The A.V. Club's Scores

For 3,578 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 Open Your Heart
Lowest review score: 0 Graffiti
Score distribution:
3,578 music reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Give Muse credit for remaking itself over the years into a full-blown theatrical experience, and not just another echoing rock band. But that experience is, frankly, kind of shitty.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    VHS's tardy follow-up, Bring On The Comets, might as well have stayed in bed.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    For all intents and purposes, The Sword's Gods Of The Earth is the exact same album as its predecessor, "Age Of Winters." That isn't a good thing.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    The Mates recapture a bit of brio of 'The Re-Arranger' and 'Help Help,' but the rest of Re-Arrange Us is only useful for putting the kids to sleep.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, End Times comes off as impersonal and flat.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Rebirth sounds like a strange dispatch from a lost ’80s in which Wayne trafficked in cheesy power chords, cornball hard-rock atmospherics, lame guitar solos for beginners, rock clichés, and Reagan-era synthesizers.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Ashcroft himself is disappointingly meager. For a man with a true gift for epic pomposity, he's mostly dull here.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Possibly the saddest thing about Funstyle is that the seven straighter songs those experiments surround have just as little to recommend them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    There's a lot to be said for Lewis' work ethic and nose-to-the-grindstone grit. What these songs need, though, isn't grunting, grueling workmanship--it's soul. And Soulsville just doesn't have it.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    For the most part, Mine Is Yours is the bland sound of a band trading identity for ambition.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    Sadly, See My Friends is mostly embarrassing, pairing Davies with ill-matched partners like Billy Corgan, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, and Metallica, who reduce "You Really Got Me" to third-rate bar-band fodder.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    For all the juvenilia of the songwriting, the production on In Your Dreams is an oldster's abomination, lacquering dated MOR bombast over intermittently inspired melodies that wilt on impact.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    With Hot Cakes-the group's third album, and first since reforming last year-the laughter has died. In its place is the sad wheeze of the last surviving party balloon slowly, listlessly deflating.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A mercifully brief running time (less than 50 minutes) and a few scattered moments of autobiographical storytelling help make Gameface marginally less disposable than its most recent predecessors.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A stylistic side-step that trips and falls without making much of the tumble.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    She mixes sloppy beat work with awkward singing that makes her songs feel like tossed-off indie pop.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Johnston's voice rarely melds with Linkous' production, and it loses its gritty charm amid such dignified surroundings.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Even [producer Dave] Fridmann's ever-clever studio work can't make Rock Action interesting.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    An album that features all of his worst tendencies and almost none of his good ones.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Weird Revolution sounds dated and quaint, both in its "Pepper" rehashes ("Dracula From Houston," "The Shame Of Life") and in its halfhearted attempts at caustic shock ("Shit Like That") and misfit mission statements ("The Weird Revolution").
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The disc's 10 tracks blur into a dispiriting, middle-of-the-road mishmash of lite pop, lite country, lite rock, and lite adult-contemporary.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The singer spends most of Evolve dithering on elastic, airy, funk-jazz excursions that convey few opinions or emotions, not to mention hooks.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The group's familiar sound returns intact, but the songs just aren't there; most of them fade into a distressing mid-tempo mush while plodding through the paces at half speed.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The last adjective that could ever describe NdegeOcello's music is "dull," but that's just the damnation to apply to the new Comfort Woman, along with "inexplicable," "meandering," and "inexplicably meandering."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Maybe it worked on the stage, but taken out of context the result is a two-hour "Huh?" of an album.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    By trying to offer something for everyone, the mostly dull 10,000 Hz Legend has little to offer anyone.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The few moments on Wonderland that make sense in the context of the band's history are overshadowed by a musical reach that exceeds its grasp.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    All too often finds X-Ecutioners playing second fiddle to an outsized roster of uninspired guests.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The occasional brush with former glory, such as "Vivid" and the title track, isn't enough to make up for the eager-to-please inadequacies of the other material.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Jackson has lived a bizarre train-wreck life of mystery and tragedy, but following such a lengthy absence, Invincible just reeks of desperation and aimlessness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Instantly forgettable... consistently tepid, devoid of personality, and characteristic of a considerable talent on auto-pilot.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Alive & Amplified sounds so slick that it slips right by.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    A must only for the hardest of the hardcore Pollard fans, its subtitle--Failed Experiments And Trashed Aircraft--should not be ignored. It takes 17 tracks to hit a song ("Spring Tigers," from the aborted 1992 album Back To Saturn X) that sounds like a regrettable exclusion, and the consistency doesn't pick up from there.... if nothing else, it's a fine warehouse of great song titles...
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    At times, the album sounds like a lost collaboration between Nick Drake and Jethro Tull, and one that might have best stayed lost.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    10
    Cool J has backed off from proclaiming himself the greatest rapper of all time at every possible opportunity, which is fortunate: His claim on that title has never been shakier.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Setting aside the abhorrent "Original Prankster," which plumbs new depths of Yankovic appropriation--and throws in a stupid Rob Schneider sample to boot--the bulk of the album indulges The Offspring's preferable loud-fast-shrill side... Conspiracy Of One's crowd-pleasing novelty idiocy doesn't run much deeper than its single, and while that may disappoint those who enjoyed Americana, it makes it The Offspring's most tolerable record in years.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    This is the first time he's sounded less than vital.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Love has nothing new to say and no better way to say it.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The tossed-off quality of his recent work may be liberating to Black, but it's not likely to be so satisfying to his audience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    She never finds a way to distinguish one track from the next, or from the output of just about any '90s alt-rock also-ran.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    While Discovery embraces the cheesiness of the lamest of lame music, the strategy frequently comes across as gimmickry. The album isn't so much fun as it is silly, and while Daft Punk's members may just be musical smart-alecks, funk hasn't sounded this resoundingly stupid since Bootsy Collins' squiggly solo work.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Those who've moved beyond efforts to scare mom and dad will do well to steer clear, though they've probably made that choice already.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    While the continued drive to mix up its sound remains admirable, the weak spots are downright deadly, making Open feel sort of like a between-albums goof, an experiment strictly for the fan club.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The problem is that most of it is deadly dull.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The Rainbow Children contains one good song, a ballad called "She Loves Me 4 Me," buried beneath layers of spiritual horseshittery.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    An album that finds Moby half-remembering ideas for songs that are hard not to forget.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Mann's signature wordplay sounds clichéd and exhausted, and her melodies lack the energy and pop sparkle that distinguished her pre-Lost In Space work.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    It's a sweet, open, daringly earnest album in which the sad old Cuomo does battle with the wise old soul Cuomo wants to become. By conventional wisdom, it should never work as a rock album, and most of the time, that conventional wisdom is dead on.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    The problem with shock, of course, is that it quickly loses its novelty, and anyone who doesn't find the topics of pedophilia, drug abuse, or incest innately hilarious will find Hannicap Circus rough going.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Howl indulges the band's heretofore-dormant interest in country, gospel, and Delta blues, in an exercise that sounds about as exercise-y as music gets.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Even at 40 minutes, this album is interminable.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Untitled should make no sense to any sentient being older than 18, but that isn't ageism, it's practical marketing
    • 66 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    These days, the group creates reasonable facsimiles of utter tedium.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    It's a narrow frame of reference that The Raveonettes seem likely to stick with; hopefully, on future albums, the songs will get more memorable than this batch.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Think Lavigne's "Girlfriend" without the hooks, but with a discernable degree of emo introspection.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Regardless of whether Reality Check is "bad" or simply bad, The Teenagers belong on the scrap heap.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The blame for Weezer can't all be laid on Cuomo—his bandmates' songwriting contributions (particularly Brian Bell's Uncle Kracker stab 'Thought I Knew') are just as unforgivably soulless.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The once-fascinating, now-tedious gangsta-rap superstar's creative losing streak continues with G-Unit's dreary new posse album Terminate On Sight.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    This time around, it's all saccharine pop and desperate ballads.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    This is easily the most flavorless fruit yet to fall from the Wolf Parade family tree.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Although the new album opens promisingly with Beach Boys-esque a cappella before kicking into a handful of bland yet workable pop-punk tunes, the middle backslides into watered-down dance-rock.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Time hasn't been kind to the once-popular amalgam of metal and hip-hop known as nü-metal, and it's been absolutely brutal to former scene king Limp Bizkit
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Contrary to its emphatic title, I'm Back! Family And Friends isn't so much a full-fledged comeback album as a mildly inspiring three-song EP surrounded by truly horrible re-recordings and remixes of Stone's biggest hits of the late '60s and early '70s.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    As a folksinger, he undeniably blows: There's simply nothing appealing or compelling about his forced, tuneless, featureless vocals, and without a strong frontman like Zack De La Rocha or Chris Cornell, flaccid attempts at rocking out like "It Begins Tonight" render Rebel Songs even weaker than if he'd stuck strictly to folk.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Most of SuperHeavy is frankly unlistenable, lacking even the professionalism and solid chops of late-period Stones records.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Maniacally narcissistic, Evanescence is corny in the way only music so grim and humorless--and yet irredeemably stupid--can be
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    An utter wreck that curiously, miraculously, might have been great.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Shallow and overwrought, with periodic echoes of Ke$ha's Valley Girl aloofness, the album lives down to the harshest preconceptions against pop music.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Ultimately, these mid-tempo, mid-volume tunes flounder in mediocrity.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    An undistinguished slog of an album that counts an atrocious cover of "16 Tons" as one of its many grating moments.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Not all of Fortune is so unctuous, but none of it is inspired.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Mr. Blue Sky is the musical equivalent of George Lucas changing a few of the special effects in the Star Wars films and then re-issuing them (again).
    • 42 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    There's only so much blood to be squeezed from that stone, so instead, Somethin 'Bout Kreay contents itself with using that stone to bash listeners over the head.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    [A] vacant record-by-the-numbers.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    This is a bag of potato chips that’s 80 percent air, unconvincingly trying to pass itself off as a full meal.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Khalifa’s 2011 breakthrough, Rolling Papers, compensated for his bland rapping with sticky pop hooks, and even his 2012 snoozer, O.N.I.F.C., offered some varied production to offset the tedium, but there are no such respites on Blacc Hollywood, an album every bit as vacant and unappealing as the artist who made it.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Horrorscope is glossy, artless, proficient, and dull enough to be easily tuned out...
    • 63 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Even lineup changes and inter-group squabbling couldn't stop the trio's commercial winning streak, but a massive shot of independence just might. Brilliantly crafted songs from some of pop music's top songwriting ringers have played a key role in Destiny's Child's success, but Survivor finds frontwoman Beyoncé Knowles taking over the reins, co-writing and co-producing nearly every track.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    It vacillates between insignificant fluff and confessional songs that have nothing new to confess.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Ghetto Postage illustrates P's unwillingness to learn from past mistakes. The names may change, with No Limit newcomers like Krazy, Afficial, and Slay Sean filling in for the AWOL Mystikal and the inexplicably absent Mia X, but P's formula of endlessly repeated choruses, feeble thug-life lyrics, and generic, low-end-heavy beats remains as tiresome and unrewarding as ever.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Worst of all, the album closes with three decent songs, reminders of Phair's talent that are muted by what's come before.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Shows how slavish reproduction curdles into artistic bankruptcy.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    With Lions, the band has dropped its biggest dud, a moribund disaster with no more than a tiny handful of salvageable songs.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Even modest expectations can't salvage the clunky, ponderous American Life, which fares only slightly better than "Hanky Panky" and Swept Away on her list of offenses.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    St. Anger suffers mightily for its thin, washed-out sound.... A messy, unsatisfying misfire.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The musical equivalent of Willie Mays stumbling around in the outfield years after his skills were gone, Crown Royal fails in the most arbitrary, impersonal way possible, piling on so many ringers that Run DMC often seems like a guest at its own party.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    The group's vaunted eclecticism starts to feel random and jittery, the mark of short attention spans and an inability to maintain a cohesive tone. Furthermore, the Peas' lyrics--already their Achilles heel--have somehow managed to devolve even further.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    This is more a marketing plan than an album.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 16 Critic Score
    While undeniably catchy, the hyper-produced songs have a familiar radio-ready quality that becomes infuriatingly mind-numbing over time, and Perry's vocals sound like a less-soulful Kelly Clarkson at best, a drunken, spurned sorority girl at worst.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 16 Critic Score
    The Rebirth Of Venus, his seventh full-length, offers a more direct kind of terrible.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 16 Critic Score
    Frustratingly, there are whiffs of worthwhile beats buried among the blandness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 16 Critic Score
    Pretentious yet lunkheaded, the disc's only charm is its slick, fist-pumping arrogance.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    An unmitigated drag.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    Musically, Graffiti is a fairly ingratiating affair: The production is clean and often lively, and Brown sings well enough. The problem is what he’s singing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    The Beginning's shameless hit-mongering and MOR club stance gives this set about as much oomph as Cher's Believe.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    Great Escape is a bold, erratic, pathetic attempt to recontextualize Jane's for the 21st century.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    To Korn's credit, The Path Of Totality is its most radical reinvention to date. It's also the worst slab of sludge it ever shat.