Splendid's Scores

  • Music
For 793 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 65% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 33% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 75
Highest review score: 100 Alice
Lowest review score: 10 First Album
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 793
793 music reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The aggressive stance taken on some of the songs brings an unwelcome "Is this Orgy?" feel to the affair.... If Gwenmars can produce more show-stoppers, and perhaps tone-down some of the aggresive stylings that creep in, they might become more than just a throwback.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you'd never heard Gotham!, you might very well find much to like about Stealing of a Nation.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The technical skill and creativity at work here are enough reason to give DJ Me DJ You more than a passing listen, even if the songs don't make your head bob up and down and your feet tap.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    From a new band, Get Ready would seem like an accomplished if uneven effort.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are some bands who were just meant to be great pop acts -- pop in the George Michael sense, pop in the Fleetwood Mac sense. Phoenix make music that your mom would like, and it's not a bad thing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While Face The Truth rarely presents a side of its creator that has not already been seen, loved, and cried over, it's a passable, even better-than-average album.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Harmless and happy, with an underbelly of serious sadness, Keep it Together dares to be average, and comes out sounding and feeling pretty decent.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    People who listened to Sahara Hotnights' albums in their proper sequence will appreciate their improvement, but those who heard Jennie Bomb first may well end up preferring it.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    OST
    A watered-down mix of big-budget tricks and studio sheen.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's good stuff, to be sure -- but if Hot Shots II excites you at all, it's probably time to lay off the pot.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Unless you're fifteen and were raised with a mouse constantly in hand, the Mae Shi can get overwhelming... but their saving graces (lots of genuine energy, naming their songs things like "Hieronymus Bosch is a Dead Man") charm you into liking them.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The brittle treble-heavy assault is replaced with clarity, greater exploration of texture and more "professional" recording.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mercifully, Frusciante has toned down the screechy howl that made his earlier work almost unbearable, and while his songs aren't quite diamond-sharp, they have evolved into soft-focus pop tunes that display a keen melodic intuition and gift for beautiful torment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The band sounds richer, fuller and more confident. Sometimes they also sound a little too slick for their own good -- a nagging concern with "Disappear", among others -- but the studio glitz is matched by artistic maturity.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Ponys have achieved a certain level of competence, and if you're willing to accept that in place of originality or innovation, Celebration Castle is worth checking out.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While there's undoubtedly a wealth of ideas to be found here, listenability is the real wildcard.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's enough strong material on The Story of My Life to score Carter time on CMT and get her in good with the Borders crowd, cementing her cross-genre appeal.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As a political album, Liberation may only be half-successful, but I'd still take angry Trans Am over the schlocky Trans Am of TA any day.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's definitely nothing earth-shattering here... but there's nothing that's going to alienate the fanbase, either.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are too many ambitious singer/songwriter albums out there to easily justify any water-treading.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's not a bad album -- it's just not particularly notable.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Opener "Glisten" is anybody's masterpiece.... This instrumental brings so much anticipation to the rest of this record, it's no wonder I'm partly disappointed with The Listener: Gelb can't and doesn't deliver a dozen more songs like "Glisten".
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's far too much nondescript strumming and far too few meaningful hooks.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Less cohesively engaging than March on Electric Children, Burn, Piano Island, Burn is, by turns, spasmodically inviting and gratingly repulsive to all but the most patient of noisemongers.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A mostly "hit" but occasionally "miss" effort that showcases both the band's maturation and its residual shortcomings.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If "We Are A&C" was the album's low point, the album would be in great shape -- but there are a few half-hearted tracks that stake a more legitimate claim to that dubious honor.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Their rehashed rawk riffage is relentlessly enthralling, but their beat-you-over-the-head scream-tactics lend themselves to a sludgy sameness that, by album's end, has worn its welcome pencil-thin.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Gray is wise to continue experimenting and testing the boundaries of his art, but his changes don't need to be this bold. In this case, he comes up short: his minimalist mastery does not translate to resounding baroque success.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Murdoch, finally free to take charge of his band, has done so in spades, and the result is a confident, assured affair...that, to many listeners, will seem utterly out of character.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you peel away the pretense, there's actually a fascinating album at work here.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If you're fifteen years old, female, and want to rebel, So Stylistic probably makes a lot more sense than a Bright Eyes record. If you're any older, it'll probably just make you feel dirty.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's true that a lot of Musique Automatique can get old really fast.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though Maximo Park has enough electricity to light Manhattan, there's a faint but inescapable whiff of calculation about them.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An expansive album that ultimately recycles itself.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Last Night is a perfectly serviceable mellow slow-jam R&B record -- and that's a damned shame.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Unwieldy psychedelic dinosaurs like "First Wave Intact" and the title track hint that they're looking to become the new gods of bong-powered thunder -- but then they drop a bomb like the sleek, urbanely scoffing "Road Leads Where It's Led" and instantly re-cast themselves as black-clad top forty gatecrashers looking for a fast ticket to fortune and fame.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Outstanding production, clever lyrics and catchy melodies should add up to the sort of record capable of making a serious splash. Unfortunately, Invisible Invasion demonstrates an unwavering adherence to established musical traditions.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Lovers' vast scope quickly becomes a daunting proposition for its listener.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Warren too often undercuts his successes by trying to impress us with his strangeness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Finely crafted, if modestly affecting, froth-pop that bubbles over with dreary sexual overtones and loads of youthful paranoia.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The group creates an ornately atmospheric resonance throughout Ambulance Ltd., but their light-weight compositions place the album at serious risk of floating away.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    However nice the guitar sounds, though, it's hard to ignore the fact that it's dressing up songs that would be a bit dull without it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While there's nothing too stunning to be found on Three-Four, there's also nothing really sub-par.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not all Kinski fans will need, or even want, this disc, and the group seems to understand that.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Six of the seven songs are understated, melodic mid-tempo pieces.... The song that breaks the mold is also the album's best moment[:]"Astronaut."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A curious beast -- dark, confused, displaced and often hopeless.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Wine drinkers' music, you might say -- likeable, pleasant, but lacking in consuming, driving passion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Inara George's voice is so gorgeous and soothing that you'll immediately believe that you can listen to it forever. Unfortunately, by the fifth or sixth song on All Rise, you'll wonder if you have been listening to her forever.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's disappointing to hear them following trends rather than inspiring them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A band more fixated with guitar solos and drunken fist-pumping than in the more nuanced, desperate territory of their former incarnation [Lifter Puller].
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Shrill, sharp, twitchy compositions that can be as abrasive as they are compelling.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    However, while Looks at the Bird's expanded arrangements are more conventionally "listenable" than much of Field Recordings, this comes at a small price.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    When the formula works, the results are quite impressive, but at other times the songs simply fall flat, victims of their own overly simplistic and repetitive arrangements
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mono singlehandedly redefines the concept of dynamics. They are very quiet, and then very loud. It will hurt your head.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The problem is, it all feels a bit contrived.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Look, there's no question whatsoever that this is a well-put-together, carefully arranged and tastefully executed album created by a consummate craftsman. On the other hand, its palette (and, I fear, its audience) is limited to the placid and gently swaying.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The fact that it hides among its excesses a handful of truly excellent rock anthems seems almost like an afterthought, as if, when the band ran out of crazy ideas, they found that there was nothing left to do but write actual songs.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Some moments are exciting, but overall it's a bit cluttered.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Sleepy Strange offers seven mid-tempo rock songs, most with the inevitable country leanings that a pedal steel creates. These pieces lack anything even remotely resembling a sense of direction or urgency; Japancakes' songs don't travel from Point A to Point B so much as wander up and down the street in front of Point A and dig odd little things out of the lawn. Some listeners will love it, while devotees of single-minded purpose will positively hate it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Optometry's highlights throw expectation to the wind. They're more than jazz, more than hip-hop, more than whatever the hell "illbient" actually is.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    By the time "Our Mutual Friend"'s symphonic percussion and hammering cellos reach their crashing apex, the album begins to feel a little like the fourth consecutive hour at a well-stocked party full of musical theater majors.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like the Austin Powers films, there's a sense that authenticity has been betrayed in some vague and troubling way.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sure, they meld muscular riffs with smoky organ meditations, folky landscapes, pompous orchestration and the occasional IDM skitter, but not without losing the transcendent detail that makes each of these genres worth savoring and holding on to.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As entertainment, Tenacious D succeeds surprisingly well -- for the first few listens.... The only long-term replay value you'll get from this record will come from playing it for friends who haven't heard it.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Harper performs his knock-offs so earnestly you'd think he were resuscitating some forgotten art, rather than aping tunes that are played 24/7 on oldies radio.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The songs here are resolutely pop, almost bubblegum, and though they're sometimes buoyant, hyperkinetic, even fun, they have almost no depth or resonance to them.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Hal
    You'll either find it cloying and saccharine or heartfelt and precise, or maybe a little bit of both.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though marred by a few missteps, it's mostly enjoyable, if unchallenging.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    I'm used to hearing more layers in this type of music, and the simplicity here is surprising -- not necessarily in a good way.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Although the Cooper Temple Clause pack plenty of celestial firepower and darkwave ambiance into their six-minute movements, by the time they unveil the epic "Written Apology", the sheer compositional weight is too much for a mortal listener to handle.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like their NYC peers Liars and the Rapture, HHH are adept at fusing dancefloor polemics with angular guitar atmospherics, yet their sound lacks the sweat-soaked sexual ardor that those groups flaunt so remorselessly.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    #1
    While there's no denying the hedonistic charm of "Emerge" or "Turn On", it's also obvious that the album slips easily into a beat-happy rut, never quite pulling off the total and complete transfixion it was so obviously designed to achieve.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Anyone searching for a wholly absorbing listening experience should look (and listen) elsewhere.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While there are plenty of MTV2-ready tunes, the record doesn't bear much repetition.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Taken as a group, Heroes to Zeros' slower songs are the musical equivalent of a month-long sinus infection: heavy on the repetition, sleepy detachment and sensory deprivation.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The passion that once seeped from the group now appears manufactured.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Plenty of albums split the difference between gems and junk, but the biggest problem with Glass House is that it lacks any discernible anima; the band seems to be phoning in their performance from a comfy armchair somewhere in Milwaukee.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I so want to hate this album.... If only the album flat-out sucked, I'd be on much firmer ground. Too bad it doesn't.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, it seems that the only thing he really learned was how to write a Pavement tune, and he's having a little trouble trying to figure out what to do with himself now that Pavement is no more.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's nothing wrong with her performance -- it's just undistinguished.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For a band that regularly draws comparisons to Beta Band and Pavement, Vehicles & Animals is all too pedestrian.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Their songs routinely beg for a spoken message, to the point where their originals sound like dub versions.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I wouldn't go so far as to say that White People should never have happened... but Paul and Dan would do well to move on while they're still ahead.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While the Big Chorus and post-hardcore theatricality are hardly disparate stylistic traits, it's odd that Rogue Wave would embrace them after establishing themselves as a nuanced pop outfit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although the group's previous outings routinely got bogged down in forced experimentalism, Broken Ear Record at least keeps the pace sufficiently frantic, which allows us to excuse some (if not all) of its more self-indulgent moments.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    I can respect the need to innovate in hip-hop, but variety here comes at a cost -- there's no coherent or consistent melodic through-line.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    You say you don't give a shit about lyrics? That's good; most of Echoes' lyrics aren't worth giving a shit about.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Mid-tempo rocker follows mid-tempo rocker without any change of pace to keep things interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Statistics... come off like an emo version of Coldplay.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, Tree City's quality makes its carbon-copy nature all the more frustrating.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sparta seem a bit too retro-focused for their own good.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Seal IV... finds him retreading old ground and misguidedly attempting to claim new territory.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There's a lot to admire on Jackinabox, although it's ultimately less than spectacular and even occasionally embarrassing.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    By forsaking professionals for amateurs, the Plan has narrowed the scope of their artistic vision; for every stunning reworking, like Deadverse's "Automatic", there's a stinker like ASCDI's predictably bland mix of "Time Bomb" or Cynyc's blasé beat-slapping "Following Through".
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    After a while, the songs begin to sound the same, and while Martey's vocals are consistently strong, the fact that she almost always sings in the same range robs them of much of their effect.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The tunes just circle like SUVs in a parking lot; there are traces of a head of steam, of a nod towards explosive tune-structures, but it seems the ball is dropped at the last minute in favour of a holding-pattern approach -- the familiar bassline and chorused keys. It's a letdown.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A fairly average jaunt into familiar indie rock territory.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It's not necessarily a welcome change, as drugged-up, dubbed-out majesty has always been Fearless's stock-in-trade, but there's something oddly captivating about these dusky grooves and forlorn moods that makes it difficult to view the project as a failure.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With Frances the Mute, the Mars Volta have unfurled a big and bold artistic statement... Unfortunately, that bold artistic statement is rife with pomposity and glimpses of prog-rock at its most horrifically self-indulgent.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Slick, well-constructed and mall-friendly.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    O'Connor's lack of subtlety eventually grows tiring.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Julia and Lena's voices are nothing special, and their lyrics are still derivative -- suitable fodder for Charmed or a Rachel Leigh Cook movie, but not the sort of thing that makes a lasting impression.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    They hit all the right notes and create the right hooks for success, at least in theory, but for all the passion in Jake Snider's voice, he might as well be singing about the ham sandwich he ate for lunch.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While the album's bouts of strangulated sexuality are initially stirring, this lack of melody eventually dooms Do Rabbits Wonder? to wallow in a torpid swamp of half-formed ideas and analog squall.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The album, while competent, is thoroughly flawed.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's nothing distinctive about it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Milk Of Human Kindness grabs at elements of its predecessors, but they're often the wrong ones.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The quality is uniform, but below par.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Unlike Leona Naess the musician, Leona Naess the album is nearly forgettable, such is the perfection of its production and cardboard cut-out lyrical and musical themes.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's not quite enough to justify the addition of another album to the Blondie catalogue.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There wouldn't be a problem at all if Buzzkunst wasn't such a maddeningly forgettable record.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Yes, it has a certain something that makes you bob your head and/or shake your ass to songs that you'd probably be ticked off by if someone drove past your pad blasting them out his windows. But no, it's not the stuff that great CDs are made of.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Aside from being tracked incorrectly (on my copy anyway) and not always being of the choicest sound quality, Sad Sappy Sucker shows that Modest Mouse’s rise to the pinnacle of indiedom started at the bottom, just like everybody else.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The least interesting, least engaging Sleater-Kinney album ever.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Whereas Walking With Thee was a wonderful relief in the indie/retro-rock world, pushing the band's internal parameters and the idea of what pop music should sound like, Winchester Cathedral feels more like a roadblock, or at least a pit stop, rather than a step forward in Clinic's previously innovative evolution.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As Higden struggles to make his way to the forefront, his bandmates appear greedy, desperately reaching for moments of startling stateliness -- much to the detriment of the songs themselves, which are lost in an atmospheric morass with delusions of (Radiohead) grandeur written all over it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Middling music that shoots for epic and edgy, but takes far too few chances and falls short of its fans' expectations.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    While Sha Sha is certainly ripe with hooks and strong in stylistic concept, the songs are woefully one-dimensional and marred by immaturity.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    With an approach that seems so clinical, the album sounds cold and soulless -- and, well, boring.