PopMatters' Scores

  • TV
  • Music
For 7,630 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Doolittle 25
Lowest review score: 0 Travistan
Score distribution:
7,630 music reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As foolish as it seems to say that any music is 100 percent new, I've never heard anything like this before.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like any worthy match, the coming together gives each aspect assets that they'd be wont to find otherwise, the eletroclashy bursting with depth and the indie-croon thankfully adrenalized.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A masterwork filled with heavy violins, silky woodwinds, a driving soprano sax, a haunting bass guitar, and expert melding of jazz and rock, with Latin beats and bluesy overtones.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Her albums have matured exponentially with every release, and with Blacklisted, an album that will get your blood pumping and give you goosebumps at the same time, Neko Case emerges as a true original.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A tougher, funkier, and downright rocking album.... M!ssundaztood deserves to be the pop album of the year.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Lyricist [Eric] Johnson's faculties for observation are what turn sonic pleasantries into vehicles of magic and myth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Surpassing the merits of Lost Souls, one of the best albums of 2000, is no mean feat, but to do it in such breath-taking fashion is something else, something special.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A nineteen track salvo of glorious musical mayhem.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unreasonable Behaviour is far from an easy listen. While Garnier is usually highly accessible, here he deviates in favor of a record much more tempestuous, menacing and genre-pushing -- all of which, though foreboding, is wholly more gratifying.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The lyrics might not make much sense, and there's nothing groundbreaking here, but with songs as ridiculously catchy and fun as these, who cares?
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A record that handily bests anything that they've put out in the last 15 years, and can stand head and shoulders against their best efforts of the '80s.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mixing the grit that was The Stooges with the bounce that was Gang of Four, Liars and their debut release are everything that should be praised about Brooklyn's music scene.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cellar Door challenges its listeners emotionally and intellectually, without ever feeling pretentious.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Quite how or where the new album fits into the contemporary music landscape isn't clear, but what's recognizable and of import is that somewhat out of time, Basement Jaxx have produced their best sustained effort so far.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album should solidify them among Americana's best.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Apropa't pulses with sensual rhythms, lush harmonies, and ethereal forms that weave together to create a truly amazing aural experience.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There simply isn't another singer working in pop music now that holds a candle to Jones.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album fully delivers on the crackling promise of "Mad World" with an accomplished set of hard-won folk-rock.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Has a playful, at times otherworldly style which brings to mind children's fairy tales.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Smart, unpretentious, and classy all the way through.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's truly great stuff. The future is, apparently, now.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Cobblestone Runway, he proves once again he's one of the best songwriters out there, and easily the best Canadian songwriter working today.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Taken as a whole, Old Ramon is a brilliant mopey stroll through San Francisco's slate gray streets.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Optimist LP is a treasure chest of sparkly baubles and rare gems, and from top to bottom it is precious and priceless.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    By the time she comes up with "Old Tin Tray", you are aware of two things. One is that this is a year-end top 10 album, and two, that she is getting better with age.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply, one of the year's best.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simultaneously adventurous, beautiful, and full of depth.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Elliot, in 2003, is better than they have ever been, period.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This record seems to outweigh the previous album in terms of quality and depth.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Soul Position album is even more appealing than the Deadringer "Final Frontier" single, as topics and production are pushed beyond what seems to be the visible limits of hip-hop.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ghosts of the Great Highway represents an expansive, continent-traversing narrative that evokes the literary style of John Steinbeck and the vivid imagery of everyday American life captured in the watercolors of Edward Hopper.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is going to be on a lot of year-end lists.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rings Around the World might be stylistically all over the place, and some people may think it sounds like Super Furry Animals are desperately trying to show the world how clever they are, but it's so much fun to listen to, that it hardly matters. It's a near-perfect album, and we all should be thankful there are bands out there willing to throw everything they've got into a record just to see what happens.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As ambitious as anything in recent pop music memory.... One of the most invigorating and arresting works of her career.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While his lyrics are both timely and powerful, the album's power lies as much in the superbly crafted grooves and songs, which are the best Franti has delivered yet.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Private Press is a more diverse collection of styles and sounds, and still surpasses anything else out there.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A gorgeous, (let me say it again) gorgeous album that totally stands on its own.... About a Boy is one of the best albums of the year.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A sexy record, of a kind that no one else seems to be making anymore.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An album of assured breadth, filled with a renewed self-confidence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The seamless combination of the genres makes the album stunning.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No!
    This is pure unadulterated fun, masterfully executed.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rich in heart-rending beauty, tough-but-lovable gutter poetry, and plenty of genuine emotion.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sure, Starsailor may be part of bloated hype-fest, but it's important to remember that sometimes things get hyped because they deserve it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is the best of what Ashcroft does best: thoughtful incantations teeming with emotion, clarity, and vision.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Phenology is stunning, ranking right up there with the best hip-hop music of today.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Time will tell, but Black Foliage has all the marks of a major pop masterpiece -- brilliant tunes, innovative arrangements, clever lyrics, a thoroughly adventurous spirit, and a musical depth that always reveals something new on repeated listenings.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For all its gonzo, crackpot gestures, Source Tags & Codes is a remarkably coherent work. It stands as the most melodically-inclined album in their catalogue and boasts their strongest songwriting to date.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Far from being a one-note repetition of life in the Big City, Malin's production has turned The Heat into a multifaceted rock and roll onslaught.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mountain Goats have just added a further chapter in an ongoing saga of (micro) relationships examined against a backdrop of (macro) global concern, We Shall All Be Healed being the most explicit yet.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is a masterful effort, taking the most memorable elements of their past work and alchemically changing it to something completely new but no less great for the difference.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As strong as anything Sermon's done.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yamagata's voice is one of those rare gifts, a vocal quality that is instantly recognizable and distinctive, yet somehow classic, with an incredible range that covers both the sensual lows and the tender, melancholy highs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Since We Last Spoke continually subverts expectations of what an Rjd2 album is about, yet the songs all stick together in a cohesive way, and the album still somehow bears the distinct personality stamp of the RJ we already knew, even as some of it diverges wildly from the path he's been on so far.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is another great Low record: weighty and airy, compelling and quiet, eminently beautiful.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like their fellow New York area bands The Strokes and The Walkmen, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have crafted yet another accomplished first album, but theirs is the best-produced and the most promising of the bunch, and the band shows that they're not only ready to transcend all the hype that's been building up; they've already started.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A powerfully emotional and poignant album that reclaims the American spiritual from the depths of the irrelevant past and rewrites it for the post-modern age.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a work that blends a preoccupation with both the maudlin and mundane with the musical sensibility of the Factory Records collection.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The 16 songs that appear on Rejoicing in the Hands, are so striking in their sound and so original, that no producer could've have imagined them. If anything, they affirm Devendra Banhart as one of the most unique musical talents to emerge in quite some time.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Elephunk drops non-stop hook and hump, an album with almost no missteps and more than its share of undeniable, thumping joy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Parachutes was impressive, but Coldplay's new album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, is stunning, the amount of growth from Album One to Album Two equally so.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From sparse DIY fragments to string-enhanced ballads and well-wrought pop, the material on Isolation Drills is as diverse as it is consistently compelling.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Universal Truths and Cycles is not only Guided By Voices strongest record in some time, it is also the best rock record this year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best album of Björk's career
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rush has emerged with more edge and energy than some bands can even dream of.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A charming, witty pastiche of mashed up samples, beats, bangs, and bobs.... Truly a breakthrough in the world of dance music.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The new Idiology takes the acoustic experiments of Niun Niggung even further, and it's this combination of electronic and "traditional" music -- melding keyboards and synthesizers with french horns and guitars and trumpets into a seamless whole -- that points the way through the dead-ends of most electronica.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    *The* hook-saturated, dance-rock record of 2002.... A near-perfect hybrid of perpetual rhythm, flow and hooks.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The painstaking arrangements, dynamic shifts and tempo changes of Dear Catastrophe Waitress equal or surpass the chamber-pop perfection of the group's earlier work.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Review #1: <A HREF="http://popmatters.com/music/reviews/g/graejean-thisweek.shtml" TARGET="_blank">Rock solid, thought-provoking, entertaining and frequently wonderful.</A> [score=90]; Review #2: <A HREF="http://popmatters.com/music/reviews/g/graejean-thisweek2.shtml" TARGET="_blank">Exceptional.</A> [score=90]
    • PopMatters
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Strummer's best solo effort and one of the best rock records of the year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's so much more musical depth on Room on Fire, that it makes most of the band's earlier songs sound stale in comparison.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Might be one of the most original albums you'll ever hear.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Italian Platinum isn't as thoroughly pitch-perfect as Lifestyle, but the albums share similar peaks.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tom Waits has never made an album quite like Alice before.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album is saved from clich&#233; and pretension by its combination of a fascinating story with restrained and consistently inventive musical backing.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Certainly the most absorbing rock album of 2002, if not the best.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An incredible album from a band that continues to redefine its boundaries.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The disc is incredible.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    De La Soul returns to classic form relishing their status as one of hip-hop's longest running acts and flaunting their roles as hip-hop's cerebral older brothers.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An exceptional album filled with passionate, intense, and highly personal songs.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is adult music in the best sense of the phrase, emotionally sophisticated and uncompromising both in intent and delivery.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the kind of indie rock record you wait all year for.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is an album of controlled kinetics and clockwork alignments, of bonding repetition and mindful invention; where words poke and play, bubble and pop, echo and disturbingly hang.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only does Young accomplish his goal of creating a musical storyline that transcends the tedium and self-indulgence of your average concept album, but he's also crafted his finest set of songs since at least Freedom and Ragged Glory.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Comparisons to Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright certainly make sense, but the consistent personality of Strangers affirms Harcourt's unique talent.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Genuinely great pop music that's experimental, catchy, and, most of all, weird.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is an arresting album that doesn't let go of your attention.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Few bands today are as good at telling a simple, straightforward, from-the-gut story like the Drive-By Truckers are.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When a band like the Dillinger Escape Plan is able to duplicate the intensity of the previous album, yet at the same time create music that actually possesses (gasp!) commercial appeal, daring to cause an uproar among dyed-in-the-wool hardcore fans, you know they're on to something memorable.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A carefully layered, multifaceted album in terms of its sound, music, lyrics, and thematic cohesion -- in short, a great musical achievement.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is simply a stunning accomplishment.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cee-Lo is one of those rare artists who may indeed embody the fullest range of the black aesthetic (Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Thomas Dorsey, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Prince, are a few of the musical performers who come to mind).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A well-rounded record that shows their maturation from an underground rap collective to a matured group who have found their voice in a crowded and commercial genre.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This new album sounds fuller and crisper than Iron and Wine's earlier recordings, but the minimalist artistry hasn't changed.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    So fresh, so revelatory, so alive.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Aside from a couple of hiccups (the clunky R&B of "Get By", the silly call and response of "Knock Knock"), it's every bit as good as Boy in da Corner, and sometimes even better.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Imperfect and ambitious, sometimes startling and always smart.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a classic Costello record... arguably his most cohesive, magnetic collection of songs since Blood & Chocolate and the highlight of his middle-age years.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Man Mountain is an explosion of cinematic orchestration and lush 1960s guitars, cerebrally chill and simply extraordinary.... One of the best albums of 2002.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The most striking aspect of Gold Medal is the band's remarkable maturation process over the past two years.