Slant Magazine's Scores

For 2,191 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 36% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 61% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Bitte Orca
Lowest review score: 0 Fireflies
Score distribution:
2,191 music reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    From its framing gimmick and its anti-folk folk songwriting to its he-has-to-be-kidding song titles and its show-offy instrumentation, Illinois should reduce to a simple stunt performance. That it's pop-art of the highest caliber, instead, cements Stevens as one of the most vital voices in music today.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It fully merits high praise as both the best work of Vanderslice's career and easily one of the best albums of what has been a refreshingly strong year for music.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As we approach the halfway point of 2006, it's unlikely that a more vivid or arresting debut will drop this year, marking St. Elsewhere as not only an audacious accomplishment, but one of the year's best.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ys
    The album is a precious--in every sense of the word--masterpiece.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a dazzling, expansive experience that ranks among the year's best.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Each orphan stands proudly on its own as the vestige of an old idea or a forgotten path—proving that even Waits's missteps still manage to point in the right direction.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Boxer works best as a mood piece; it's also the first National release to work as a whole, and it's the best album I've heard so far this year.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Brash, insightful, wry, and, above all else, smart, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend confirms that Miranda Lambert is far more than just the latest in a long line of bad girls: She's a country music legend in the making, and the most vital artist Music Row has produced in a generation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Both on a song-for-song basis and as singular cohesive work, Emerald City demonstrates Vanderslice's masterful control of craft at every structural level and his unrivaled ability to make the political personal.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's actual substance to unpack in the album, but Aesop's indomitable presence on record and his knotty co-production with Blockhead and El-P make what he says incidental to how he says it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    White Chalk, wholly self-contained and uncompromised, is a work of literary depth and complexity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is no small feat to write melodies as memorable as Berman's exceedingly quotable lyrics, but on each song here, he does. Lookout Mountain is an outstanding work of art.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is not only the Hold Steady's best record, but acts as a culmination of all of the ideas, stories, musical paths and character journeys that they've so pointedly led us down before.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    TV on the Radio have finally made an album that someone other than hyper-analytical music critics might actually enjoy.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Soulful and almost structurally flawless (it's the most minor of complaints that the middle run of songs are all about a half-minute too long), Merriweather finds one of the most talented, most creative pop bands finally and gloriously figuring it all out.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Maybe its sunstroke, but I feel compelled to suggest that two young Canucks trading in sludgy punk-pop tunes may have crafted a rock album that gets closer to perfection than any other album this year so far.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    They've done it here, and Bitte Orca is close to a masterpiece.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Less ambient and more grounded than the preceding tracks, it's the one song on the album you wouldn't want to hear at the party; rather, it's a subtle, evocative slow-burner best saved for the cool air and the long walk home.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Though it's only to be considered "pop" in the most obscure sense, and it goes to show Albarn has a pretty warped concept of the term, Plastic Beach provides the almighty shakeup that pop music has needed for some time.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even though it's as ambitious an exercise in freeform genre-splicing and pure, amp-blowing volume as has been attempted in the past few years, it's always at least as fun as it is smart, taking the three great pillars of guilty-pleasure music (deafening arena-rock swagger, sugary pop hooks, and delirious dance beats) and rolling them together into a singularly appealing cacophony.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The effort to canonize My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as one of hip-hop's all-time high points is already underway, and I'm confident that Kanye's new album can weather the backlash that all potential classics must confront.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A tremendous leap forward from Tune-Yards' previous efforts, w h o k i l l proves that Garbus isn't just a brainy artiste with a killer voice, but an event, someone to take notice of, a new center of gravity in the musical underground.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The songs from the Mellon Collie sessions speak not only to the quality of that abundance, but also to the Smashing Pumpkins' status as some of the most creative and successful purveyors of sensitive but cerebral art rock.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    RTJ2 is the rare sequel that bests the beloved original in almost every facet.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    D'Angelo's assuredly delivered a great album, one that, even in these nascent days of our receiving it, already feels like something that's always been, that's necessary, and that was probably worth any wait.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's so overwhelmingly happy and thrilling a musical statement that it would justify even a few more exclamation points.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Represents a new peak in a career full of them.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Okemah is heady stuff, to be sure, but it's also one of the year's best straight-up rock albums.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The melodic hooks are huge, but what makes The Life Pursuit a legitimately great album is that Murdoch's lyrics are at turns witty, insightful, assertive, and sardonic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Refined attention to detail gives Magnificent City the kind of structural awareness that distinguishes exceptional records from merely great ones.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The 12 most ambitious, dense songs she's yet committed to record.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a whole, A Blessing And A Curse is the album that Drive-By Truckers have always threatened to make, a hard-rocking testament to the intelligence, sensitivity, and soul of a people often discredited for lacking all three.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the stronger debuts of 2006.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Punchy, ragged, and frenetic, Waterloo To Anywhere surges forward, not-so-subtly aping The Strokes, The Clash, and The Ramones as well as delivering that precise buzz that can only be felt by the young, drunk, and excited.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the songs are undeniably beautiful and even fun, the music provides a vital balance to the album's substantial thematic heft, and it's that combination that makes Let's Get Out Of This Country one of the year's best pop albums.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rather Ripped is probably one of the best records in Sonic Youth's catalog, and definitely one of the best albums of 2006.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It would be unthinkable to imagine a more pleasurable listen coming along in 2006.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The more interesting discussion to be had about The Avalanche is whether it says more about Sufjan Stevens or everyone else that a collection of even his second-tier material ranks among the most superior releases of the year.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    TV On The Radio do more than keep pace with their Shortlist Prize-winning Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes; they enhance nearly every aspect of their debut, creating an album that is uniquely theirs in the modern scene.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Might be the most upbeat feel-bad album of 2006.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Lemonheads is nearly as great as the band's masterpiece, It's A Shame About Ray, and far more dependable than the runner-up Come On Feel The Lemonheads. And it may be more fun than either.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ta-Dah isn't an unimpeachable triumph from front to back, but it's a hell of a good showing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Food & Liquor is one of the year's fresher efforts and future classics.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An astonishing piece of work.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cunniff has never sounded more joyful as a singer or writer as she does here.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Magic Position is a euphoric listening experience not even being a critic can spoil.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The tightness of Thompson's compositions grounds the explosive, whimsical meandering of his improvs; Sweet Warrior, and "Guns Are The Tongues" in particular, captures that glory as well as anything else from this century.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every fade-in and chord change on Proof of Youth is perfectly calibrated to make for seamless song-to-song transitions and for an album that seems to end entirely too quickly.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even in its rare maudlin and melodramatic moments, the album is saved its many precise, stainless sounds: Henry's compassionate, reverb-shaken voice, Bill Frisell's excellent fretwork, a bewitched pump organ, a snare hit that always echoes a bit too long.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Scene of the Crime is as comprehensive and as thorough an artistic declaration of self as any in recent memory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Some People is stuffed to the rafters with love songs but they're never precious or cloying, even when the arrangements soar to rousing string/brass/choir-laden climaxes, or when the lyrics are comprised of little more than a string of clichés .
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hot Chip boldly expand and louden up their sound significantly here, while admirably retaining full command of the forms they've already mastered.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These songs don't sound like love songs because they aren't love songs. That the Raveonettes understand why that's an important distinction makes Lust Lust Lust a sleazy pop masterpiece.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Badu's spare, pointillist lyrics are almost constantly folded deep within dense, heavy arrangements
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Devotion includes all of the same essential ingredients as its predecessor, but a ratcheting-up of intensity makes this album shine even brighter.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is ultimately a rock record more than it is an ideas record, but on both counts the Seeds bring it like a band half their age.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's enough on Third (spaghetti-western guitars, organs, barking effects) to sate those who pine for the late '90s, but gone is the turntable scratching, ostensibly deemed too much of a relic from that decade; in its place are more electronic flourishes, like the cyclic synth-bass loop that softens the second half of "The Rip," a song which is proof positive that Goldfrapp would never exist without Portishead.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Jim
    This is saying something, because every single song on Jim will battle for space in the part of your brain that gets hooked.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Jim Noir works brilliantly on an escapist level, even though it rewards more active listening.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As a fully realized, bombastically confident artistic statement, Arm's Way is Nick Thorburn's "69 Love Songs." Hereafter we will only seek to understand him according to his own pop- and violence-addled logic, mapped perfectly on this thrilling album.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In many ways, Wilson updates his style, while still paying tribute to the things he loves.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Loveless has offered another unqualified masterpiece with Sleepless Nights and reasserted her place as one of the premier artists not just of the country genre but of contemporary popular music.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The simplicity of Jurado's writing is matched with a tender tone and a lack of condescension.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Chemistry is a natural and seamless masterpiece that might never have happened but for the band's own need to thumb its nose at expectations.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In putting the brakes on their revolutionary impulses to instead embrace old tropes and familiar sounds, Deerhunter has hit upon an endearing, awesome universality.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the end, the album is a fascinating musical thesis that can function with or without its brain intact.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Immolate Yourself does a lot and does it all well, creating an album that adds explicit punctuation to an already shocking loss.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is that, in both content and form, The 400 Unit is an unapologetically Southern album, and the lived-in authenticity of its performances, masterful songwriting, and fierce intelligence also make it one of the finest albums of what has already been a strong year for popular music.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Crack the Skye presents a stunningly original fusion of sounds.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dark, but never needlessly so, Two Suns offers a rich, distinct world of subterranean lullabies, spacey timbres, and ghostly beauty.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This incessant sense of creative movement makes Enemy Mine one of the best albums of the year, the sound of three great musicians forged into a product bigger than themselves.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Her voice seems small and fragile, but it's her most effective instrument, and it affixes a tight lynchpin to the album's broadly creative themes, leaving it glistening with ghostly elegance.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Whether trading in power chords or atmospheric overlays, the band excels at transforming emotions into thrilling sounds, palpable awe, and tangible dread. This is metal played at its arresting best.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Bachelor's overall tone reflects a nihilistic view of both romance and humanity, making for an about-face from the relative sunshine of 2007's "The Magic Position," and this tone is reflected in some of Wolf's most ambitious, baroque compositions to date.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Two Dancers is a striking, dynamic album, and will deservedly land on many year-end lists.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    xx
    It's a perfectly executed ending for an album whose understated pleasures will surely amount to one of the year's most treasured releases.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fundamentally, though, the album is a wistful and occasionally melancholic one that is as consistently captivating in its lyrical content as it is wonderfully dark and eerily melodic in its composition and production.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A dense, challenging record, Revolution once again finds Lambert setting the benchmark for the country genre even as she begins to consider the possibilities beyond its borders.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This empty feeling contributes to the quiet mood of Molina & Johnson, which feels dark and battered yet still gleaming, a compilation that's as evocative as the best work of either of its namesakes.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Reading is a far cry from pop-chart fodder. And while the jarring howl of Cobain's Fender and his gravelly delivery may alienate the more nonchalant corners of their fanbase, these ferocious renditions will be a godsend to the dyed-in-the-wool Nirvana following.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pallett has crafted an absorbing gem of a record, one that delivers substantial emotional payloads by means of incredibly intricate pop music.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Beach House makes it easy on Teen Dream, supplying an intense but transparent sheen of iridescent sound, marking an album whose quality is almost instantly evident. Better than anything in recent memory, the album typifies the difference between sonic interference as an instrumental tool and a blanket to hide beneath.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Powerful and smart above all else, Enlightenment may just be Hubbard's finest record, and it's certainly the new decade's first essential album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With her songwriting on point (she's always had a weakness for obvious, forced rhymes, but her discovery of slant and blank rhyme leave just a couple such offenders intact) and with her distinctive contralto in exquisite form, Moorer's performance here is arguably a career best.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overflowing with talent and ambition, Golden Archipelago is that rare kind of great album: tackling big ideas and attempting chancy things while delivering a product that feels flawlessly and decisively whole.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Go
    Even if the era of Sigur Ros is indeed over, Jonsi's solo career contains all the exhilarating promise that a new beginning should.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The surprising achievement of Cosmogramma is how capably it reinterprets that kind of innately communal vibe into private introspection without losing a bit of its energy along the way.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    High Violet is an expertly handled balancing of the airy and the dense, and nowhere is that better exemplified than on the triumphant "England."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An album that works as both a blisteringly smart genre study that combines classic and contemporary perspectives on blues, soul, and R&B and as just one hell of a rock record, Brothers reaffirms that the Black Keys belong in any serious conversation about America's finest bands.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It feels almost vain to describe individual tracks, because every last note on Distant Relatives blends to form a seamless, cohesive whole.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Three years later, they've given us The Suburbs, a stunningly accomplished album about embattled, often embittered, adulthood by a band that continues to mythologize childhood even as it moves decisively into artistic maturity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    What makes The Age of Adz an exception rather than some blatant hat-tip to those artists is Stevens's quirky trademarks.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Lady Killer doesn't possess the stylistic ADHD or the rough edges of Green's earlier work, sticking to sprightly brass arrangements and cheery string licks as his weapons of choice for the most part.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Let England Shake borrows precepts from all over the singer's canon, specifically extrapolating the piano-based concepts of White Chalk into louder, fuller renderings.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their self-titled debut is a 12-track, 45-minute workout, and it so effectively hits you warm in the gut with distortion and stick-to-your-ribs melodies that you won't just wish you were 20 again; you'll realize there's no subscribed age qualification for that wonderful feeling you get while listening to this record.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wounded Rhymes is filled with gorgeously spiteful moments such as these, adding an obstinate wrinkle to the album's already-rich, shadowy mystique.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    W.A.R. is Monch's blockbuster, a marathon sci-fi tale set in some grisly faraway cacotopia.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Helplessness Blues succeeds because Fleet Foxes find a way to consistently balance the added level of nuance with their natural inclinations toward epic songcraft.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fans who approach I Am Very Far carrying expectations informed by the group's earlier releases will no doubt find this to be Okkervil River's most challenging work to date, but it's also the group's most grandiose, thrilling, and brilliant.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    That's not to say Gang Gang Dance has watered down its style; rather than some strategic reach toward mass appeal, Eye Contact represents a pruning of the superfluous.