The Guardian's Scores

  • Music
For 3,204 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 4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 68
Highest review score: 100 Noble Beast
Lowest review score: 10 Unpredictable
Score distribution:
3,204 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    London Calling itself stands tall as the band's masterpiece, the showcase for all their musical tastes and inclinations.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In spring 1967, Dylan and the Band were out of step, but ahead of the curve. Now, 47 years on, even the listener overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of what’s on offer here--who doesn’t want to hear the false starts and fragments and gags--might conclude that the highlights are as timeless as rock music in the 60s got.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The jazz and classical groups play separately and sometimes merge, and though conventional themes or sustained pulses are mostly sidelined by the languages of free jazz and contemporary classical music, this epic life's work is a landmark in jazz's rich canon.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Now, 21 years on, beautifully remastered, Blue Lines still sounds unique.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the hype, it is hard not to be impressed with the new Smile.... The music flows beautifully - no mean feat when it encompasses barbershop singing, acid rock, early pop, Hawaiian chanting and mock-religious plainsong.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is genuine alt-country at a time when the term has come to signify little more than middling acoustic rock.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An Americana classic.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What makes it so compelling is the haunting vocal writing. Full of gently lapping lines, close imitation and moments of honeyed homophony, all underpinned by tactful percussion, it is startlingly different from the driving, hard edges of much of Lang's work with the Bang On a Can collective.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What's beyond doubt is the quality of the music he made.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They're dangerously close to national-treasure status.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    He wanted change but loved America, as shown by this remarkable box set of material recorded for the US government.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As Start Together proves, that was never a question anyone would need to ask Sleater-Kinney [“Where’s the ‘fuck you’?”].
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    [The Promise's] elegiac tone would have fitted Darkness perfectly, but most of the other 20 previously unreleased tracks demonstrate that Springsteen never actually stopped writing the hook-laden, audience-rousing crackers with which he made his name.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    This album offers beats that retread past glories, and an emotional palette narrowed to a range roughly as wide as West's navel.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is an African classic.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Brimming with character and endlessly relistenable, Icky Mettle is something of a touchstone for one of US indie's purplest patches.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's a theory that REM were never the same after their lyrics became audible, but Lifes Rich Pageant is packed with songs on which the new clarity of Stipe's vocals bears dividends.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The tracks themselves--tidied up from demos with the help of producers Chris Kimsey and Don Was--are no disgrace.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.