The Guardian's Scores

For 4,345 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Fin
Lowest review score: 10 Unpredictable
Score distribution:
4345 music reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    And whereas the dark era that began with a military coup in 1964 is now relegated to Brazil's history, the music it inspired sounds fresher and more provocative than ever.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a remarkable and historic set of recordings with an equally remarkable history.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Marius Neset, the 25-year-old Norwegian saxophonist who surfaced in the UK last year with Django Bates (his teacher and mentor at Copenhagen's Rhythmic Music Conservatory), not only combines Brecker's power and Jan Garbarek's tonal delicacy, but has a vision that makes all 11 originals on this sensational album feel indispensable, and indispensably connected to each other.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It could have been trimmed a shade, but it's another leap forward for a fast-developing European jazz original.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A patchwork of catholic musical influences stitched tightly together by one man's peculiar, expansive vision of pop: Soul Mining is a brilliant and very idiosyncratic album.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Still, if 21 represents all there is or is ever going to be, it's hard not to be hugely impressed. As sarcophagi go, it's a spectacularly well-appointed one.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a chapter in the story of 20th-century music as a whole, not just the minutiae of jazz.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The difference is that those albums [Anti and The Life Of Pablo] were at best a bold and intriguing mess: the sense that the artists behind them were having trouble marshalling their ideas was hard to escape. Lemonade, however, feels like a success, made by someone very much in control.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are four hours of previously unreleased music here, and the production and liner notes are typically classy.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Young Americans and Station to Station are albums that make you wonder how Bowie did it, given the state he was in, by all accounts, when he made them. ... The Gouster feels like eavesdropping on a moment when he wasn’t so sure. It makes for fascinating listening.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Magnificent.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The three albums] together make up one very powerful entity.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even if you are one of the eight million who bought their first album, Buena Vista's long-awaited follow-up is well worth checking out.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The most original and exciting artist to emerge from dance music in a decade.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You could never describe You Want It Darker as merely more of the same. As striking as the sense that its themes are of a piece with the rest of Cohen’s oeuvre is the sense of an artist willing to move forward.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This critic is prepared to believe that the fact he found the menus slightly counterintuitive points to deficiencies on his own part, but suffice to say that at least one Neil Young fan--temporarily unable to navigate away from one of the on-stage "raps" provided as "audio bonuses" and gripped by the fear that he was going to spend the rest of his life listening to Neil Young saying "ummm...ahhhhhh ... wrote this sahwng...ummmm...my house"--found himself howling for the luddite comforts of a CD box set with a nicely illustrated booklet.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For now, the best tribute you can pay Channel Orange is that, while it plays, you forget about the chatter and just luxuriate in a wildly original talent.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Satanist is as untamed and direct as its title suggests: a flawless paean to free will and the human spirit.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The duo have refined their sound until it is shatteringly effective. Nevertheless, Elephant sounds suspiciously like the White Stripes' apotheosis.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its odd misfires, it makes a great deal of the stuff that sits alongside it in the charts look pretty feeble by comparison. If that sounds like faint praise, it isn’t meant to be: if it was easy to make hugely successful mainstream pop music as smart as this, then everybody would be at it. And they patently aren’t.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Both albums are sublime. Taken together they're hip-hop's Sign o' the Times or The White Album: a career-defining masterpiece of breathtaking ambition.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is a gloriously brave and vibrant piece of work and the most significant metal album of 2011 by some distance.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    From its ambitious narrative arc to its fine linguistic detail, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is a honed and deliberate major label debut.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A Grand Don't Come for Free raises the stakes to such an extent that it sounds literally unprecedented: there isn't really any other album like this.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is a warts-and-all feel to sound quality and some of the improvising, but this is newly emerging and influential music still in the furnace, and Davis's timing can make even a seasoned fan whoop.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Devotees will not be disappointed.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    To say it's ambitious feels like damning with faint praise; its sheer musical scope--from the James Brown funk of Tightrope to the English pastoral folk of Oh, Maker--is spellbinding.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The River itself feels a bit unwieldy compared to the sleek single album Springsteen originally handed in to Columbia, which features here, and while less weighty--philosophically and in size--it is actually a better listen, not least because it’s not constantly dragged down by unwieldy rockers. A further disc rounds up outtakes, which makes it apparent that Springsteen could have managed several different iterations of The River, all of which would have been as good as or better than the eventual album..
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This new album contains 10 sublime reflections on religious sites and buildings.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At times the album can seem tired and mid-paced, and some of the collaborators (Andre 3000, Anderson Paak) are more effective than others (Talib Kweli, Jack White). But for those who value Tribe’s contribution to music, this is a record to be grateful for.