PopMatters' Scores

  • TV
  • Music
For 7,111 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 4.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Titles & Idols
Lowest review score: 0 Travistan
Score distribution:
7,111 music reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Pound for pound, the songs of Pause are far more interesting and multi-layered than most of your general ambient music available on the shelves today.... A mesmerizing work.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While Talib's Quality and The Roots' Phrenology break new ground for both acts, Electric Circus is clearly the most adventurous of the trio of releases.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    One of the best buys you'll ever make.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In the end, Happy Songs might sound like Mogwai's earlier work or be unapproachable to the listener who spends his time chilling in Sam Goody, but that doesn't mean it's not one of the most amazing albums of the year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A perfect album of gorgeous dance music.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is exactly 40 minutes of transcendent music by someone who we always knew was one of the best singers and songwriters on the scene, but someone who we were afraid was never going to make the music she should be making. Well, she's done it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Brilliant, shimmering and wonderfully composed, Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn is one of the best albums of year, and the best album GY!BE have never released.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The production is crystal clear and the soundstage huge, but the true achievement here stems from the huge difficulty in being able to tell where musical mastery has become studio wizardry, as the recording has the vitality and sensitivity of a live recording as well as the flawless sound and power of the synthetic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the kind of beautiful album that Reed knows he can make in his sleep yet seldom does.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Layering his idiosyncratic songs with elements of classical, jazz, Broadway and Disney movie scores, Barnes elevates Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies into the pantheon of seminal new pop masterpieces that test our very concepts of what modern pop should sound like.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Screw Wilco; In Our Gun is sounding very much like the Album of the Year.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Neon Golden is one of the most exquisite electronic albums to come out in ages.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    World Without Tears is a complex, multifaceted album that musically highlights Williams's continued blurring of musical genres and poetic lyrics.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Some of the most euphoric, mind-blowingly beautiful music we have heard in years.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Skull Ring is not merely a testament to Iggy's staying power as an artist, but it is also an amazing feat in that it melds the past, present and future of punk/pop onto a single CD.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The best record to come out this year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Meticulously choppy and frequently free of inherent genre boundaries, it's an askew masterpiece of brains, brawn, heart, and soul.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The three discs represent lightning captured in a bottle.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This fine, fine album (quite possibly the finest of year) signals that the White Stripes have arrived. Hype or no hype, this is a band of significance...
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Geogaddi is successful as few other albums are. Whereas many artists and groups tend to released records composed of series of unrelated songs, songs based on single concepts, or songs written and recorded during single studio sessions, Boards of Canada's latest has done something exponentially spectacular and commendable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most prolific, beautiful, and vital statement of rock since the Stooges' Raw Power.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I can't stress enough how brilliant this record is, how pertinent and valuable its songs are to our lives.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With this record, Skinner is now in a class all his own; nobody else is making music like this.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Easily one of the best classic re-releases yet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For fans of a certain kind of music, there is unlikely to be a more significant release in 2006.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With Blood Mountain, Mastodon have completed a three-album arc that most young bands can only dream of, culminating in a record that’s as thrilling as it is multifaceted, as melodic as it is bludgeoning.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ys
    For my money, Newsom has demonstrated more nuance, depth of feeling, and originality than a hundred bedazzling pop divas.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    At Carnegie Hall staunchly carries with it the brand characteristics that launched this cultural exchange.
    • 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
    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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Us
    This album is so near-flawless it would be easy to go on and on about how you need to hear it as soon as possible.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Six years later, Kanye is undoubtedly the most openly self-aware MC. And the music world should be grateful to have him. I know I am.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most impressive album ever painstakingly assembled across space and time.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The album that Pink Floyd made in 1979 marked a milestone in progressive rock, and this box set captures everything perfect and imperfect about the album.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is an album that is simply, in the most awe-inspired sense of the term, absolutely golden from end to end – a real treasure and an utter delight to experience every time you play it.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Cryptic and daunting, "Dopesmoker" is the quintessential stoner metal track. Sixteen years since its birth, it remains unsurpassed.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Newcomers are strongly advised to absorb and understand Inspiration Information (and the two albums that preceded it) before passing judgment on the new stuff. That said, for anyone fearing the worst, they exceed any reasonable expectations.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s one of the most honest albums I’ve heard, but even better, it’s told with expertise.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It sounds as relevant, fresh, vital and modern as if it were recorded this year. It’s a classic in the making.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The result of this incredible journey, Memorial, is the first landmark post-metal release since Isis’ Panopticon, Russian Circles’ greatest achievement, and unquestioningly one of 2013’s true artistic masterpieces.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you care a thing for rock ‘n’ roll, country, or American music in general, No Depression is simply essential.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Review 1: <A HREF="http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/s/stills-logic.shtml" TARGET="_blank">Logic is a certifiable classic.</A> [score=100]; Review 2: <A HREF="http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/s/stills-logic2.shtml" TARGET="_blank">Every bit the equal to [Interpol's] Bright Lights. </A> [score=90]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Easily one of the year's top 10, if not top five.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Prewitt doesn't waste a second of Three's near-hour length, filling it with an affinity of bouncy rhythms and pop goodness, in turn eclipsing the output of many of his underground rock contemporaries.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    How I Long to Feel That Summer in My Heart further underscores how brilliantly anomalous and unfashionably brilliant GZM are.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Little Sparrow contains some of the most beautiful and affecting music Parton has ever made...
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They are basically just the Archies for our generation, a transcendent bubblegum band that works its ass off to make all this stuff look easy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Built to Spill's latest album is mellower, dreamier, and more laidback than their previous recordings.... Yet the album is as much of a rock-guitar masterpiece as anything they've done.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brainwashed is a rich musical treasure trove well mined in execution and production.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Home is a definite top pick for 2002, and certainly kicked country music in its ass once again when it needed it the most.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every so often there is a true musical "moment" when an act breaks through that is so complete, so utterly surprising, that as a music critic, I can't help but throw my hands up in the air and leave behind any hope of real criticism as each spin pushes me further into fandom. Lemon Jelly is that act of the moment.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    #1
    It's shallow, pretentious, flamboyant, catchy, and just plain freaky at times, but unlike all the empty pop music you hear on mainstream radio today, this is one pop album that gets it right for once, and what a pure blast it is.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These eight tracks positively bristle with energy and exuberance.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At 36 minutes, Girls Can Tell packs more hooks than most bands fit into their entire discography... This is truly one of the most intense pop records since This Year's Model.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like Nick Drake, he's a master at crafting melodies so simple, so memorable, it makes your heart melt.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Throughout Send, Wire strike the right compromise, pushing their songs to brink of chaos without ever allowing them to disintegrate.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Such perfectionism can easily be construed as soullessness, but I think what Deakin and Franglin are actually striving for here is to strike a balance between the warmth and humanity of their music's sounds and the machine-like grace of its flawless production.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's no other way to say it: Tammy Ealom is one of the most unassuming and perfect songwriters in modern pop.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The New Pornographers have made such a great album, tuneful, overdosed with hooks, that all the past sins of our Northern neighbors are forgiven. Well, maybe not Rush, but close.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the year's best pop albums.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For those who only know Amy Ray as an Indigo Girl, or as a socially active label owner will find this record a snarling, beautiful surprise.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In some sense, it is true that any of these new songs could fit comfortably among his earlier works. Yet now there is an even more polished grace to the undertakings, as if age and experience have refined and further honed what already was smooth.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album marks the high point of an amazing band's amazing career.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A whole lot of fun to listen to.... Anna is one of this year's best records.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gutterflower will undoubtedly take the Goo Goo Dolls to greater success, and deservedly so, such is it's quality and consistency.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    13 tracks which magically blend heavenly guitar weavings with penetrating melodies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On Red Devil Dawn, Crooked Fingers have made huge strides towards becoming one of the most fascinating bands in some time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A sense of humor is definitely required, as is an appreciation for everything rockin'.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Sadies' best album yet.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Last Exit, while being one of the year's most cutting-edge releases, is, most importantly, a warm, friendly, entirely accessible pop album.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A new pop classic...
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Shake the Sheets lacks the subtle, nuanced excursions of its predecessor, it's redeemed by an urgent, unrelenting focus.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best album the Beasties have put out since Paul's Boutique.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every aspect of the project is an improvement on the last.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pearl Jam has made some of the most vital music of its career.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    He and his producers have constructed a monument to this New New New South. And you don't really have to believe in it in order to appreciate what a great record this is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A defining moment for the band.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pure, unadulterated aural pleasure.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Welcome Interstate Managers is the welcome aural equivalent of a great collection of short stories, each song offering a little snippet from a life, and presenting a range of characters to fill this musical spectrum.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Whether or not Songs for the Deaf manages to break through to the ever-fickle TRL crowd remains to be seen; those people with the patience to sit through this remarkable album a few times, though, will know the score.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Thompson is more comfortable than ever with his musical abilities and songwriting craft, and you hear the experience and the confidence on every track.
    • 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.