The Guardian's Scores

For 4,220 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 3.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Big Inner
Lowest review score: 10 Unpredictable
Score distribution:
4220 music reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Present Tense shows that their confidence has grown to match their ambition, and it is plainly their best album yet.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Some Waller devotees will recoil, but this is a respectful tribute from a remarkable modern-music mind.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In the absence of specific moments of revelation, the general melancholy becomes wearing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nothing here feels laboured: he can deliver songs as beautifully wrought as Samson in New Orleans--a depiction of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina--with a gorgeous understatement that only magnifies its impact.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A gleefully non-conformist delight.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The lyric sheet is essential to get any measure of the undoubtedly high-concept narrative, but the music is some of their most approachable and enjoyable yet, with extra depths to be plumbed if you so desire.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His lyrics are consistently the most interesting, his flow the most original and here he sounds content, as if in the group setting he is completely comfortable with being (in his mind at least) just one of the guys. Clearly though, he’s much more than that.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The eighth treasure trove in Dylan's Bootleg Series of unreleased material and alternate takes further illustrates that there is no such thing as a definitive recording of a Dylan song, just a snapshot of the great man's prevailing mood.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Acoustic guitar, harmonica and saxophone provide pools of warmth in the dusky depths.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is metal taken to a higher plane of brilliance.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The melodies seemed soaked in a timeless well of American music: the album feels both new and familiar at the same time, every song a clever layering of Gunn’s guitars--acoustic, electric, steel, and assorted effects pedals, but all separated clearly, so there’s no hint of sonic mush. Gunn’s voice is perfect, too.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Best of all, though, is the dynamism of the music: although songs flit around from riff to riff, as if Marmozets were bursting to fill each song with ideas, they are never too full, never just exercises in technique.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Akinmusire's arresting sound and the collective strength of his band of long-time friends--the dry-toned, Wayne Shorter-like saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown--power it all.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Shaking the Habitual's problem is that the Knife seem to have dismissed the idea of making your point concisely as merely another affectation of a decadent and corrupt society.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This isn’t spiky postpunk like their last album--it’s more unhinged: they’ve swapped hooks for a dirgy epicness, distortion bulldozes through, sometimes flaring angrily, punctured by driving, truly affecting drums. As poignant as those images of a decrepit Motor City, once brilliant, now decayed.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is an upbeat album, as if LaVere is looking back on her youthful adventures with a twinkle in her eye.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Simon’s lyrics are finely honed, from the conversational The Werewolf to the confessional title track, a moving exploration of his creative process.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    50 Words for Snow is extraordinary business as usual for Bush, meaning it's packed with the kind of ideas you can't imagine anyone else in rock having.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The singing gives you goosebumps.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lyrically, he's never been better.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sunny yet substantive, Anderson .Paak’s second studio album shows he is as at home settling into a breezy club groove over euphoric brass (Am I Wrong, featuring Schoolboy Q) or unleashing James Brown-esque funk yelps as he is waxing autobiographical tales of family hardship.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Simon's openness and spirit of inquiry ensure that So Beautiful Or So What is never the work of a man slouched in complacency.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Portishead's third album is initially more a record to admire than to love, its muscular synthesisers, drum breaks and abrupt endings keeping the tension high. But after several listens, Third's majesty unfurls.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music offers further evidence of how far outside rap's usual strictures West operates. OutKast aside, mainstream hip-hop doesn't really do ambiguity or irony, but just as West's arrogance occasionally appears to be a protracted joke, Late Registration finds him in thrillingly subversive form, working in the production booth to undercut tracks' messages and shifting their meanings.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At times, the bloodlust in Craig Finn's growl gets too thirsty. But it's the album's closing lyric - "Man, we make our own movies" - that reveals the secret of this band's special powers.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    You’re not struck by a sense of dry conceptualising, more her way with a smart, witty lyric.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Hail to the Thief's big drawback has less to do with its similarity to its predecessor than the sense that Radiohead's famed gloominess is becoming self-parodic.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    You never find yourself in the presence of music that sounds self-consciously clever. Everything flows easily, nothing jars.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Say Something Loving pits its depiction of a relationship in crisis against a lovely, rolling, dubby rhythm track and samples of bouffant-haired 70s soft-rock duo Alessi. It’s an old trick, but, like the rest of I See You, it really works.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is almost laughably beautiful.