The A.V. Club's Scores

For 3,609 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 METZ
Lowest review score: 0 The Beginning
Score distribution:
3,609 music reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    To those with time for only a passing glance, it could conceivably come across as dull, but a close look at monumental songs like "Start A War" and the scathingly sad, funny "Slow Show" will reveal bleak, black diamonds—precious, glimmering, and lasting.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Marry Me, seduces with one hand and stabs with the other.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Kala is such a resolutely strange, sweltering album that it's thrilling to be alive in an era when such a thing can lay claim to the mantle of "pop."
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The L.A. quartet has returned with an album that's teeming with creatively executed ideas, to the point where it almost feels like the band was just using its first three albums to warm up.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's unabashedly a pop album, and by restraining its inventiveness, the band maintains a warm of sense of Zappa-esque liveliness.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    John Schmersal's noisy, scratchy guitar (he performed the same duty for Brainiac in the '90s) and Toko Yasuda's honey-smooth vocals (which deliver the big hooks) seem like an odd contrast on paper, but work perfectly.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    LCD mastermind James Murphy took a lot of flack from indie didacts for aligning with Nike last year, but it's worth asking, no less now than then: Who else would make this good on a payday premise that just as easily could have been phoned in?
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Rehab packs the visceral, transgressive punch of the best crime fiction but it's equally adept at old-school Sunday-in-the-park jams (the infectious single 'Celebrate') and wiggy conceptual tracks like 'White Linen Affair (The Toney Awards).'
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The songs themselves are as lush and prickly as anything Merritt's ever made.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As a collection of songs, Brighter Than Creation's Dark ranks among Drive-By Truckers' best, even though there are a couple of skippable tracks.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It plays much like a continuation of "Body Of Song," with the electronic elements even more streamlined and less obtrusive, save on the all-electronic 'Shelter Me.'
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The follow-up [to "Kezia"], Fortress, mines similar territory but cranks the ferocity even higher.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Welsh band's debut full-length captures more believable, crackling punk energy than most hardcore bands.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The result challenges brain and body, sure (just try headbanging to obZen), but it also dares any other metal band to write a more ferocious album.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For all the awe kindled by the effectively perfect sound in a transcendent highlight like 'Kim & Jessie,' the real triumph is that M83 uses such a setting for more simple melody and emotion than ever before.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Narrow Stairs finds Death Cab comfortable with all aspects of its musical personality--and on top of them all.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Songs In A&E is Pierce's best work since "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space"--easily his most personal.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    They mix in a little cool, fuzzy ambiance ("Papers"), a bit of throb and feedback ("Ultraviolent Men"), and some soul infusion ("How Could You") for a wonderfully spacious, energetic album that belongs right beside any of the others that may have influenced The M's.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Steinski myth has grown in the darkness of bootlegs, but this long-overdue release proves that the reality more than lives up to the legend.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a gorgeous descent for an inimitable group that knows better than most how to deliver its highs high and its lows low.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Life… isn't easy listening (the anvil-heavy ballad 'Roses' alone could drive the clinically depressed to suicide), but the improved contrast between upbeat and harrowing makes Harvey Milk's extremes that much easier to appreciate.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In 'The Blue Route,' it hits home like a 30th birthday--and as the standout 'In The New Year' points out, realizing "It's all over anyhow" can be invigorating, a way of readying oneself for the next, far more interesting chapter.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Week That Was leaves "indie rock" behind, hops right over hip marching-band music, and lands square between the lofty obelisks of high-art pop and New Music.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Most of the songs on The Family Afloat jump through their share of hooks and phases, few of which seem honed for maximum catchiness. Instead, they leave generous breathing room for Bobby Gallivan's free-associative, episodic lyrics.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    While it's offset on a few songs by "clean" female vocals, Damian Abraham's glass-gargling roar remains the primary source of Fucked Up's visceral energy. From this point on, it'll be more exciting to see how much farther beyond gut-level the band is willing to go.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This new pack is smart, immediate, and anthemic in the way only bedroom-pop fanatics can muster.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    EODM thrives on confidence, not exploration, and Heart On finds the pair plenty cocksure.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A Hundred Million Suns might just be Snow Patrol's biggest, most genuine effort yet.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Folie follows the precedent of 2007's "Infinity On High," which expanded Fall Out Boy's sonic palette (synthesizers, sequenced drums, strings, etc.). This one just goes further, with more layers and cameos from Elvis Costello, Debbie Harry, Lil Wayne, and others.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A rock-solid Aesop Rock cameo is icing atop this sorely overlooked platter, which easily one of 2008's best driving records.