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 2.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Hate
Lowest review score: 10 Fire
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 793
793 music reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A powerful masterpiece of an album.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is simple, winding, hypnotic and beautiful, and it makes being human bearable for a while -- without in any way detracting from its essential tragedy.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A strong contender for album of the year, Shaking the Sheets is a masterpiece of fucked-up mod pop: political but not preachy, insistent yet never twitchy, respectful but never blatant.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Welcome Interstate Managers is a watershed accomplishment, surpassing the band's debut in terms of whimsical pop songcraft, lyrical astuteness and blind melodic ambition.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Dangerous Magical Noise is rock and roll at its pure, shaggy best. If you're tired of that, you're tired of life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's achingly beautiful without relying on maudlin sentimentality to win the listener over. Genius.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Notwist can sculpt more emotional sounds and music into a compact and cutting four minutes than most can do in a career.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Stills have always shown promise, but Logic Will Break Your Heart ascends far beyond anyone's wildest expectations.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Source Tags and Codes is phenomenal. It's one of those albums that starts the listener on a seeminlgly unsustainable high note, and uses that as a launching point.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Absolutely essential!... It’s a coming-out party on the level of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Every track on Hate surpasses the high standards set by its predecessor. Go buy it right now.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I defy you to find a more elegantly shambolic, soulfully homespun and, indeed, heartfelt album than this.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sheer scope of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is so utterly breathtaking that repeat airings only reinforce its stunning songcraft and otherworldly sonic splendor.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A perfect synthesis of modern studio manipulation and old-time pop craftsmanship, shattering all notions of what pop music can, or for that matter, should be.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's simply wonderful -- bristling with pop masterpieces large and small, and reassuringly unburdened by Smith's deep-seated malaise.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Separation Sunday stands a chance of being one of 2005's true classics.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Totally brilliant, mind-meltingly good, and as different from Secret Wars as possible, except that both of these albums could change your life.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a wonderful album, full of heart, skill and intelligence, and sure to be recognized as a classic.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Double Figure is as instantly memorable, not to mention listenable an IDM record as you are likely to hear this year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the few discs I've encountered that not only attempts to be something more than a simple album, but succeeds.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An album of rich melodies, aggressive percussive breaks and richly textured atmospheres that intelligently synthesize the whole of electronic music history.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pole is the sound of a restless musical talent and intellect seeking out like-minded collaborators, expanding their horizons, and producing an otherwise impossible synthesis.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Taken alone, each of these songs sounds exciting and raw. Taken together, Low Kick and Hard Bop is further proof, if any was necessary, that this is a woman posessed of a singular talent and an even more singular vision.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a record in which Warren has fused elements of dance, rock, trance and folk to create exquisite pieces of crystalline future-leaning pop.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Without a doubt one of Callahan’s most inspired collection of songs to date.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Skimskitta is a beautiful album. It is warm and enveloping. It is full of shadows but flashes with brilliance. It is oblique, yet often familiar. It is intelligent, inventive and inspiring. And it is very hard to put into words.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    She Has No Strings Apollo is, if anything, a portrait of one of the most passionate bands you'll ever hear, at a time when they've fine-tuned their improvisational telepathy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you like smart, complicated rock and roll that nevertheless puts on a show, they are as good as it gets.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After you've listened to Rock Action for the first time, you may be hard pressed to believe that Mogwai merely wrote these songs; you'll feel as if they created these symphonies out of thin air, pulling gorgeous sounds from within the deepest recesses of the human soul. Eventually you'll come back down to earth and realize that Rock Action is by no means divine...but it is very, very good.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Can Our Love... is a minimalistic jewel, a soul wonder and an anomaly in a pop world.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As spectacularly successful as the Tindersticks have been in their tribute to the horror of Trouble Every Day, I'm hoping for a lighter confection from their next collaboration with Denis -- something more along the lines of Nenette et Boni.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is sensual, prophetic, dense and romantic, sumptuous and altogether eerie.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yours, Mine, and Ours is a fantastic album. In fact, it's one of the best things I've heard so far this year. On the other hand, I can count at least three other albums that bear the Joe Pernice stamp that are better than this.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Primal and raw and powerful, the Gossip's third full-length is straight-from-the-gut punk desperation tinged with the hope of gospel salvation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In a hip-hop world ruled by clichéd production and watered-down beats, a sound so simultaneously funky and strange is, to say the least, a welcome change.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mass Romantic more than repays any musical debt owed by the good people of Canada. In fact, it’s going to take some pretty strong efforts by America's best and brightest to match The New Pornographers' achievements here.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps there's nothing here as immediately catchy as "Tally Ho!" or "Getting Older", but the latter-day Clean are still amazingly good.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Since We've Become Translucent does an almost unimaginably good job of adding heft, weight and, god I hate to say it, maturity to the garage idiom.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Revealing itself slowly, like the mythic tales acknowledged by the album's title, Folklore is certainly Sixteen Horsepower's most stunning and accomplished work yet, and an easy nominee for one of 2002's best.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s quite a feat to create an album that is not only haunting, but uncompromisingly beautiful and utterly serene.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though the covers on American III will attract the majority of listener attention, Cash’s own material steals the show.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Imagine a troupe of gloomy cow-punks careening down a thundering Hawaiian pipeline and you've got a bead on their wildly divergent sound.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Heart is an exceptional sophomore effort, bursting at the seams with pop content, but the prism through which it travels bends it, taints it and humanizes it in ways that are at once soul-clenching and unpretentious.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As wonderfully crafted an album as Reconstruction Site is, some listeners will be put off by its perceived highbrow attitude; it's too scholarly for the masses, too pop-smart for the avant garde set.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rounds contains a new underlying sonic scrape that is brisk and windy and distinctly more dynamic than Hebden's previous, more placid outings, but the signature dense soul of his work is the same.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The band's most realized effort to date -- a brilliant amalgam of dense future-primitive soundscapes and heartbreaking twilight flourish, bolstered by curveball arrangements and a sense of unified purpose.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A gorgeous work of art.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The bottom line is that QOTSA turns in another genre-demolishing, hard-as-titanium album in Songs for the Deaf. This is not your father's metal. It's better.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Mars Volta have not only revived prog-rock as a viable commodity; they've injected it with an electric vigor that the lumbering dinosaur hasn't witnessed in ages.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Love and Hate sounds fantastic, alternately steeped in warm, old school funk and terse, bubbly electroclash.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the album that should put Dressy Bessy on the big map.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Musically rich throughout, Everything and Nothing is a spotlight for Sylvian's stylish, Brian Ferry-inspired baritone, his fascination with eastern culture and spirituality and the beautiful orchestrations of songs like "God's Monkey", "I Surrender" and "Some Kind of Fool".
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Aside from being a strikingly orchestrated affair that ranks among Quasi's best work, Hot Shit! is the fully-realized version of Quasi that Coomes has envisioned since the beginning.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's another Merritt CD that's so good, it could radically alter the world if it was broadcast from the moon.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Instinct is a showcase for an amazing voice and a band that knows how to build around it.... One of the best albums of 2003.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Secret Wars is more than a good album. It's an incredible experience, taking you out of your daily life into a mysterious and mind-changing space.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Killing Joke feels as fresh and exciting as 1981's album of the same name.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A monster of an achievement.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An exciting return to the days of the imaginative songwriter.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Few electronic artists working today have the balls or the skills to pull off an album as unconventional and uncompromising as Go Plastic...
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a remarkable album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His vision appears to be his own, and just happens to coincide with both the director's and the author's visions also, resulting in one of the best soundtracks -- and albums -- I've heard in a long time.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They now trade in a world of startlingly bleak, matte-black liquid-crystal experimental pop perfection pitched somewhere between John Cage's frightening austerity and the bittersweet squall of Swell Maps. Art-pop doesn't get any more accessible than this.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No, it's not the new White Stripes record -- it's something infinitely better.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For a band only three albums into their career, they're showing inordinate amounts of brilliance.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ten
    Truly unlike anything else you'll hear this year, hip-hop or otherwise.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Time and time again throughout Panda Park, 90 Day Men prove themselves a rare breed -- a band capable of embracing tradition without becoming overburdened by it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only has Grohl released a fantastic album, he has done a wonderful job giving several aging metal vocalists another fifteen minutes of fame.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tortoise have created another batch of distinct, inimitable songs that strike a perfect balance between the academic and the playful, the immediate and the eternal.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wonderland is the sound of a band embracing and then discarding its past in order to forge ahead into a new tomorrow.... Undoubtedly one of the group's finest recorded moments.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    He's at the height of his powers here, as vital and relevant as ever.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ghosts of the Great Highway easily ranks among the very best of Kozelek's dense discography, and it seems fair to suggest that it will become the measuring stick against which any future non-Red House Painters material is compared.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Whether the band is shakin' its collective art-rock ass to syncopated beats or barreling through treble-infused dueling guitar throwdowns, there's never a dull moment here.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Recorded with an ear for detail but guided by a loose hand, this is the most open, welcoming Cat Power album yet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Terroir Blues is an excellent album released by a man who knows he's at the height of his powers, whether anyone else knows it or not.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Essentially, you get one disc on which Godspeed You Black Emperor tinkers with their sound a little bit, and one on which they deliver exactly what you've been expecting. That's a good mix.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Waiting For The Moon is a welcome and singularly strong addition to one of the most impressive catalogues in modern music.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hayden has released an album of magnificent proportions.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's classy, but also honest. Not a single emotion seems overplayed or exaggerated; you'll dance and sway to it because each song feels as organic as life, and the life it documents is nicely lit.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Herren takes what amounts to a series of completely artificial electronic noises and whips them into one of the most soulful, funky, relentlessly compelling albums since the Neptunes' last outing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While many rock and electronic groups amble pleasantly along without a musical thought in their heads, country's combination of tradition and musicianship just keeps producing albums, like Chinatown, of a really tremendous caliber.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Indolent, perturbed and volatile, Amazing Grace finds Pierce checking his wide-screen Spectorian visions at the studio door; he has opted, instead, for a coarse mix of electrified Southern gospel and somnabulent balladeering that has produced the most urgent Spiritualized album since Electric Mainline.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Team Boo is Mates of State's best album to date.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While The Argument may not be as bracing as their groundbreaking work from a decade ago, it crystallizes the strengths of four musicians hitting every mark.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After a couple of trips through Trust, you might feel like I did -- uncertain whether you'd just had the best sex of your life, witnessed an astonishingly moving church service, or attended the funeral of a life-long friend.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Us
    As good as Loss was (and make no mistake, it was very, very good), Us improves on it in virtually every way.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The music is just as pure and personal and unintermediated as before, but it sounds better in every conceivable way.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it delivers the triumphant rock 'n' roll thrills and oddball incantations promised by the GBV "brand", the most surprising thing about Earthquake Glue is that, at a point in his career when his inventiveness really should be waning (along with his libido and his prostate), Robert Pollard's creative spark seems brighter than ever.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The group has created an album filled not only with the timeless pop hooks you have come to expect but with the anthemic swagger that is the hallmark of many of the great rock recordings of the last 30 years.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The songs may pay excessive homage in spirit, but their composition and divergent tones are wholly original.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's as important to women in hip-hop as Joni Mitchell, Madonna and Sleater-Kinney were to their respective genres.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    HaHa Sound is a good example what a talented band can do in an era of infinite possibilities.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As spiritual as Talib Kweli, as musically complex as Mos Def, as joyfully syncopated as the Roots, Power in Numbers sets the standard for intelligent hip hop.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As perfect a brew as this is, it's Gelb's voice and lyrics that push the music into otherworldly territories.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even taking into account his work with the Replacements, this is the album on which every song is truly worth hearing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is great stuff, and a significant advance over both of Comets on Fire's previous albums.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rarely is so-called "difficult music" so rewarding, and rarely is it so simple.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The complexity and depth of the songs has increased; the band sounds less like they're trying to channel The Pixies, and more like they're reaching toward the sublime.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Picks up, astonishingly, exactly where the band left off, not exactly retracing old paths but branching off of them into new and exciting vistas.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pawn Shoppe Heart is the most electrifying album to have trawled its way out of the Detroit gutter in ages, effortlessly showing up [The White Stripes'] White Blood Cells in the process.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    True to its title, The Slow Wonder is a much more relaxed and toned-down, yet no less complete listen than Electric Version or Mass Romantic.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the best and most moving albums of the year.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No More Shall We Part is a beautiful, elegant record, capably fulfilling the promise of The Boatman's Call, but it exacts a harrowing toll from the listener. This is not a record to which you can listen lightly; if used as background music it will gradually darken your mood, like poison seeping slowly into a well.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They've truly hit their stride on Universal Audio.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shine A Light is metallic, screamo-ing, ear-bursting, confused and chopping. And man, it's great.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one of the breeziest, catchiest discs I've heard in a while.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Make no mistake about it, The White Stripes are the real deal, and if they can continue to kick out the jams as they do on White Blood Cells, everyone else would be well advised to get the fuck out of their way.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    No one else is making literate, story-based pop this good.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For all of Walking with Thee's obvious musical accomplishments, its most impressive facet is the ability to transcend all the hype, hoopla and haranguing surrounding its release.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one of Cave's best album in years, if not an immediate candidate for a career highlight.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the sound of a man in perfect harmony with himself.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Coast... sounds more logical, deliberate and downright organic than its predecessor. It's simply a more accomplished recording; because the band had enough time in the studio, they were able to fine-tune the sound to their satisfaction, creating an album that moves them forward on every front.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If he's not this generation's most raggedly refined songwriting presence, then he's certainly in the top ten percent of his class -- a bona fide show-stopping tunesmith on a par with giants Elliott Smith, Ron Sexsmith and Richard Davies.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is not a happy album, but it might be a great one, taking the Western swagger of Dog in the Sand into bleak and stunning territory.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is no shortage of understated brilliance on Love Songs for Patriots.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is infectious in the best and most viral sense of the word -- the songs get under your skin and thrash around.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The band has revealed a seething, visceral, rocking side of their music.... a shimmering Album Of The Year contender.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's emotion, extraordinary technique, and a surprising, oh-so-welcome passion in the singing.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's powerful, clever, and you can dance to it.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A terrific and long-overdue reissue that's sure to satiate established fans as well as the new converts it hopes to earn.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's rare that a band can recreate such a broad measure of emotions with such a soft palette.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If Boy In Da Corner marks the beginning of distinctly British hip-hop, the genre's standards are already impressively high.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Shins' second effort sparkles with a clarity that was not always evident on their debut and energizes with a spark and an enthusiasm that previously seemed forced.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Seven Swans plays like a stripped-down, less thematic counterpart to its predecessor. It's also strong enough in its own right to keep fans arguing for months over which album is better.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His most compelling, not to mention complete, work to date.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the smartest fun music (and the most fun smart music) I've heard this year.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Madvillainy isn't really an inaccessible record. It may take a couple of spins for you to get involved, but once you've passed that initial adaptation, it stays with you.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Wrens experiment with sounds and textures you don't normally hear in so-called "rock" records, but unlike many groups, they manage to do this in a way that attracts attention without upstaging the actual music. And the songwriting just keeps getting better; there isn't a lackluster track in the bunch.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Call it the exclamation point on Gibbard's stratospheric year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a terrifically exciting debut, imbued with a zest, energy and songwriting flair that warrants -- perhaps even commands -- some sort of attention.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The question is not whether Medúlla is brilliant; insofar as this can be objectively asserted, it most certainly is. The question is really, Do you like Björk? Do you like her a lot? Obviously, a Björk a capella album is going to be lost on you if you never really liked her vocal style in the first place.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is a more intimate and more cohesive work than anything else he has done, but it is decidedly difficult, tossing aside more ingratiating effects in favor of a haunting, ethereal mood and a single, thematic narrative.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is one of those rare albums where every single track is a keeper and killer hooks abound.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album retains the trademark layered sound of earlier work, the dueling guitars, the wailing vocals, the powerfully musical drumming, yet it plunges into much darker territory than before.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A winning combination of hip-hop beats, horns, strings and cinematic soundscapes, the album is spiced with precise scratching and effectively abrupt changes in direction.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Without a doubt the best Elvis Costello record that Costello never recorded.... wistfully irresistible pop confections filled with effervescent melodies and clever lyrical wordplay.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the best instrumental albums you are likely to hear this year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I doubt the public at large is ready for a full-scale introduction to an artist who can mesh big bands and big beats, but those of us who are ready for such a union should be glad we have it all to ourselves, for now.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Great Destroyer is a marvel of layered beauty -- the sort of album that makes you call in sick to work so you can spend a day with headphones clamped to your head, charting its every elegant nuance.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though sampling has been done to death, the stealthiness which which Deakin and Franglen incorporate their borrowed material will be required study for wannabe producers and hop-headz; in that regard, it's on a par with the seminal Paul's Boutique.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A Healthy Distrust is impressively fluid; Francis fuses his experimental leanings and newer mainstream hip-hop allowances with ease.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I Am a Bird Now is a sweet, sumptuous brace of noir-laced cabaret pop, distinctly out of step with just about every other album released this year.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Woman King's songs are decidedly textured, rich with rhythm and reason, myth and melody.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Haunting, gorgeously inward-looking, yet laced with memorable melodies, Feathers is Dead Meadow's strongest work ever and an early contender for one of 2005's best records.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nashville is further proof that Rouse is one of the best songwriters of his generation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Naturally, this much theatrical -- but never facetious -- pomp and prettiness can be heavy, but it's never overbearing. Surprisingly, given the album's gravitas, it's relatively easy to enjoy in a single sitting. And another after that.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unlike so many of their Gang of Four-worshipping peers, Bloc Party are that rare band that can actually transcend their influences and press clippings, crushing the fervor surrounding their arrival in a hail of splintered guitars and sumptuous despondency.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shrewdly combines peculiar electronics with melody without ever letting either genre gain the upper hand.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The relentless sweetness may be off-putting to some... but it'll be difficult for all but the most jaded listeners to avoid being charmed by Of Montreal's appealing melodies and whimsical innocence-recaptured lyrics.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A unique indie-prog masterpiece that owes as much to Hendrix as it does to Sonic Youth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Again raises the standard for thoughtful, well-crafted pop.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like Madlib or MF DOOM, Four Tet is at the crest of the electronica/hip-hop wave, forcing the genre's evolution into new realms and making everyone else look like amateurs in the process.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Australian band's trademark winsome optimism, clever heartbreak and bittersweet cuteness are in classic form here, only lusher and more layered.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Man-Made is among the finest collections of pop songs any of us will hear all year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not just for followers, Minimum-Maximum is perfect for the old-school, drawing a new crowd of robot poppers and maybe convert a few disbelievers.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It highlights their talent for finding the core of invention within repetition, and suggests far greater peaks (and much greener valleys) in their future.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Saying that the man knows his way around a hook is an understatement: he throws hooks around like an incandescent bulb does photons.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's hard to imagine a band coming along this year with a better or more enjoyable debut.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not Them, You brims with all the bravado and swagger that its title suggests.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their expanded sound, with its explosions of noise and romantic swells, deserves reconsideration by fans and skeptics alike.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The most remarkable thing about Tournament of Hearts is that technically, it is the Constantines' slowest, jazziest, most countrified release to date, but it doesn't give an inch of intensity when it's compared to their self-titled debut or the landmark Shine a Light.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rather than detract from the funkified weirdness, the guest spots from the Adult Swim crew actually add to the craziness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a wonderful album -- and a significant advance over the excellent Sung Tongs.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Metric take rock 'n' roll to a smarter, more sophisticated place than do most of today's American bands.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There are very few artists who could pick up where they left off after ten years, or even five. To do this after half a lifetime is extraordinary.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is completely different from either Akron/Family's or Angels of Light's work from earlier this year, and in Akron's case, represents a startling pace of artistic development.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Through smart songcraft, a powerful command of pop vocabulary, and skillful track sequencing, Dios Malos deliver an album that expands and grows more complicated with every listen.