Pitchfork's Scores

  • Music
For 6,693 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Exile On Main Street [Reissue]
Lowest review score: 0 nyc ghosts & flowers
Score distribution:
6,693 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If allowing Jagger to touch up those vocals was the price to pay to allow Exile receive the tribute it deserves, it's still a bargain.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The influence of Pinkerton led to hundreds of mostly regrettable bands, but what ultimately distinguishes Weezer is how they sonically mirror the unhinged and private mental terror of its narrator.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A quarter-century after its first release, London Calling is still the concentrate essence of The Clash's unparalleled fervor.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    For die-hards, the most alluring part of the package may be the second compact disc, which features 18 mostly instrumental demos recorded in Gaye's post-What's Going On honeymoon period, when his vast artistic ambitions and abilities were being embraced by the greater public. These somewhat experimental demos--deep, in-the-pocket funk in the vein of Sly Stone, George Clinton, and Jimi Hendrix--clearly laid the groundwork for much of his subsequent 70s material.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a colossus of an album, the product of a band that was thinking huge, pushing itself to its limits, and devoted to breaking open its own understanding of what rock music could be.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At its heart, jazz thrives on bold, sensitive interaction in the moment, and Live in Europe 1967 represents the pinnacle of that practice.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As one of classic rock's foundational albums, it holds up better than any other commercial smash of that ilk.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If anything, the elucidating peek behind the curtain that Bangs’ documentary provides makes the album feel like an even more singular, remarkable achievement.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Velvet Underground's stunning simplicity and unflinching honesty presented an even more accessible model of DIY aspiration, free of Warholian conceptualism and Cale’s classically schooled chaos.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Frankly [add-ons would] just be a distraction from the underlying theme that becomes clear once you get absorbed into the music, which is that Blue Lines is still Blue Lines, and most of the world is still trying to catch up to it.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    [Graceland] was unique in its total, and totally natural, synthesis of musical strains that turned out to be not nearly as different from each other as its listeners might have expected, and the result resonated strongly around the world and across generations.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    III is, indirectly, Led Zeppelin’s own version of Pink Floyd's Meddle--the folky, pretty early record that was never too popular and hence a favorite of indie types skeptical of such a massive mainstream band.... III has easily the best bonus material too.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The end result is a great album, albeit one more lighthearted than its myth would suggest.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Van Lear Rose is remarkably bold, celebratory and honest. It's a homecoming for a small-town musician gifted with poise, humor and compassion, but at its very heart, it's happy to be just a kick-ass country record.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Led Zeppelin is one of music's most assured and fully realized debuts; individually, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham were great players, but the whole of their sound somehow exceeded the sum of its parts. But even above the instrumental virtuosity, Led Zeppelin is a triumph of production, each part clear and forceful but adding up to something even more powerful.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    How the West Was Won serves up their muscle, sweaty heart and golden grandeur in an exhaustingly persuasive light. That, and a hundred of the best riffs you've ever heard.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The Little Match Girl Passion is as much a devotional piece as the Bach Passion it is modeled on, and with it, Lang has produced the most profound and emotionally resonant work of his career.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    These four discs ultimately do what any good box set should do: In tracing the band's trajectory from power-pop progenitors to post-pop tinkerers, Keep an Eye on the Sky presents a history of the band that could not be gleaned from the albums themselves, using finished studio tracks along with demos and rarities to give a fuller picture of the musicians, their dynamic, and their songs.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Siamese Dream's songs don't blend into each other, but some transitions exist; each stands out in a brilliant sequence, forming perhaps the best concept album they ever made.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This reissue on luxuriously hefty vinyl is the first time the album's been released in the U.S.--a superb opportunity to hear a record that's been occasionally imitated but never matched.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What's here is brilliant, beautiful, and, most importantly, finally able to stand tall on its own.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The bonus disc is a mildly interesting amalgam of alternate mixes and rough takes--the kind of stuff anyone but the most dedicated obsessives will listen to only once--and there’s little advance here lyrically from the debut, but II is still close to perfect.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Black Messiah pulls together disparate threads few predecessors have had the smarts or audacity to unite.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Definitely Maybe is the sound of people who feel like they need to scream to be heard—and even then, the chances of anyone actually listening seems depressingly unlikely. And yet, not wholly impossible.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    [The Merge reissues of Copper, Beaster, and FU:EL] are a wonderfully presented document of a punk legend [Bob Mould], starting over creatively and emotionally in a brief window he helped open, and succeeding beyond his and anyone's expectations.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Offering passes that test, it’s both an “important” jazz release and one that’s actually enjoyable to listen to.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    This streamlined set, Start Together, captures that dichotomy, archiving the Sleater-Kinney canon with care: from the ideological-punches of thirdwave feminism to their post-riot grrrl classic rock revisionism, all seven albums have been remastered and paired with a plainly gorgeous hardcover photobook, as well as the surprise of a reunion-launching 7" single.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Dopesmoker is an infinitely explorable listen, the kind of record that will goad your attention through miniscule rabbit holes whether or not you're as stoned as the people who made it.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The struggle between salvation and damnation has rarely sounded so lively or so gloriously conflicted.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The Promise is also a good demonstration of how Springsteen mines his unused songs from material, and shows how many ways he tried to record things before figuring out how they worked best.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With his music and persona both marked by a flawed honesty, Kanye's man-myth dichotomy is at once modern and truly classic.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    The sequencing shapes the album beautifully, creating a sense of emotional fatigue while only hinting vaguely at redemption. Thematically, however, that cycle implies a romantic fatalism, as though every relationship is doomed to end painfully. That’s what makes Gentlemen at 21 such a compelling and necessary reissue, even if the album has never been terribly hard to find.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 81 Critic Score
    It is beautiful, emotive music, literally and figuratively entrancing.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This self-fulfilling fatalism is at the heart of innumerable rock songs by innumerable bitter young men, but it is rarely expressed with the introspective clarity that Bachmann displays throughout Icky Mettle.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the many great things about Liquid Swords is that while it's an unimpeachable work of lyrical mastery, of fierce intellect and sound morals, it's in no way a record for prudes.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Madvillainy is inexhaustibly brilliant, with layer-upon-layer of carefully considered yet immediate hip-hop, forward-thinking but always close to its roots.... Good luck finding a better hip-hop album this year, mainstream, undie, or otherwise.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's both epilogue and prologue, yet these songs retain their own specific flavor, as R.E.M. map the borders between small clubs and large venues, between underground and mainstream, between rhythm and melody, between outrage and hope. That in-between quality still sounds invigorating so many years later.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 81 Critic Score
    So while two straight discs of Fela is exhausting, it's probably the most suitable way to digest him.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Of course, Grace Jones is the star here. Five of the original album’s nine songs are covers, though rather than fealty to the source material, Jones sounds as if she’s shredding the songbook with her bare teeth.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Live at Reading effectively grants you side-stage access to the band in their mosh-pit-stoking, drum-set-toppling, putting you as close to the action as the band's mysterious friend Tony, who's seen flailing onstage throughout the show like an epilpetic Bez.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    The result is both the best career-spanning snapshot of and single-purchase introduction to Talking Heads-- odd accolades for a live record-- and a treat for longtime fans.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The worthy additions in this "super deluxe edition" are nearly all visual.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Though omissions are certain to be an issue for cratedigging obsessives, this collection is as flawless a primer as has ever been made available on a single disc.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Essentially perfect... It remains a landmark that hasn't aged a day.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 73 Critic Score
    By dividing the sessions into what amounts to an overview of his career, My Dusty Road detracts from the recently discovered source material, making it both an incredible find and a missed opportunity.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Spontaneity is woven into the fiber of every track; it's easy to hear how some of them may have begun with the same sounds and patterns before the musicians' hands worked their magic on the filters, EQ, and delay, rendering each take unique and unrepeatable.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    For its breadth and complexity, [Blur 21] actually tells a simple story: Blur are a band that did an astonishing amount of different things really, really well.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The appeal of the Miles at the Fillmore material is obvious: This is an amazing band and they rip, but they never leave traditional ideas of rhythm and melody behind.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    With Sunbather, Deafheaven have made one of the biggest albums of the year, one that impresses you with its scale, the way Swans' The Seer did last year.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    If Brighten the Corners signaled a turn to the serious, the 32 outtakes and radio-session cuts compiled here give Pavement plenty of room to, as one B-side aptly puts it, "fuck around."
    • 92 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    The end product, neatly compartmentalized into three style-segregated discs, is about as perfect a summary of Waits' appeal as can be found on the open market, a shadow greatest hits that offers testimony to his unique and diverse talents without recycling any of his album material.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Woody at 100 may be the most successful attempt to capture Guthrie's sprawling essence, but it's hardly the first.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Dizzee's despairing wail, focused anger, and cutting sonics places him on the front lines in the battle against a stultifying Britain, just as Pete Townshend, Johnny Rotten, and Morrissey have been in the past.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Certainly Archives' first volume contains enough audio and visual stimuli to keep a Neil Young fan busy till the next edition arrives (presumably) in 2029.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    While Channel Orange is stuffed with one-of-a-kind details and characters, its overall scope is grand, as is Ocean's.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The Satanist is a terrific coil of most everything Behemoth have ever done well, a strangely hopeful vision of hell wrested away from its very grip.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 69 Critic Score
    Therein lies the contradiction of The White Stripes. How do you combine the shit-hot with the "twee?" Elephant's shortcomings suggests the enterprise is futile.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    It helps that Labor Days is as terrific a record as anyone could ask for, really, and you should buy it.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    This reissue-- available in a 2xCD, budget-priced Legacy Edtion set and as a more elaborate $60 4xCD Deluxe Edition-- doesn't attempt anything quite so ambitious. Instead, the main impetus is bringing a remastered version of the original Bowie mix back to market.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Big Boi's Speakerboxxx coolly upstages its counterpart: though it, too, provides the world with one earthshaking single, it differs from The Love Below in that it also manages to maintain consistent brilliance and emotional complexity throughout.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    Home, Like NoPlace Is There is emotionally relentless, but a relentlessly catchy record as well.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a box set, Higher really does reinforce how creatively rich a band Sly & the Family Stone were, while making it seem almost unbelievable that their peak only lasted seven years and seven albums.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 77 Critic Score
    Unto the Locust does fall off a bit toward the end, but that's largely because the first four tracks add up to just under 30 minutes of the most exciting metal you'll hear all year.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The miracle of this album is how it ties straightforward rap thrills--dazzling lyrical virtuosity, slick quotables, pulverizing beats, star turns from guest rappers--directly to its narrative.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    That Skinner is able to coax so much from a cliché-heavy, 50-minute examination of solipsism and self-pity is a tribute to his ability to reflect and illuminate life's detail.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are no extras, outtakes or re-anythinged. But taking these 10 records in a row, chronologically, it is a striking reminder no single artist has had a run like Joni,
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a real trove, and not just because this lineup is relatively obscure.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Where many concept albums run a high risk of being pompous, cryptic, and self-important, Monáe keeps things playful, lively, and accessible. It's a delicate balancing act, but Monáe and her band pull it off, resulting in an eccentric breakthrough that transcends its novelty.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    What makes Painful so eminently approachable after all these years is that it manages to sound like a fully realized, band-defining statement yet unpretentiously off-the-cuff at the same time. It’s a feeling reinforced by the overflow of material available on this reissue.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The Strokes are not deities. Nor are they "brilliant," "awe-inspiring," or "genius." They're a rock band, plain and simple. And if you go into this record expecting nothing more than that, you'll probably be pretty pleased.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Willner doesn't hit at least some of your pleasure centers, well, forget your ears-- your nerve endings might actually be dead. Even three months in, it's a safe bet that From Here We Go Sublime will wind up 2007's most luxuriant record.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Illinois is huge, a staggering collection of impeccably arranged American tribute songs.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Newbury conceived them specifically as a trilogy examining his own romantic past as well as the country's contentious history, and 40 years later, they sound just as imaginative, evocative, and emotional as ever.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    Skinner has an obvious talent for forging damn sharp hip-pop hooks that supercede his inherent verbal handicap.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the rest of pop culture infantilizes itself with cussing puppets and manufactured bands who willfully dangle like marionettes, Waits is serving up vintage brittle fusion and somehow breaking the law of diminishing returns. [Review of both Alice and Blood Money]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    Even the least-crucial songs feature a tough backing band and a powerful, raspy performance from Candi.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 97 Critic Score
    So long as we're unable or unwilling to fully recognize the healing aspect of embracing honest emotion in popular music, we will always approach the sincerity of an album like Funeral from a clinical distance. Still, that it's so easy to embrace this album's operatic proclamation of love and redemption speaks to the scope of The Arcade Fire's vision.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    It's angry and ferocious, but always triumphant.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    It’s challenging, then, to appreciate the boldness of No Depression, the extent to which the members of Uncle Tupelo insisted on interdependency, on an American story. We don’t have to do that anymore--folks don’t self-identify in the same way, and hardly anyone loves just one genre monogamously--but there’s still something furious and prideful here, something worth hearing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The new version is in fact more textured and nuanced, but not at the expense of the album's bone-dry, brutalizing crunch. Most of its touch-ups are tastefully unobtrusive and illuminating.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    On Sir Lucious Left Foot, Big Boi does something even more difficult: He gives us a great album that sounds nothing like any of the great albums he's already given us. From where I'm sitting, that's an even greater achievement.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Top-heavy with sad string passages and mournful vocal loops, Untrue is an album meant to be heard at home, in the car, on headphones-- his songs feel almost like beautiful secrets being whispered to a listener.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 81 Critic Score
    Primal Scream have always understood the power of a groove and a lyrical grenade. Their entire career reaches a melting point on the raw, caustic Exterminator.... The album has its shortcomings. "Keep Your Faith" and "Insect Royalty" dip a bit too much into the more sentimental song-based style of the last record, Vanishing Point, and "Swastika Eyes" needs no reprise. But the fighting spirit keeps Primal Scream ahead of the pack.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    On Spaces there's a power that Frahm hasn't always been able to capture in his recorded work. But the overriding feel is one of joy at listening to a performer demonstrating the infinite elasticity of sound.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 76 Critic Score
    Z
    So Z abandons the Skynyrdisms of It Still Moves, but that album's lessons remain intact: Compared to those on previous albums, these tracks have more guitar crunch and tighter song structures.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    St. Vincent continues Clark's run as one of the past decade's most distinct and innovative guitarists, though she's never one to showboat.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sounding like nothing else and answering to nobody but its creators, Run the Jewels 2 is in a class by itself.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    What gives this record its internal order, and makes it stand out over previous laptop explorations of immense record collections, is the simplicity of the other genres that he dabbles and draws upon to flesh out the beat.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    A decade into their career, the Notwist have created a masterpiece by pulling the same trick they pulled on Shrink: mixing things that might not seem to fit together into a beautiful, seamless whole.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The Avalanches have managed to build a totally unique context for all these sounds, while still allowing each to retain its own distinct flavor. As a result, Since I Left You sounds like nothing else.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The biggest disappointment here is that Modern Times is probably Dylan's least-surprising release in decades-- it's the logical continuation of its predecessor, created with the same band he's been touring with for years, fed from familiar influences, and sprinkled with all the droll, anachronistic bits now long-expected.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    Opens with a six-track attack that's rare for any genre, especially contemporary R&B.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    About half of it works reasonably well, though the end result is somehow closer to Low-era Bowie or Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain than anything truly contemporary or avant-garde.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Despite how much better-left-forgotten material is being offered up here as essential, there's still more life in the real Nevermind than anything that's attempted to replicate its attack since.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 69 Critic Score
    Fed
    Plush's vision was obviously reaching beyond his abilities when making this album, and though that's commendable--better to try and fail than not try at all--sometimes you acheive less on the road to greatness.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Fake Train and New Plastic Ideas hold important places in the history of 90s music, not to mention those of punk and indie as a whole. And they set the tone for unimagined Unwound greatness to come (which will be chronicled in subsequent volumes of the box-set series). But those two albums, and the tracks that accompany them on Rat Conspiracy, transcend time, place, attitude, and even the sprawling continuum of influence.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Greenspan... manages to fold elements of nearly a quarter-century of forward-looking pop into a distinct sound without sounding either conceptual or trading on contradictions or the smoke-and-mirrors of attention-grabbing eclecticism.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "Left Alone" is nothing short of a vocal masterclass. It has the singer going from the verses' rap-like cadence to the hook's curlicue jazz stylings to the operatic long notes of the bridge-- notes that slowly curdle underneath their own exasperated weariness.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    It's of the moment and feels new, but it's also striking in its immediacy and comes across as friendly and welcoming.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    When these guys are on, it truly is the wrath of the righteous. However, Songs for the Deaf vacillates constantly between soaring heights and mind-numbing lows, making for a true hit-or-miss affair.