PopMatters' Scores

  • TV
  • Music
For 8,854 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Bloom
Lowest review score: 0 Travistan
Score distribution:
8854 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, few people will doubt Pinkerton's power, and whether you're hearing it for the first time or just for the first time in a few months, it remains as visceral a listen as ever.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Easily one of the best classic re-releases yet.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The remastered version on the reissued Sticky Fingers sounds better than ever, and it affirms that during their peak years, the Rolling Stones indeed were the world’s preeminent band.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The original album is unblemished, all the contemporary b-sides are accounted for, the Peel Sessions are a nice bonus, and as usual, the striking packaging by Vaughan Oliver is incomparable.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Basement Tapes Complete is more historical document than album, one more interested in being comprehensive than being moment-to-moment marvelous.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    No matter how many releases we get from the Davis archives, no matter how familiar you are with his mid-'60s work, LIVE in Europe 1967 will surprise you and remind you that, even in lean times, even when the trends of the genre he championed were moving away from him, even when his country stopped caring, Miles Davis found a way to press forward, to reinvent, and to give us yet another classic sound, and perhaps the final thrilling word on Jazz as he knew it.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In four and a half hours, Wadada Leo Smith writes one of America's defining events in sound, and the story is all of ours.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Every song is an open-and-shut case, a tightly-sealed, end-of-story work of pop-rock perfection. Which means items like discs of live material and outtakes are superfluous at best.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    he Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966 is more than just music--it’s cultural history of colossal significance. This collection is a resource that fans and students of Dylan’s work will reference again and again as the years and decades pass and these classic albums are introduced to new generations of music fans.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These outtakes give a sort of new context for the album itself, which sounds brilliant in this remaster, but they don’t exactly give us a complete story. Even the huge booklet and documentary about the band here don’t exactly give us the clear picture of Spiderland.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it’s nice to have the original albums properly contextualized, the impact of a stand-alone live release would have been just that much more impactful. As it stands, these mammoth four-disc sets offer just about all the PiL you could ever hope for from two very different eras and incarnations of the band.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The improvement over the seven previously released tracks is one thing, but the treasure here is the 11 unreleased performances.... Few bands ever had a year like the Velvet Underground did in 1969. Even fewer have a set that documents a year like that as beautifully as this one.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    This 2012 Remix/Remaster version of the album, with its rich mastering, is the one to own.... But it is not Massive Attack's masterpiece. Though some would disagree, that honor goes to 1994 follow-up Protection.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This entire collection proves one thing: Paul Simon and Graceland will remain as one of the most relevant pop records of all time.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Sound System errs firmly on the side of inclusion in virtually every way. This means, of course, inclusion of the albums Sony Legacy assumes we already own, so true fans might want to quickly Ebay their last purchase of the first five albums to afford the hefty price tag of Sound System.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A Crow Looked at Me is a masterpiece in the manner of A Grief Observed and “She Will Find What is Lost”. All of these works create a special communion between creator and observer, artistic experiences that join individual circumstances of loss with whatever the listener/reader/viewer brings to the work.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Released 40 years to the day since its initial release, this deluxe edition confirms what critics have long said about this, yes, “summative” recording: this is an album that gives a lot, and then keeps on giving.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most obvious aspect that takes away from Smile's luster however, is an uncomfortable sense that the album has morphed into a quaint piece of nostalgia rather than the masterwork it was expected to be.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The fact that a woman of Lynn's tenure can slide so easily into what is essentially an alt-country environment without losing any of her down-home authenticity simply underscores her versatility and timelessness.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Each song is a story. And that’s greatness in this kind of music.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The three discs represent lightning captured in a bottle.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a rare record that gives us a call to action, something to act on after the beats drop out and we’re left in silence.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to declare Keep an Eye on the Sky an indispensable cornerstone of any serious music fan’s collection, and one of the greatest box sets ever assembled. Finally, Big Star get their due chance to shine.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The bonus CD makes it alarmingly clear that the Pumpkins could have assembled another cracking album from the Siamese Dream castoffs before embarking on the road to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)...The new editions of Gish and Siamese Dream (especially Siamese Dream, which handily outclasses its companion release in all areas) are sumptuous reminders of the heights the group once attained back when it had everything to prove and nothing to lose.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's heartfelt. It's dark. It's intricate but immediate, rocking but lush. It does all those things at once, and it does them better than most artists could hope to do any one of them.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is material that has, and will continue to stand the test of time.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is genre-defying music, but anyone with an interest in hearing a blueprint for trip hop or a master class in the depiction of desire in pop music, should be sure to listen to this mysterious, timeless, contradictory album.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This release reorients us around familiar material, but outdoes all previously existing versions in the scope of its execution and comparative completeness.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album [El Corazon], and by relation the whole Warner Bros Years boxset, is a confident announcement not of return but of complete rejuvenation.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This box set illuminates the complicated, tangled bits of history and ideology and personality that connect that man to that myth. Those threads are frayed, tough to follow at times, but strong.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Black Messiah is less throwback funk and more a vision of the possibilities of modern post-funk, although it’s clearly rooted in soul and funk traditions.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Don’t be surprised if this box set doesn’t drastically change your preconceived notions of what this already-iconic album is about, but for those who think the Gallagher’s never got better than this, consider this the only Oasis box set you will ever need.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Skeleton Tree offers little solace, but as the Bad Seeds’ 16th album, it gives the listener an experience that is unshakable.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Exciting and stellar... What a way to show the kids both in 1992 and in 2012 how it's done, Bob.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Cryptic and daunting, "Dopesmoker" is the quintessential stoner metal track. Sixteen years since its birth, it remains unsurpassed.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In their catalog, though, no album stands out more than Satan Is Real, their 1959 masterpiece that outlines and encapsulates the fragile fine lines of good versus evil, and spirituality versus the mundane.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Promise hits a ceiling just below what you'd call essential listening, but it's still more than just a fan-only release. These 22 songs show a band at the height of their powers stretching out and trying new things, indulging in their musical loves to bright and catchy results.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Whether or not this is the best Kanye West album, this may be the one he's remembered most for, the one that may finally trump the version of him we cringe at on the red carpet.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This final record shows Touré still brimming with vitality. Savane is his wonderful farewell gift.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Icky Mettle might have a reputation for containing a one-trick pony and the band's singular best known moment in the form of "Web in Front," but there's a wealth of material to really dig into and enjoy.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    He may be nearly half a century gone, but the music of Otis Redding remains in 2016 as thrillingly vital and perfect as the moment in which the words first left his lips. Live at the Whiskey a Go Go is a testament to his brilliance and status as the King of Soul and is thus, in a word, essential.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The problem with Madvillainy, if it can even be termed a problem, is that Doom and Madlib just have too many ideas.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Commemorative repackage or not, Lifes Rich Pageant is a must-listen rock record that is too often overshadowed by more chatted-about releases.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Through music, Kuti received redemption and power. The Best of the Black President gathers his best singles in one place. Here are the strongest moments of a musician that never played a single unnecessary note.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This set feels like two complete albums-Some Girls One and Some Girls Two-and the sequel nearly manages to match the original's vital power.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As great as Box is, it’s yet another incomplete box set as Nah Und Fern was before it. There’s a GAS release album out there somewhere with a perfect 10 nailed to it, and it’ll have all six releases inside, waiting for us.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    However delayed Live at Reading‘s official release is, thankfully fans can finally rejoice and celebrate its long-awaited arrival. Few live shows are able to communicate a band’s heart and soul the way Nirvana’s is brilliantly encapsulated here.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    "Love and Theft" sees Dylan roaring back from Highway 61 at full bore, reminding us -- as he did on Blonde on Blonde, The Basement Tapes, and Blood on the Tracks -- that, like him or not, there isn't anybody else who can do his job.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Upon further reflection, an Achtung Baby shorn of any extras should be more than enough to satisfy you, after all-that's how it's been served for the past two decades. Everything else is mere garnish on top of a flat-out genius work.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bottom line: whether you're a casual fan or a more obsessive one, this is the definitive issue of L.A. Woman.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As the most comprehensive portrait of her significant body of work yet, it’s the perfect opportunity to listen closer to the whole picture, to see what overarching stories Parton’s music offers, to think about the rich bounty of stories and ideas that live in her songs.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On the Impossible Past is an impeccably crafted melodic hardcore record by a group ready for it's close-up.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Biokinetics remains their unequivocal masterpiece.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Heartless will kick your ass during its entire running time. It’s a product of a rare band that, through dint of hard work and sincerity, will certainly be a huge crossover success.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blur 21: The Box documents [the band's evolution] with a staggering breadth of material-even the B-sides and unreleased material feel uniformly strong. It's a complete and necessary document for a band so important to their country's music and to music in general.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Around these four brilliant sets, we also get three bonus cuts from the Fillmore West in April of 1970. These sets [are] a bit murkier in quality--the four proper sets here are pristine--but they make for compelling contrasts.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lemonade isn’t an easy album, but it wasn’t meant to be. Lemonade is blessed with nuance and fueled by anger, awash in politics but still meant to be consumed as a pop product. It’s as danceable as it is dark, as incendiary as it is inspiring.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Standing in sharp contrast with the 1950s performances, these recordings are furious, emotionally charged and borderline unhinged. It’s an exhilarating contrast that, when listened through start to finish, charts the creative journey of a true musical genius.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For Bowie fans and completists who yearn for the highest possible quality versions of his classic albums, just like the first box, Who Can I Be Now? (1974/1976) certainly delivers. A little fine-tuning would have made a big difference, but as it is it’s still an impressive collection.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down could have tremendous cathartic power for this who are aware of history and its knack for repeating itself. For those who are willing, this is a good place to start an education.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Deafheaven’s audacity and artistry are hard to deny, which is but one of many reasons why Sunbather is an essential listen, and one of 2013’s boldest works of art.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It may never occupy the place in the indie rock canon that "Slanted and Enchanted" has, and it may not be regarded as the band’s high point like "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain," but 11 years later, this album still sounds great, maybe even better in its old age.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Compiled from various stages of his career, with varying fidelity but weirdly without varying quality, Orphans is the singularly odd cutting-room comp that serves as an equally decent introduction to a career.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If none of the new songs are essential, they'll still be a boon to completists, while those who only know Guthrie's most famous songs will get a much more rounded overview from Woody at 100.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    At Carnegie Hall staunchly carries with it the brand characteristics that launched this cultural exchange.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is an album that can be loved as both an achievement and an experience, a document and a revelation; it is simultaneously a problem to be solved and a spectacle to simply witness.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Because half these songs are already widely available elsewhere, this collection has slightly less archival impact than the Gentile Elvis's Sun Sessions or last year's widely-circulated Never Mind the Bullets, Here's Early Bob Seger. Musically, though, it's in their league.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What You Want It Darker accomplishes isn’t just powerful instrumentation in minimalism, or strong poeticism, but that of an artist baring their soul, and the sharing of sincere truth.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it may hard to both live up to hype and craft something distinct in a young career already brimming with excellent releases, channel ORANGE finds Frank Ocean rising to the challenge with a class unlike anyone in music these days.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These discs should be played loud, but not to ramp up the cinematics. Rather, they should be played loud to highlight the intimate details, to convince you just how uniquely, impossibly good these guys were when they played together.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You will be hard pressed to find another album that is as essential and equal parts human and inhuman as The Satanist, a world-beating return from near death for Behemoth’s enigmatic emperor.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Almost 50 years after the fact, that first Cluster record (named either Cluster or Cluster 71, depending on whom you ask) still sounds miles ahead of the curve.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Each album, from the White Stripes to De Stijl to White Blood Cells, has shown their evolution from Blind Willie McTell cover band with a pop sensibility to full-fledged, honest-to-goodness rock 'n' roll gods, a status finally reached on their latest disc.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Raw Power is one of his definitive statements, and it is presented here in superb form. You owe it to yourself to get this.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Imperfect and ambitious, sometimes startling and always smart.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The London performance has yielded one of the finest live albums to come our way in a long while.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Lamar concentrates the ideas of hip-hop narrative and nonfiction into such a form that's shocking for how simultaneously accessible yet full of depth it is.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With this record, Skinner is now in a class all his own; nobody else is making music like this.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It was as powerful a set of players as Davis ever played with, but it also did its own thing, carving out a space that was equal parts eccentric and classic, innovative and authoritative.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's funky and fantastic, futuristic but retro. It's in a category of its own.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ultimately it’s a reaffirmation of that original gambit and breakthrough, a renewal of vows between artist and audience, and a reminder that second acts are possible.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Places of Worship is highly recommended for fans of Miles Davis, Jon Hassell, David Sylvian, Triosk and Fennesz.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Guitar Song quite firmly cements Johnson's place at the forefront of today's country music songwriters, performers, and singers. The fact that he had the courage to put out a 25-song album after achieving some success is not as significant as the courage he had to keep following his vision of what country music can and should be.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Elitism for the People 1975-1978 functions as a veritable primer for not only those interested in the band, but also those looking to explore the possibilities of popular music.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It solidifies the group’s track record for absolute greatness, adding an unexpected sixth turn to a career that followed one aesthetic path but was always moving.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An electronic album that is utterly original and not easily forgotten.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A big leap from the already high elevation of Michigan.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No Cities to Love exceeds all expectations of what a reunion album should sound like by not sounding like a reunion album.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite its girth, Shout! Factory's The Complete Beat isn't really complete....Complete still gives you three Peel Sessions, a mini-concert, and some fine dubs and 12" mixes along with the original albums.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is essential for fans of Texas singer-songwriters, Americana, idiosyncratic albums, or for anyone looking to have an intimate exchange with a sensitive man during a turbulent time in American pop culture history.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rio is a full range of emotion, created on the spot. All these years later, Keith Jarrett remains great.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Original Pirate Material, to put it plainly, is the most vivid evocation of life as a young person in the UK since Blur's Parklife, and yes, even The Clash's first album.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tom Waits has never made an album quite like Alice before.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's really good, good enough to make you wonder why you haven't heard of Candi Staton (more often).
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a shame only Church and Remy Zero fans will be inclined to check this out because it is a masterpiece lying beyond the power of the descriptive word.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Funeral is a truly eccentric rock record: bizarre at turns and recognizable elsewhere, equally beautiful and harrowing, theatrical and sincere, defying categorization while attempting to create new genres.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The vastly competent array of MCs each have their own distinct flow and pace, but very little--from Flowdan’s lightning-fast verbal gymnastics, to Rick Ranking’s slow-cooked esophageal rumblings, to Roger Robinson’s soulful melancholy--clashes in a way that dulls or vitiates the album’s impact.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you care a thing for rock ‘n’ roll, country, or American music in general, No Depression is simply essential.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout its 12 quality tracks, it's interesting enough to engage listeners and engaging enough to keep the listeners interested. It's a step well above most of the hip-hop that has been released in recent years and will be played frequently until a new OutKast album materializes.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Coloring Book is another exceptional release from a vital artist only now coming into his own.