Slant Magazine's Scores

For 2,231 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 8.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 None Shall Pass
Lowest review score: 0 Fireflies
Score distribution:
2,231 music reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Free the Universe is, after all, a party album, and by using an energetic mix of faces both famous and obscure, Diplo keeps his grungy dancehall rave running on all cylinders.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He certainly has our attention.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most arresting of Twelve Reasons to Die's many pleasures is how out of time the album feels: Its pointed narrative distance from straight-faced gangster rap is very 2013, but the simple virtuosity of the small moments smacks of eras in both rap and soul that passed long before Ghost ever stepped to a mic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is an album that exudes playfulness, treating genre as something that's malleable and isn't afraid to poke open wounds if it means creating a piece of art that connects emotionally.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More than any of his previous albums, Prisoner of Conscious is the sound of Kweli performing art for art's sake, hip-hop for the sake of hip-hop, with hardly a homily to be found.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For Obsidian, Wiesenfeld has simply stripped off the top layer of fluff to expose the raw pathos beneath his work. It is, as a result, a much more thematic and personal effort.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all of the new developments (major-key melodies and upbeat tempos and rhythms), Schott's skill at fashioning held-breath drama remains undimmed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Ultraviolet, Kylesa has once again established themselves in the great tradition of hard-rockers who've realized it's possible to make a "dark" album without sacrificing accessibility, further proving that heavy riffs and great hooks aren't mutually exclusive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their aural magic is as evocative as ever, and with their alchemical skills, they could well invent a fifth element, or more.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a remarkable exploration of self--an undoubtedly personal album, packed with a sense of history, circumstance, opportunity, love, and fleeting memories.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If the intuitive, star-gazing Valtari served as the rediscovery of Sigur Rós's signature sound, then the instinctual, sober Kveikur is its compulsive reinvention.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's his ability to adapt first-person details into unexpected and unconventional songs that's made Vanderslice such a captivating songwriter, and Dagger Beach manages to be a personal album that doesn't rely strictly on autobiography for its emotional or thematic heft.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Born Sinner doesn't match the cohesive satisfactions of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, though it boasts better writing.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If the songs on the first half of Fantasy trigger the chemicals in your brain, the captivating tracks that comprise the second half implore you to submit to them completely.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When it succeeds, the album achieves a kind of weightless beauty above and beyond anything else in the Londoner's repertoire, and even the relative failures display the kind of ambition to suggest that his decision to leave Yuck was justifiable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beyond constructing music marked by a consummate sense of craftsmanship, Fuck Buttons continue to toy with notions of what an album should be, a natural progression for a band whose only defining quality is their refusal to settle on a definitive sound.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Combining a driving beat with melancholy vocals may not exactly be anything new in pop music, but the juxtaposition of the two here elicits an entrancing state more conducive to impassioned swaying than outright dancing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Civil Wars have gone from blithely conjuring a co-ed version of the Everly Brothers to making a tense, assertive Southern gothic album, complete with religious undertones, images of decaying locales, and tales of troubled relationships.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Paracosm is essentially a travelogue, albeit wrinkled, scuffed, and faded so as to match the love-worn tastes of its creator.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Franz Ferdinand's Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is an unapologetically swaggering disco-rock album that refuses to overstay its welcome.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What amazes most, and there's much to marvel at here, is the childlike wonder and sprightly sense of play that still remains after all these years.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Snow Ghosts might take what they're doing a little too seriously, and the album's gothic, macabre undertones can seem silly at times, but it's hard to resist sinking down into the duo's melodramatic doom and gloom.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Earl may be one of the quieter voices on Doris, but his dense, evocative sensibility dominates the album both lyrically and musically, making for exciting confirmation that one of rap's most technically accomplished voices has also got his conceptual vision firmly in place.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Carrier is a disarming reminder of the therapeutic power music can hold.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's an abstract and occasionally disjointed album that ultimately finds a rewarding balance, both sonically and lyrically, between the obscure and the deeply personal.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a tribute to Case's ever-growing strength as a songwriter that she refuses to take the sharp edges off the vicissitudes her songs depict while still acknowledging the humor and occasional beauty of those edges.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    AM
    Almost a decade into their career, the Arctic Monkeys have aged gracefully into their precociously world-weary image with a mature album about immaturity, a carefully written and produced effort about the desultory careen of youth.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If every Califone album is little more than the continued assurance that they're incapable of releasing music that's not exceptional, then Stitches is just as good, just as wonderfully mature and finely crafted and lyrically sophisticated, as the band's very best.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album is easily Múm's most commercial to date.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These two discs capture, in far more disciplined fashion than her debut, the motley delights of this singer and self-styled savant, whose delivery is as impressive and singular as her dance moves.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is an album that pops with attitude, relaxed but never lazy, a groove-driven album structured around Quest's minimalist drum attack, Kirk's old-school rhythm n' blues licks and wahs, some Curtis Mayfield-style string arrangements, and a lead singer whose voice sounds oddly youthful, as though channeled from his Imposters days.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album isn't perfect, but it draws energy from that imperfection, further establishing a persona driven by Drake's still-developing conflict between assurance and hesitation.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The nihilist pop of Pure Heroine makes a strong case for the less-is-more maxim. What's left is a remarkably unpretentious and almost raw set of vignettes mostly powered by Lorde's modest, affectation-free performances.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It takes only one listen to realize the album's title refers not to any physical place, but instead, those intimate mental spaces that contain the ideas that become art and music and other acts of human creativity, spaces that Mesirow taps into with uncommon regularity.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even though Beautiful Rewind is a call to dance music's past, it's the contemporary, more experimental sounds that establish the album as a standout in both the Four Tet oeuvre and a growing collection of dance albums that pay homage to the past.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Grossi's ability to deftly assimilate these more pop-oriented artists into his oeuvre is a testament to his growth since You Are All I See, resulting in his most confident release to date.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album puts Krug front and center, armed with nothing but piano and voice. It's a ballsy move, but it pays off in spades.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cupid Deluxe picks up where that track ["Everything Is Embarrassing"] left off: Blood Orange's sophomore effort chronicles alienation and broken romance with slow, melancholic, '90s-gazing jams.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wintry sonic atmospheres, a motley chorus of voices, and a life-affirming message of salvation--intentionally or not, Burial might have just released the best Christmas album of the year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For an album with a creation tale so bound up in contemporary history, Bad Debt is utterly ageless, like a surviving relic from time immemorial.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ghettoville is a 70-minute high-wire act, equal parts musique concrète and concrete jungle, its enveloping darkness in tension with a few precious rays of light.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In rightly avoiding the sweeping, anthemic electro jams of compatriots like Robyn and Niki and the Dove, Berglund offers an unpretentious and hypnotic listening experience, the kind of album that allows its audience to be a member of a nameless, nebulous crowd immersing itself in pure street spectacle.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Goldsworthy has built a stratum of battered, creaky atmosphere atop Gardens & Villa's already richly layered mood.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    True Love Kills the Fairy Tale flourishes in the complex tension between the Greenes' mellifluous vocal harmonies, their jarring, amorphous lyrics, and the haunted-house dream pop in which both are encased.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Burn Your Fire for No Witness is noisier, brasher, and more confident than its languid predecessor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gorgeously rendered but still ponderous, the album boasts a quiet strength that ultimately derives from the remarkable ability of its creator to deliver his grim sobriety with vibrancy and elegance.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bigger, louder, and more eclectic works well on Bad Self Portraits, but smaller, quieter, and more precise was what made the band's earlier efforts so distinctive.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a fine album that reveals more about the band's humor and skill with each new listen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Real Estate captured the essence of summer, and Days maintained an unmistakably autumnal aura, then Atlas, the most thematically mature of the three, could easily be classified as Real Estate's wintery opus.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Take Off and Landing of Everything gives us mostly familiar surroundings, but it makes for fine company.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Granduciel is clearly still drawn to his rock roots, but as the gap between him and those influences widens, it become suffused with anxiety and dread, the sort of existential ambivalence that Lost in the Dream masterfully conveys with its vast distorted spaces.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thanks to the talents of the artists involved, the album is more than a fun glimpse at the past. These beats and rhymes stick to your ribs.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In terms of the number of classic, summer-ready Minogue singles on hand, Kiss Me Once is pretty much par for the course. But there's an element of that that makes it better than your typical Minogue album, in that it's not content with pleasing the people on the dance floor.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's another welcome reversal for a band that, while keeping true to the same program of intense macabre album after album, keeps finding new ways to vary their ominous approach.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's all part of the sizable growth demonstrated on Here and Nowhere Else, which more than anything is defined by the sound of raw energy giving way to coherence and control.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's Album Time is structured similarly, slowly building an argument that there's genuine talent behind the sheen of novelty, only to have Terje zigzag in the other direction, dodging the argument he would claim he wasn't even interested in making in the first place.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's still a two-man garage band in there, but Auerbach and Patrick Carney are currently catering to earbuds rather than stadiums.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rarely does an album consider life's eternal struggles in quite this way: searching for answers with its eyes wide open, and silly string in its hair.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their music now meticulous and agile, Little Dragon has matched their ambition with execution, and the result is an album that, for all of its exhaustive details and complex rhythms, rarely feels cumbersome.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album's preference for atmosphere over hooks, plus the paucity and snarling incomprehensibility of its vocals, makes it ideal for pondering whatever mystery that captures one's fancy. But it also has a clear point of view.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is a trim 35 minutes in length, with 11 tracks and eight proper songs, zooming through its disjointed structure without much padding. This slimness functions as a counterweight to the often stifling subject matter, as the group employs its soul-influenced backdrops in a way that feels totally opposed to what most modern hip-hop is doing.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dereconstructed sounds like a continually exploding bombshell.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is transgressive art at its rawest and most chaotic, postmodern punk for the millennial age, and its ferocity is both a strength and a weakness, primal and indiscriminate, deeply felt and totally irrational.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A collision between complex, elegant songwriting and soppy bedroom angst, it's not the most coherent collection of songs, but that disorder works, ending up as a function of Krell's ultimately fascinating sense of experimentation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    1000 Forms of Fear should be the vessel that rockets the singer out of relative obscurity and into the stratosphere populated by those more recognizable stars who've come to dominate the pop-music universe thanks, in part, to her songwriting skills.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though there are moments of frayed musical charm throughout Alvvays, including the irresistible crack in Rankin's voice during the final chorus of "Party Police" and the so-jangly-it-hurts arpeggios of "Atop a Cake," it exhibits an unexpected level of versatility for a debut.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Common's latest, Nobody's Smiling, centers on the war-torn streets of South Side, Chicago that Common left nearly two decades ago, a setting the 42-year-old rapper navigates like a hardened local. The album's best moments explore this tension, proving that despite Common's age and commercial success, he can figuratively inhabit Chiraq better than most of the city's rising stars.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They Want My Soul is both mournful and confessional, its best moments coming when the band members allow themselves to be vulnerable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In their current form, Bear in Heaven may indeed be far more accessible than they were in the mid to late aughts when a song sporting a verse/chorus framework was the exception rather than the rule (even now it's more of a suggestion). Nevertheless, a brazen and workmanlike confidence marks the album as a more recognizable creative evolution than its predecessor's endearing, but ultimately canned, artistic departure.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    LP1
    LP1 is more than just a confident debut album. It's primordial in a way that Björk herself has often attempted but frequently short-circuited letting her cognizance get in the way.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With so many great songs in one place, a few of them in their definitive forms, it may be that Live from Atlanta is now the most accessible, comprehensive introduction to Lucero available. Just make sure to pair it with a couple of whiskey shots.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Prior to this album, Segall was most notable for his music's exciting collision of manic energy and technical skill. Here he retains those basics while demonstrating a keener focus on song construction and mechanics, the work of an artist who's still intent on tearing things up, but possesses a newly lucid understanding of how to shape interesting music out of the remnants.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like the band's best work, Brill Bruisers keeps you on your toes with its unrelenting minutiae.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band has delivered something even better here: an elegantly simple, aggressive album that understands and acknowledges its own past without nostalgia or bloat.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Imagine a mirror which distorts not just the reflection, but reality itself, and you have a fair idea of the stunning legacy to which Syro triumphantly belongs.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Williams has assembled many guest musicians this time around, but despite all the disparate talent, the album is a tight, coherent work that never devolves into self-indulgent jamming, even at an epic 103 minutes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tomorrow's Modern Boxes successfully pulls off a transitional balancing act that maintains the trademark elements of a Thom Yorke release while injecting subtle moments of fresh invention that hint at new sounds to come.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it may not be clear where we're headed throughout the album, Ellison maneuvers through the bedlam with such confidence that it's not just easy to get swept up in his grand vision of the Great Beyond, but to return for repeat visits.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album's third side, titled "Scream: Journey Through Hell," isn't quite that, but it's a mostly abrasive collage of disjointed hard-rock riffs that provide only very intermittent pleasures. In one sense, that stretch of music is a detriment to an otherwise astonishing piece of work; in another, like so many double albums of the past, it's all part of the ride.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tough Love is an album that reveals itself gradually, reducing this ever-beguiling artist down to her essence, while offering ample opportunity for her to develop her technique.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As is typical with Moore, the vocal melodies on The Best Day are mostly afterthoughts that usually just blithely follow the guitar parts. Fortunately, this weakness is minimized by the fact that most of the riffs, rendered via a pristinely engineered dual-guitar attack, are excellent.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On The Hum, this delicate balancing act between abrasive aggression and unfettered tunefulness positions Hookworms as an uncompromising experimental act with festival-sized ambitions, capable of synthesizing disparate and often contradictory sounds into a cohesive and compelling whole.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even if Wilco is in danger of running out of interesting new places to take their sound, it's only because, as Alpha Mike Foxtrot is a convincing testament to, they've spent the last 20 years taking it to so many places already.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Someone needed to author the aural equivalent of the body shot, and Charli XCX has provided the platonic ideal of just that: a party album charged equally with punkish rebellion, hip-hop cool, and pop universality.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Part of what makes her new album, Reality Show, so remarkable is how often it dares to foreground her pen over her pipes.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For a band so obsessed with death, and its erotic possibilities, they sound utterly alive on Transfixiation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What results is a swirling accumulation of sound, forming into manic campfire roundelays emphasizing themes of community and recovery, the scrappy spectacle of beauty shaped from shiftless sonic waste.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The taut and engaging first half of Down to Believing juxtaposes formidable country-rock like "I Lost My Crystal Ball" and the garage-rock-at-heart "Tear Me Apart" against more poised and controlled expressions of emotional unrest.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Brittany Howard's] performance only confirms that she's the kind of pop vocal talent that only comes along a few times in a generation, while Sound & Color as a whole is proof that Alabama Shakes have got the chops to be a lot more than Muscle Shoals revivalists.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like every hip-hop album (even the great ones), Kanye West's The College Dropout is marred by too many guest artists, too many interludes, and just too many songs period. (I challenge every hip-hop artist working today to record just one album with 12 tracks or less-no skits, no guests, no filler.)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    But whatever the songs lack, they make up for in restraint--brevity keeps you wanting more, which is really Mimi's virtue.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If Version 2.0 was techno-pop perfection posing as rock, Bleed Like Me is its noisy, long-haired cousin playing metal riffs in the garage.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Demon Days is decidedly bleaker than its predecessor.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While there's a definite sense of in-studio spontaneity to Electrified, the album's only significant flaw is that the songs sound restrained in their current form.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A modest triumph.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The pages of this cookbook are a primer on how Missy let her head get fat.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Supernature picks up where its disco-pop predecessor left off, augmenting the remaining traces of Felt Mountain's ambience... with swathes of glam-rock and stabs of tinny new wave.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Late Registration's salvation (and, undoubtedly, Kanye's own) are when it basks in the sunshine after the rain.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The electric guitars are grittier and the drums are more aggressive than those of many of their fellow indie-pop acts, giving Nada Surf a distinctive sound in an increasingly crowded genre and rocking hard enough that they rightfully should earn a second shot at radio.