut for a new artist.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    If one devotes their time to the music, they'll come away experiencing one of the best Hip-Hop albums released in the last few years.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While it might sound more suitable for spins on a clunky, stereophonic hi-fi, this stone soul picnic is a breath of fresh air in the here and now amidst the throng of techno R&B androids scaling the charts.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If A Dream Deferred isn't the best produced album this year, it's gotta be in the top three.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    El Rego is solid gold all the way through.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Mike and El-P may not have made a lot of sense on paper, but it's clear they have great chemistry and they have pushed each other to make some of the year's best music.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    It's a challenging, complex and sometimes brilliant album from an extremely talented artist who doesn't place limits on himself, though at times you may wish he had thrown a few small ones in there.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    While the material on Second Chance is quite straight forward and not very new, the album works, because it's a comfortable move forward for an artist who is trying to make up for lost time. The album is a defining second chance.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    It's a testament to Ghostface's MC bonafides and sheer force of personality that, while easily his weakest solo outing, Apollo Kids is far from a bad album. It just doesn't quite feel like a Ghostface Killah album.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    With Cancer4Cure I was gratified on the first spin, but I'm sure it will take many more listens to fully understand El-P's brilliance on both the mic and the boards.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Fly Lo manages to create an unusually sophiticated and well-produced album with mostly a laptop.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While this album definitely has its FFWD moments, the Beasties' lighthearted approach still manages to hand the smack down to crab rappers and school the bratty new kids on the block in one fell swoop.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    At it's best, Reloaded rocks like Evidence liberated from the jungle of Premo beats and given enough space to go believably gangster.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All three parties are at the top of their game – Russell is in complete control of her formidable voice, Quantic is in the most verdant part of his career, and the Combo Barbaro? Well, they've been dope for years. The result is a triumph.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If you're willing to open your ears up, you'll be entertained by a high quality MC having a blast on record.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nine Types of Light is a damn good place for those of us as yet unfamiliar with TV on the Radio to start investigating one of the most adventurous bands around today. And I can guarantee that if you start here, you won't stop.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Weather is a beautiful album and the most intimate project we've heard from Ndegeocello in the last few years.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    On Back to Love, Hamilton splits the difference and delivers a carefully calculated amalgam of soulful rawness, after hours sophistication and pop sheen that feels far more organic than it has any right to.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Every utterance on the album is packed full of meaning. Listeners will surely be left gleaning new insights from this collection after every rotation.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It had that intangible love and passion behind it that so, so many albums these days are essentially lacking. The tone will brighten your day, while the passion will inspire you.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    It is readily apparent on Love Me Back that Ms. Sullivan is making a huge push at greater mainstream success.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though the album hits all the right notes, the muted horns, understated strings and whispery vocalist with major funk potential leaves you nostalgic for something more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Oh No is certainly a capable lyricist but the tracks on Ohnomite tend to work best when he lets his guest artist take the foreground.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    This is a piece of work that raises the bar for all his contemporaries, and I would not be surprised to see this album at the top of many Best of 2011 lists.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    It's got guest collabs that make sense without being overbearing, a few genre defying styles that go from almost dancey to instrospection and back but it never loses track.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Feist manages to deliver an understated, yet powerful resolution that ultimately defines Metals not so much as a break up album or a make up album, but as a journey to acceptance.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stereotype succeeds in melding styles seamlessly, and delivering enough synergy to help each one of the acts involved broaden its audience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Random Axe don't break the mold on this album, but they are sure to make stalwart fans of each individual rapper happy with a release that's thematically consistent if not repetitive and evocative of the three's surefire chemistry.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Though it may not be the knock out aural masterpiece one would expect from the likes of a Flying Lotus production, The Golden Age of Apocalypse excels by harnessing the spirits of Pastorious, Sun-Ra, and other left-of-center demigods, dazzling us with FlyLo and Bruner's unique brand of collaborative eccentric genius.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Overall, this is a pretty interesting effort that is very genre-bending in its approach.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's a pleasure to listen to, and perhaps its sheer existence (thanks in part to crowdsourcing on Kickstarter) is a fact to be celebrated in itself
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    You won't find much in the way of a message on Mic Tyson (closest thing might be on the driving "Pyrex": "wake up, all that crack and the street talk/is made up like Jack & The Beanstalk"), but you will find a raw rap sound seldom heard in these calloused days
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Ali touches on every heavy topic under the sun but it's the more personal anecdotes, like flying home from Europe to attend his Dad's funeral or coming off tour to find his son neglected and injured that hit hardest and make Mourning in America worth copping.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A celebration of quality rap music, past, present, and future.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, in fact, it might feel like a little too much of The Weeknd all at once. But then again the music is so good it might just be what the doctor ordered.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's good time music written to the sound of heartbreak and everyday affairs, which makes it even more relatable, accessible even.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    With this release, Statik Selektah continues to prove that he one of hip hop's finest beatsmiths. Meanwhile, Action Bronson shows that he will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The fiery spirit of Africa For Africa certainly carries echos of the immortal Fela, and Femi seems quite comfortable carrying on his father's legacy. But, with another powerful addition to an already stellar catalogue, the son is not so quietly building a legacy all his own.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Solidarity is a straight up funky, raucous, dancefloor-troubling, riot-provoking monster of an album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Freed from production duties, she pours herself into her voice and her lyrics, giving a vocal performance that drips feeling and firmly establishes her as a singer to be reckoned with.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    He's found ways to make complexity entertaining and to harness pain in the names of maturity and laughter.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Perhaps it's best enjoyed as an album of two halves--with funk on the A side, and a more introspective flipside. Either way, Sinkane's trip to the Red Planet is more than worth signing up for.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the sound of a musician at the top of his game marking his entry into the big time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Lushlife's Plateau Vision is arguably the best rap record since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    All in all, it's the sound of a bunch of musicians from the top of the game performing at the top of their game. Ruthlessly tight, deeply soulful with tunes to keep you riveted to your stereo until deep into the night.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All Day offers a departure of sorts from Night Ripper and Feed the Animals, his previous releases. The composition of those two essentially follow the same furious blueprint, whereas All Day allows the musical ideas a bit more time to breathe and evolve.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Homeboy Sandman's latest offering is worth a purchase. The style he provides through-out the 6 tracks on Subject: Matter shows off his intelligence–something a lot of Hip-Hop is missing these days. His story-telling abilities and vivid imagery go hand-in-hand on every track.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Not only does the duo own the niche that they have established on their EPs, they also break new ground, infusing other elements and genres within the album. Overall, a great listen.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    This record a solid improvement over the excellent Causers Of This, and I am excited for his continued growth as an artist.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Rugby Thompson is by far the most cohesive piece of work Smoke DZA has put out and it's clear he has developed in to a serious player in the independent hip-hop scene.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    This is a very solid debut release and well worth the wait.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    They swing like only the second line can. All in all, it's a cause for celebration (and fifty more years of Preservation Hall).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The Lonely Island continues to remind us that taking life too seriously isn't nearly as fun as putting bags over our heads during fellatio or shitting our pants during bank robberies.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    All things considered, Young Krizzle delivers.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 73 Critic Score
    Overall this will be a very divisive record for people: fans of non-traditional hip hop and abstract lyricism will love this record, fans of more mainstream sounding hip hop who enjoy flow and deliveries will probably not enjoy it as much.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Once again, he masterfully conveys his understanding of the free jazz form, and yet never duplicates his father in the least. In fact, Spirit Fiction may just be his most forward-thinking album thus far.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    So Ritual Union may not be a perfect album, but it is charming, intriguing and rewarding enough to ensure that you'll overlook any flaws and keep coming back to give it another spin. And that's something very special indeed.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    He proves every time he's on stage and across this wonderful LP...he's got it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His inexhaustible penmanship coaxes listeners to further sink their ears to the album's abyss, a pull that's hard to defy.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    The sheer ferocity of Monch's rhyming is more than enough to bridge any gaps and plow through any detours.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack is certainly an adequate companion piece to the film, and will likely earn a spot in the collection of most Wu diehards. Still, it feels like a missed opportunity for a grand musical statement to further bolster the Wu-Tang legacy as it makes its transition to the silver screen.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    While the project may not rack up repeat spins for most listeners, the sheer boldness will certainly hold attention whenever it does land in the deck.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Bailey Rae's The Love EP is a short, but great listen with some of the finest love songs ever written.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's not a perfect album, nor is it always easy listening, but its imperfections make it even more of a human album from a rapper who's at its best at his most personal.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Vodka & Ayahuasca is a salute to no-bullshit hip-hop done right.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Enjoyment of Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them will probably be directly correlated to the listener's ability to separate it from Below the Heavens. That in itself is a testament to the talent of the two artists involved, who have more than any flowers that come their way.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Coming off the digital releases of Funk Man, and Automatik Statik comes Golden Era, the last third of the trilogy, which is, frankly, more of the same. But with Del, that's a good thing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Just as the two's previous solo projects, the music will probably not sit well with most hip-hop heads, but it's the perfect LP for each of their respective fan base.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    21
    There's not a slacker in the bunch on 21, which is hard enough for many an artist to pull off at 31 – or even 51 – much less at an age when they're still too young to rent a car on their own
    • 76 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Perhaps his greatest achievement here lies in the construction, an LP that balances the rappers with the beats into a seamless record.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    It's all about the beats here. And they don't disappoint, nor do they let up, for the duration of the album.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    The album is certainly worth a spin for any music enthusiast who wants to further expand their already-eclectic listening tastes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    This time however they gave us a good album, something pleasant, different and raw to vibe on. Definitely give this a spin.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The Defamation is one of those records that's just too easy to love; its best moments are simply undeniable.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Like her fellow countrywomen, Is Your Love Big Enough? has a core of strong songwriting that helps La Havas elbow her way into a field packed with talented women drawing from the deep well of American soul.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 81 Critic Score
    Their conversational deliveries and every man personas, cultivated in the often self-effacing world of blog rap sometimes feel small atop sparse, up tempo production clearly inspired by the late '80s when larger than life mic controllers brought the color to often minimalist canvases.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Simply put, tMTMTMK is what music sounds like when it works.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 73 Critic Score
    The band is tight, the tunes are fine, and Ebo himself is on good form. But in general it simply lacks the power of his earlier material.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    As an album, there is nothing Aaron Neville is offering in these remakes that would make anyone want to listen to his versions instead of the originals. Therefore the album falls flat, and comes across as a well executed, but arbitrary project, from a legend.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Overall Killer Mike and Pl3dge is focused, hard hitting, a little pissed off at the way things are, and overall a breath of fresh air.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    It's a project more likely to fit comfortably into what will likely grow into a large and varied discography than deliver instant lightning in a bottle.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Folila fits right into that legacy, while managing to expand it just a little further.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Glasper managed to create a beautiful album from start to finish that will easily be added into conversations with greats like John Coltrane's Blue Train.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    At just 11 tracks, this record flexes serious range, but what's even more impressive is that it rarely sounds overextended.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There is an earnestness to Blak & Blu, even in its bumpier moments, that holds your attention, even if it's the testosterone fueled bombast that initially grabs it by the throat.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    It's a solid DOOM album to add to the catalog of previous releases.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    GMB
    GMB is Pac Div's best and most consistent work to date.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Flaunting a smattering of psych rock, glints of fuzz funk, analog tape hiss, and virtually no FFWD moments in sight, it's hard to not warm up to this record.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    This album may not appeal to some (especially those heads looking strictly for lyricism and weighty content). However, fans of both grime and dubstep will undoubtedly enjoy this offering, and most notably: Wiley's evolution.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    9th Wonder and Buckshot have delivered a plate of comfort food that fans will enjoy, if not necessarily savor.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    The album is a pleasure to listen to, with enough airy energy to fit a summer playlist and angst raw enough to carry it over into the shorter, colder days of winter.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    This is perhaps the most danceable "smart" record ever. Or, maybe this is the smartest dance record ever…? ...Whatever it is, it works... beautifully.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Murs and Fashawn have done what few collaborative albums do: create a complete and cohesive album, that actually lives up to lofty expectations.