Paste Magazine's Scores

  • Music
For 2,232 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 32% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Illinois
Lowest review score: 10 Songs From Black Mountain
Score distribution:
2,232 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With the 25th anniversary edition of London Calling, Epic/Legacy has outdone itself.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    X&Y
    This is not easy listening; on the contrary, it requires a real commitment from the listener. But it’s a commitment that’ll be amply rewarded.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A unique, remarkably ambitious 22-song cycle. [Aug/Sep 2005, p.114]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A masterful sophomore disc on which every weak rhyme, guest and beat has been ironed out through months of hard work and several blown deadlines. [Oct/Nov 2005, p.120]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This sense of loneliness haunts Kozelek’s best work, and it’s in full force throughout April, arguably the finest album of his career.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Third is far and away the best, most punk thing in the Portishead catalog: a deeply transgressive album that bears a passing similarity to its predecessors but leaves most of the baggage behind in favor of a full-blown reset.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is top-flight stuff, and not just because I needed to glancingly reference the band’s name before signing off.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Full of lush harmonies, grandiose orchestrations and poignant lyrics, these ambitious songs have lost none of their innocent melancholy over the last three decades.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    We keep hearing that rock and roll is a feeling, right? The Stones inhabited that feeling seamlessly here, mainly because the murk fizzed and fused those seams together.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    They've constructed something beautiful.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    As a remastered package, the Butch Vig-produced Gish does deliver for both hardcore fans and casual listeners. What's so unique about the package isn't only seeing the band's first attempt at a full-length recording, but it also fills in the space between Gish and the amazing jump that is Siamese Dream.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The standout package here is unsurprisingly Siamese Dream, which is filled with an abundance of demos, alternate b-sides and acoustic versions of songs. One needs to look no further than Corgan's newfound onstage confidence in the "Live at the Metro, 1993" DVD included in the box to see that the Smashing Pumpkins have gone from a band with great ideas to a band with great songs.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    In an era of hype and hyperbole where such a word has lost its meaning, Old Ideas is in the truest sense a masterpiece.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    My Bloody Valentine successfully followed up a decades-old classic with m b v, an album that stands as confidently, beautifully and masterfully composed as its predecessor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Another Self Portrait is absolutely essential listening for Bob Dylan fans. It may contain the best music you’ll hear all year.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The good news is that the extras that come along with the albums are fantastic. There’s not much that the completest won’t have heard, but most people will be really happy to have the best of the band’s B -sides, extended 12-inch versions and EP extras collected on three CDs.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    American Radical Patriot is a treasure that’s flat-out perfect. Music doesn’t get any better than this.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    She has never sounded more confident. Van Etten’s fourth album marks the true arrival of a singer who’s been on her way for a long time, and thinking of her as anything less than a career artist is certainly a vast underestimation.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    On Dark Twisted Fantasy, West surrounds himself with gruff collaborators like Pusha T of Clipse and Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Barring some future set that includes vials of the musicians' blood, sweat, and tears, this will stand as the definitive version of Icky Mettle-an answered prayer to new and old fans that makes these songs sound startlingly present.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    MIA is so assured here... The critical party line is that MIA’s previous effort ///Y/ was an artistic failure. ... Surely those naysayers will declare this a fine return to form.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Invisible Hour is poetic singer/songwriter fare at its best, and this is Joe Henry’s masterpiece.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Here, he dresses his music in full regalia--with whistles, horns, organs and marching-band drums--and it’s exquisite.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    The production overall is impeccable and the sequencing shrewd; the tracks feel visceral and visual--you can almost see them as they hurtle by. The album’s overall effect is less deafening than blinding.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    While it’s certainly still working for him now—This Is Happening is, in all respects, LCD’s best album—it doesn’t take much to imagine the act becoming a tired gag a couple more albums down the line.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Treats is just a whole goddamn lot of fun to listen to. It's a supremely raw and visceral pop masterwork, one appropriate to rocking out with headphones on, windows-down bumping on car stereos, four-A.M. warehouse dance parties and countless other summer moments that'll soon have soundtracks courtesy of Sleigh Bells.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Kiss Each Other Clean has the potential to please longtime fans and generate plenty of new ones.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    It's just so utterly satisfying.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    From the first sung note of Hummingbird, Local Natives are frank in their presentation of a serious album, challenging listeners to heal along with them; cognizant that investment is proportional to remuneration.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Powerfully, the evolution of the songcraft on Muchacho doesn’t arrive as a random left turn but instead progresses directly out of Phosphorescent’s own canon.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Don’t blink--no mere mid-career album, Monomania registers as an absolute impact event, a massive dirty blast marking the moment Deerhunter’s steady trajectory spins out of control.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Sleeper is an album worthy of adorning your shelf until the shelf itself crumbles.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a perfect storm of great songwriting paired with some timely, frank admissions from Grace.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Olsen shares graciously in her music, and if you are willing, Burn a Fire for No Witness will change your world. Or, actually, it will change how you see your world.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Boy
    It’s another glorious achievement for an artist who has created so much amazing art since arriving into the world fully formed way back in 1982.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    There is no end to the nuances and subtleties that lay within. Find your starting point and start exploring.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Sylvan Esso is as cerebral as it is sexy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    For the ruminating about the world and wanderlust, lullaby’s potency comes from affairs of the heart, love lost and sought, and the jagged loneliness of failing to stay bonded.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Little Honey finds Williams in celebratory mode, with raucous rock, bluesy testimonies and tongue-in-cheek twang.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    With Fire on Corridor X, All the Saints seem less interested in renovating the house that noise built than burning the whole thing to the ground.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    This is a marching band that’s veered way out of formation, and is making utterly original music.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Like "The Pirate's Gospel," her cruelly unheralded 2006 debut, To Be Still is a staggering meditation on the idea of home in its many forms, and shares its predecessor's knowing heart--young, but already familiar with the tugging weights of time, family and love.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    The result is a nearly flawless, organic LP.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Not every song is perfect, but perfection is boring. What we need in these weary times--and what Passion Pit brings--is exuberance. Manners delivers the elusive feeling that everything will be alright. Or, just maybe, that everything already is.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    It’s his most ambitious undertaking to date, and while it presents no obvious singles or easy entry points, he pulls it off without it feeling pretentious or ponderous.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    The joy of The Promise: The Lost Sessions of Darkness on the Edge of Town for any serious Boss employee is the notable twinkle of notions that would later grow into classic rock staples.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    The authenticity that appeared in patches throughout his last record, The Sun Is Always Brighter, steers his latest.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Fade is just 10 distinctive, beautiful songs in 45 minutes meant to show their languid new peers (Real Estate, Beach House, Grizzly Bear, what have you) who's boss. It shouldn't work. It's to that roaring 20-year streak's goodwill that it does.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    AM
    Arctic Monkeys arrive at the end of AM a lot wiser than they may have appeared from the slow opening stomp of the LP.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Whether exposing light or dark, or some blank hue in the middle, Barnes has all but bulls-eyed his status as a brilliantly daring artist on Lousy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Spanning 22 tracks and the great sprawl of a nation, Big Wheel and Others compiles more of these vital impressions than any of McCombs’ previous releases, documenting something so damned beautifully alive--so restless and sensual and swinging and true--the album accrues power by virtue of its breadth.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    If you don’t like country music, don’t bother. But if you do have an ear for Waylon and Willie and the boys, then you’ll find plenty to love.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    LP1
    With both immediate appeal and density that demands long-term digestion, it’s one of those rare debuts that manifests a fully-grown, deeply engaging sound.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Okkervil River itself performs here with an organic ease that’s dramatic without reaching for histrionics, continuing to tattoo its rough folkish flesh with Motown horns, power-pop overdrive and chugging New Wave bass.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Elegiac by intent, the record is awash in poignancy, radiating from the deeply felt guitar and vocal performances of the 83-year-old King and his supporting band (anchored by drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Nathan East and pianist Dr. John) and from the carefully chosen material.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Both anxious and anthemic, the third most famous band from Leeds, England (behind Gang of Four and the Mekons) lobs social commentary as sharp as drummer Nick Hodgson’s ties, and tackles subjects as brainy as evolutionary biology ('Like It Too Much,'), the tenets of self-help ('Tomato In the Rain') and gender politics ('Remember You’re A Girl'), all at breakneck speed.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Nine albums and eight years in, it’s time to stop trying to figure out what the hell Animal Collective--vocalist/guitarist Avey Tare, percussionist/vocalist Panda Bear and knob-twiddler Geologist--is, and just enjoy the orgasmic rush of danceable rock.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Their new record Blue Lights On The Runway has the potential to turn X1 into a stateside #1.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Andy Votel’s encyclopedic liner notes and a Gainsbourg interview make this version the definitive reissue for the as-yet unsullied.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The young band has learned a great secret: It’s possible to make a massive, commercial, go-for-the-gusto Rock Record while still holding on to dark idiosyncrasies and seriousness of purpose.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Underneath the orchestral flourishes and children’s choirs, beneath even the frequent textural shifts and melodic detours, are a set of melodies that find new ways to cut straight to the listener every time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The singer/songwriter takes the back seat and lets the college kids channel their inner Folds, and they successfully do so--often stealing the spotlight away from Folds.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This is an album that knocks you over at first. But when you gather yourself, get back on your feet and listen again, you'll want to hit the play button a second time.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The official release of Nirvana’s headlining performance at the 1992 Reading Festival feels at once indescribable and quaint.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This unrelenting but beautiful melancholy forms the glut of Courage. Beauty is key here, especially with a song like “Bring Down,” where an otherwise depressing dirge is given liftoff by Smith’s sweet harmony and a twittering flute.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    "The enemy is everywhere" is The Monitor's twice-invoked refrain, the central thesis of an album that's both uncompromisingly bleak and impossible to ignore.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Jack and Meg careen from riff to riff, idea to idea, clinging for dear life as they dig their spurs into the mythical rodeo beast of rock ’n’ roll. Their lean guitar-and-drums approach allows them to turn on a dime, following any stormy muse they please.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The ArchAndroid is a fully immersive, theatrical experience. It's a near-perfect R&B album; hell, it's a fantastic hip-hop, psychedelic, neo-soul, dance and orchestral album too.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The album is saturated with high poly-harmonies, finger-snaps and hand claps, but the Charles Atlas-invoking title communicates Wavves' real agenda--"nyah-nyah" pop sucker-punches, sunny smiles so forced they come off as sneers, intense self-deprecation as psychic body armor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The production is bright and clear, and the arrangements showcase the star.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    There is distinct pastoral element at work in the Tallest Man on Earth's songs. He invokes the elements and the myriad forces nature: rivers, islands, rocks, clouds, birds, meadows, rainstorms, hail, forests, weeds, lilies and wheat.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    No song seems out of place and every single one will be your favorite the moment you listen to it because of extremely quotable songs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Everything combines to enrich, enliven and add texture to the band's wild aesthetic, which is unlike anything else you're going to experience this year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This album is pure, 10-bandaided-finger combustibility--the notes need room to breathe, like a freshly uncorked keg of moonshine, each pluck of each string hitching a ride on the cool, Allegheny mountain breeze.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Tomorrowland is like a good, ol' fashioned rock anthem of kiss-my-asschaps autonomy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    II
    On II, Bad Books have proven that they are more than Manchester Orchestra with Kevin Devine or vice versa by dropping any ego and making a cohesive record. Thankfully, all of us reap the benefit.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It shouldn’t work--they went all or nothing. They got all.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    What could be unwieldy becomes a vast patchwork of influences buoying empowerment.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Pusha T paints a vivid picture of the things he knows best throughout My Name Is My Name.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Seeing a band carry on the complexities of long-form songs, especially when giving their entire selves up to the process while they’re at it, is the boldest a debut can be.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Anyone weaned on the fizzy punk abandon of Bleach-era Nirvana--that holy union of feedback-dappled punk on metal--will identify almost rapturously with The Wytches’ studied homage.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    She’s in perfect form.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Musically dynamic and emotionally complex. [#13, p.132]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unabashedly grand and inspirational.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Björk weaves into Medúlla a palpable longing for a simpler world--a world predating smart bombs and collapsing towers, a world in which life revolved around the expressive raising of one’s voice, both solitarily and in concert with others.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sounds like a mostly live interpretation of... The Avalanches' intricate party collages doubling as three-minute music history lessons. [#13, p.118]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Songs like “California” and “Walk Into the Sea,” by far the sunniest, poppiest material Low has ever produced, shatter the mopey mold the band has so carefully cultivated, and to thrilling results.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An eminently pleasurable album that reveals more with each spin. [Apr/May 2005, p.148]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A particularly powerful collection from a consistently brilliant artist. [Apr/May 2005, p.128]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What makes the album so amazing is its ability to balance poignancy and fun.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Quit +/or Fight flirts with perfection, a cohesive collection of all-too-fleeting pleasures.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wonderfully askew. [Feb/Mar 2006, p.96]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A vivid document not only of how far Wilco has come, but also of how distinct its vision has been all along. [Dec 2005, p.112]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    She combines a formidable voice with a rarefied command of phrasing. [Feb/Mar 2006, p.106]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The only thing about Destroyer's Rubies that might shock existing fans is that Bejar's execution, ambition and passion have been buffed to a high shine. [Apr/May 2006, p.102]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An efficient 33 minutes, Broken Boy Soldiers supplies the summer's most gas-conscious road tunes. [Jun/Jul 2006, p.128]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From beginning to end, it's as heartwarming and heartbreaking an album as you're likely to hear this year. [Aug 2006, p.86]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What makes the music so compelling is not its frame of reference... but the flair and originality with which it's put across. [Sep 2006, p.70]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At last, Will Oldham as Bonnie 'Prince' Billy has given us a record of cryptic romanticism to complement the silver-rimmed bleakness of his 1999 masterpiece I See A Darkness. [Sep 2006, p.73]
    • Paste Magazine
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album becomes more intoxicatingly hermetic with each successive song, taking you as deep as you dare to go. [Nov 2006, p.79]
    • Paste Magazine