Rolling Stone's Scores

For 3,972 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 34% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 63% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 7.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Wrecking Ball
Lowest review score: 0 Know Your Enemy
Score distribution:
3,972 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It was a long haul to that nasty perfection — "Loving Cup" was first recorded in 1969; "Sweet Virginia" was a salty-country leftover from Sticky Fingers — and the outtakes unearthed and, in some cases, retouched for this reissue reveal more (not a lot but enough to be grateful for) about the process and detours
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pinkerton became a cult classic, all raw guitars and self-loathing wit - it's the In Utero of sexual frustration.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A serious, ridiculously ambitious punk album. [14 Oct 2004, p.100]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Greatest protest album ever made? Most stirring soul-music symphony? Yes and yes. And then some.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The real revelations are recordings that part the curtains on the making of Rumours, like Christine McVie's solo-piano-demo rendition of "Songbird."
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Reminds us that, for all of Simon's genius with tunes and lyrics, it's his rhythmic searching and sophistication that sets him apart.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    III was a masterful union of ballads and bruising, and a giant step in the songwriting ascent toward, later, "No Quarter" and "Kashmir."
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It takes a band as myth-saturated as the Clash to live up to a career-summing box as ambitious as this one. But Joe Strummer and his crew of London gutter-punk romantics fit the bill.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's looser and messier than Sgt. Pepper and, one suspects, always would have been. But its sui generis Americanism counterbalances its paucity of classic pop songs.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Lynn and White weren't straining to make history, just a damn good Loretta Lynn album. But it sure sounds classic anyway.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finally back in print, every song burns hot as ever.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Made and issued between the falls of 1968 and 1970, the original LPs mark Zeppelin's rapid progression out of British R&B and psychedelia into a crushing-riff rock of unprecedented dynamic range, embedded with details from Fifties rockabilly and Celtic and Appalachian folk, blown open with volcanic improvising.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Captures Zep in prime swagger.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Barring the discovery of more golden eggs, the four CDs of Keep an Eye on the Sky are the last word on Big Star's first, ultimately glorious lifetime.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Corgan built a monument to art rock and OCD.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is a moment in this five-CD ocean of music when you agree with its creator, the Beach Boys composer-producer Brian Wilson, that the greatest pop album ever made is still within reach.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    One of the best albums of the year.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    II was still tied to straight-blues sources (the Willie Dixon elements in "Whole Lotta Love"). But the alternate takes highlight Robert Plant's ripening vocal poise and, in a rough mix of "Ramble On," the decisive, melodic force of John Paul Jones' bass and John Bonham's drumming.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Oasis' debut remains one of the most gloriously loutish odes to cigarettes, alcohol and dumb guitar solos that the British Isles have ever coughed up. This deluxe three-disc reissue captures the madness of the Gallagher brothers' early days.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An album that cut through the grunge-y haze of 1992 with crisp Sixties melodies and... daring emotional clarity.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is his most maniacally inspired music yet, coasting on heroic levels of dementia, pimping on top of Mount Olympus.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They perfected the genre moves: bracing attack, two-guitar blurs of dissonance and beauty, a sympathetic barker wringing emotion from lyrics about the insular rock scene and girls who stalked it.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    R.E.M. were already college-radio heroes by the time they made Lifes Rich Pageant in 1986. They could've kept making mumbly, jangly tunes for their core audience, but they went bigger and bolder, stepping toward radio-friendliness while retaining their iconoclastic spirit.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the song selection (including classics like the brass-balled superfunker "Zombie") is killer, recording info would help. The music speaks for itself, but presidential history deserves better.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This edition has 12 outtakes, most of which have been hoarded on bootlegs by Stones fanatics for years. Some of the bonus tracks are nearly as hot as the originals.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The remarkable achievement of Love and Theft is that Dylan makes the past sound as strange, haunted and alluring as the future...
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In the 1977-79 half of Name, nearly every song beats the studio version. But the 1980-81 disc is the prize, as the Heads take their lofty concepts to the stage with a ten-piece band. [2 Sep 2004, p.147]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The bonus material is not essential listening, but since U2 rarely pull back the curtain on their creative process, it's fascinating to hear this rough draft of history.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The alternate takes are all lesser versions interspersed with studio chatter and other audio vérité--the sound of a band enjoying its work, unaware its time was nearly up.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sound quality is astonishing.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The mood stays ominous, even as sonic details thrill headphone-equipped headbangers.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This expanded reissue adds Not Forever the 1989 demo tape that got them signed.... It shows a vision startlingly complete, and its scrappiness occasionally serves the songs better.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This reissue bonanza shows the Nineties' premier indie band turning reflective and joyfully screwing around at the same time.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A definitive album.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This sumptuous birthday celebration of America's greatest folk singer is really a present to us: two CDs of his greatest songs and recordings, mostly from the mid-1940s, and a disc of illuminating rarities, including what is thought to be Guthrie's first studio session in 1939.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Just as exuberant is the part of Disc Two dominated by the jazz-infused playing of pianist Rubén González, whose spiraling solos bring roars from the crowd.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you want a vision of the future of hip-hop and techno, get this record.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Bang Years is the anthology his fans have always craved--the first definitive collection of his Sixties nuggets, when he was just another Brooklyn punk hustling his way into the business with a guitar, groovy sideburns and a solitary-man glare.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's built for fanatics, yet the goods could make a fanatic out of anyone.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When Ocean reins himself in, tucking his words and melodies into tighter verse-chorus structures, the songs have startling force.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    All totaled: a trunkload of what at this point are barroom folk standards, played so vividly you'll be bellowing along.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is a glorious thing to hear. It will be one of the best things you hear all year.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Finally, the third and most brutal album from these Detroit legends gets both the rawness and the power it deserves.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This welcome five-CD-plus-DVD expansion adds several non-LP singles; a new, nine-cut tribute set featuring contemporary fans from Miguel to Fall Out Boy (John Grant's sighing "Sweet Painted Lady" is the highlight); a vintage documentary about the album's creation; and, best of all, an explosive London concert that demonstrates how hard John and his kickass band could rock between eloquent ballads.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Each of these albums is as noteworthy for what's missing as for what's there.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their half-formed debut EP is redeemed by a previously unreleased follow-up session. The LPs Ben Hur and Umber still stun.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The richest overview yet of maybe the most visionary funk operation in pop history.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The plush production of tracks like the Neptunes-produced centerpiece "good kid" hearkens back to Seventies blaxploitation soundtracks and Nineties gangsta-rap blaxploitation revivals, and good kid warrants a place in that storied lineage.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Is both simpler--in sound and scope--than Pirate and much more ambitious. [27 May 2004, p.80]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 91 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Her full-length debut--about a robot-populated utopia based on Fritz Lang's classic 1927 film Metropolis--is so ambitious, so freighted with sounds and ideas and allusions, it threatens at times to sink under its own weight.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It rings true to one man's unshakable vision.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For now, the Strokes have mastered their style; they have yet to come up with the substance to match it.... But the music leaves no doubts - more joyful and intense than anything else I've heard this year.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Quadrophenia, as delivered the first time, is still one of his, and the Who's, greatest albums--and the better opera.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For a musician like Stevens, going too far and trying too hard is the point, the way to get beyond where a more austere songwriter could get with a more naturalistic pose. So the most pleasurable music here is the most ambitious.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This five-CD box set features the band's three great studio albums, plus terrific bonus tracks and dub versions, and a slew of live recordings in which the Beat unleash their dance-floor fury and their Thatcher-era protest politics.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This Texas native (1940-2002) was a one-man song factory in the late Sixties, writing hits for Nashville royalty. But Newbury's hurt and searching, draped in chamber-country silk, bloomed best on the solo LPs in this box.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On the evidence of this excellent debut, few people can challenge Skinner right now except himself.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Waits' ravaged voice surrendered all pretensions to melody ages ago; his throat is now pure theater, a weapon of pictorial emphasis and raw honesty.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Funeral aches with elegiac intensity.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album holds up as one of the Eighties' smartest megapop statements, full of passion and surefire hooks.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The LP remains corrosively beautiful.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    He's less pimp than craftsman, packing more style--and more substance--into his four-minute-long songs than other rappers deliver in an entire album.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Live Anthology redresses that wrong with a panoramic picture of the Heartbreakers' indestructible groove.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Somehow, the Primals' fury never seems misguided: This is one ball of aggression that hangs together, thanks to the band's smarts and funk.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Z
    There is an emphasis on keyboards, in pulse and architecture, that adds buoyancy and color to James' writing and flatters his keening, stratospheric tenor.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    St. Vincent is her tightest, tensest, best set of songs to date, with wry, twisty beats pushing her lovably ornery melodies toward grueling revelations.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nine songs, 32 minutes, no false moves.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Rounds is almost accidentally poignant--it's like hearing shattered transmissions of sentimental old music. [15 May 2003, p.134]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    What keeps it from being a crackling mess is Markus Acher's sweet, plaintive voice pushing these selected ambient works toward song structure and melody.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A record this layered and quirky is easier to make than it was when Prince Paul first started cutting up old 45s (case in point: the Wiseguys), but to do it well - keeping intact an aesthetic that threads together all these disparate sounds - is true talent.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His third straight masterwork. [7 Sep 2006, p.99]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Miss E is a mess, of course, and not all the experiments work as brilliantly as the single. But if you prefer risky messes to tidy formula, tracks like "Scream a.k.a. Itchin' " and "Step Off" will freak you up something fierce.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A luxuriant union of black-ice electronics and chamber-pop instrumentation. [14 Oct 2004, p.98]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a museum piece, a record that merits a display in the Smithsonian.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's an album of tuneful, intimate pop-rock songs...
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "Here we go to the main course!" ad-libs Van Morrison on an extended "Caravan," one of the shaggy outtakes on this five-disc unpacking of the Belfast bard's 1970 jazzy-pop masterpiece. That LP is nearly all main course, and if the numerous alternate takes here often feel incomplete without their sublime, brassy final arrangements, they compensate with intimacy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Elegant tech-house, sexy without being stoopid. [28 Oct 2004, p.100]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Idler Wheel... is a challenging album. The songs are intricately arranged but sonically stark, foregrounding Apple's piano and the stupendous drumming of Charley Drayton. There's not a single big, chewy hook on the album. Sometimes the songs drag... But Apple's kooky energy pushes through the slow spots.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The ninth disc from this Brooklyn/Baltimore crew tries balancing shameless beauty with ecstatic weirdness, and when they nail it, it's breathtaking.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Whether the ace metal is speedy or onerous (or both, as in the case of "Six Shooter," with its shrieking insanity), it is always deployed in the service of the eccentric song structures, and every track becomes a splendid, mysterious thing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mostly her ear is unerring and her characters true--the kind of talent who makes the term "alt-country" unnecessary.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even without any very particularly illuminating extras, though, Superunknown is a Nineties benchmark.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Mostly, her new album is businesslike, serious, sane.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    So why is it one of the best hip-hop albums of the year? For one, nobody gets the beats -- dry, hard and evil -- that Clipse get from Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's two discs of steady brilliance.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This lavish multidisc set is as eccentric and compelling as its subject.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    These days, they don't just crush--they hypnotize.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Rarely does an act so flatteringly curate its own brilliance.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Doesn't quite have the ragged charm or the wry humor of 2001's outstanding The World Won't End; the occasional dose of guitar bombast ("One Foot in the Grave") doesn't serve Pernice well.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This one will make heads from Shaolin to San Diego happy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Merritt's compositions have a tossed-off, barely produced quality and are held together by sturdily constructed melodies that hark back to Eighties synth poppers like Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    You also get 132 pages of liner-notes-cum-memoir that can be just as entertaining as the music.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It might also be his most broadly emotional set ever; certainly it's his most sharply focused record since the game-changing tag team Swordfishtrombones and Rain Dogs decades ago.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dear Science is a brilliant balancing act between pop aspiration and music-geek aesthetics.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Might be the most oddly beautiful, psychedelic and ambitious [album] of the year. [21 Sep 2006, p.84]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His album of Waits' penned-and-produced songs may be the masterwork of Hammond's long career, as well as further testament to Waits' unique genius.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The happiest-sounding album she's ever made.... it may also be the best. While her austere sonic signature remains, the vocals are discernibly more relaxed, the tunes welcoming and even expansive.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album showcases a songwriting voice you won't hear anywhere else in pop: young, female, downwardly mobile, fiercely witty.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, Black Thought's skilled but stolid rapping adds nothing new to the idiom [of the morally ambiguous gangster tale]. Sonically, though, undun is a knockout.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The best solo record of her career... Vespertine is the closest any pop-vocal album has come to the luxuriant Zen of the new minimalist techno, even beating Radiohead's nervy Kid A. Where Kid A sounded like a record of risk, the work of a band on unfamiliar ground, Bjork sings here as if she owns and knows every inch of space and shadow in these songs.