The Independent (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 872 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Happy People
Lowest review score: 20 The Awakening
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 872
872 music reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    EP
    Though inspired by Grace Jones's new-wave disco torch-songs, the results are markedly dissimilar.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This six-track soundtrack EP of songs by Alex Turner finds the Arctic Monkey in appropriately reflective, wistful mood, as befits the hero's fanciful view of himself as a bit of a thinker.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Their problem is a lack of originality: they never suggest they'll find a new angle on well-worn roots-rock modes.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Musically, the 400 Unit is equally at home on Little Feat-style swamp-funk, and more countrified collations of fiddle and mandolin.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The pair have weaved Anderson's songs together with various ambient elements--traffic noise, birdsong, the tinkle of teacups on saucers--to create a song-cycle that illuminates the exceptional in the everyday.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It seems like they just ran out of interest, and gave up.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a gentle, woozy mood-scape in which nostalgia for the candyfloss summers of childhood shades imperceptibly into the sweet melancholy of encroaching autumn.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Paul Simon's ruminations here on love, age and encroaching mortality have a valedictory flavour about them.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The enjoyable only just outweighs the annoying on the opener "Never Let Me Go", where the auto-tuned vocal is a let-down.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Her casual observations on club life and love life tumble over each other with a light, mischievous touch that's refreshingly free of grating attitude.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Overall, it treads an uncertain line between bombast and sensitivity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The densely-textured arrangements can get a bit stodgy in places, and the last few tracks slip into dreary bubblebath-boudoir mode, but Bootsy's blithe drawl, the vocal equivalent of a bubble, is usually around to lift one's spirits.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the arrangements, built around producer Jay Joyce's shimmering guitars and Giles Reaves' keyboards and percussion, offer atmospheric settings for Emmylou's harmonies, the glistening, featherlight textures leave the album drifting in the doldrums.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's all delivered with their usual panache, though at times the emphasis on utility leaves one yearning for a little of their more psychedelic extremity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Guillemots have never been short on ambition, and Walk the River opens accordingly, with trepidation and expectation wrapped up together in the title-track's foreboding intro riff, as Fyfe Dangerfield sings of "backing out of the race".
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Taken from a show in Pittsburgh in September 1980, Live Forever is the last recorded concert by Marley and The Wailers, but while it represents them at the broadest extent of their appeal, it by no means captures the band at their most potent.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not a party album.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    He's no fool: the result is an even more potent clutch of instrumentals, punctuated with the occasional vocal from Sharon Jones and some surprising male singers, including The National's Matt Berninger and Lou Reed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With the striking falsetto of Peter Silberman dominating their songs, The Antlers may be America's equivalent of Wild Beasts.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Lyrically, there's a pervasive fascination with California outsider culture that soon palls, though the troubled relationship excavated in "Marked" suggests a deeper vein of inspiration may yet be mined.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With the slight caveat that Laurie's vocals never quite cast off their Englishness (and why should they?), this is a commendable effort which at its best furnishes considerable enjoyment.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a soothing, chillsome experience, though some tracks do strangle themselves in repetitive accretions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The best tracks are the more thoughtful reflections on youthful memories, such as "Illusion" and "Snap"; the worst is the turgid pomp-rock-rap crossover "Written in the Stars", ominously scheduled as his next single.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Gently wrought from strands of acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin and harp, encountering the genteel Demolished Thoughts after Thurston Moore's more abrasive work with Sonic Youth is akin to hearing Paris 1919 after John Cale's rampaging Velvet Underground period.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The more often she changes, and the broader she spreads her net musically, the less distinctive her art becomes.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    John Martyn's valedictory recordings have a suitably weary presence that makes even such legendary laidback soporificos as J J Cale and Leonard Cohen seem positively sprightly by comparison.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The overall impression is of someone trying to disguise their true emotions with comic bluster: in that sense, ironically, it's a more macho album than Humbug, despite its lighter touch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Originally planned as the second half of a double-album, Lupercalia is his most approachable effort.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What a couple of charmers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Themes of lust, power politics and rebellion are smuggled in via unusual locutions, de-synchronous beats and treated sample-loops – interesting stuff, though occasionally one yearns for a decent tune.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's pleasant enough, but sometimes the words do rather get in the way.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's the same throughout, London relying on charm over content. But, in fairness, he makes it more fun than most.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    LP1
    Recorded over six days in Nashville with Dave Stewart, the debut release on Joss Stone's own label is, she claims, the first on which she has exerted total creative freedom.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The narrow range of Nevins's voice limits its character somewhat, but is still compelling when combined with her mountain fiddle on a song such as "Wood and Stone", whose crisp swamp-funk country backbeat brings pep to its message of tradition and heritage.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns is full of typical John Hiatt tropes: old-timers and hard times, devotion and desperation, in roughly equal measure.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The engaging mood is further enhanced by Condon's baffling but beautiful lyrics.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's all tastefully arranged.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Shjips' mesmeric approach reaches its apogee on "Flight", whose rolling groove is streaked with cascading contrails of echoey, double-tracked space-guitar.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Merritt's main problem may be that his baritone croon makes him sound cynical even when he's baring his heart, an impression only partly undercut by his occasional ukulele strum.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The ponderous rocker "How Long Can These Streets Be Empty?" shows up the limitations of a voice better suited to pop and soul.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's a profound valedictory tone about it, as songwriters such as Jakob Dylan and Paul Westerberg craft material custom-built for Campbell's situation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    For her third album as St. Vincent, Annie Clark has jettisoned the baroque string and woodwind arrangements that marked 2009's Actor, in favour of more direct, guitar-based settings.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    An engaging blend of slinky Tropicalia, soulful Bacharachia, and enigmatic Euro-thriller themes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite the propulsive energy sustained throughout, some tracks lack focus.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Old Magic is stuffed with the kind of retro-styled standards that will doubtless be mined by generations of Nashville crooners to come, performed here in unassuming arrangements that try not to get in the way of the songs.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Cropper's needle-sharp guitar fills best demonstrate the immense debt the MGs man owes to the 5 Royales songwriter and guitarist Lowman Pauling.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Here, they find unsuspected connections between disparate sounds.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's a pronounced shortfall of his usual joyous eclecticism here, with many pieces settling for basic repetitive sequences; some sound like little more than extended intros.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While imparting a palpable sense of immediacy to the performances, there are some tracks that could do with more work.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Scott's overly melodramatic delivery sometimes gets in the way of the words, although his arrangements are for the most part respectful and apt.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The stark landscape of Will Oldham's album is the musical equivalent of King Lear's blasted health.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Due to the choice of material, the arrangements lean heavily towards the dramatic and angst-ridden--well, it is Peter Gabriel--with the sole recourse to mellow calm reserved for the undulating strings of "The Nest That Sailed the Sky".
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Henry's stubbled delivery pitched somewhere between Randy Newman and Tom Waits as he negotiates the galumphing waltz "Strung" and the ramshackle cakewalk groove "Sticks & Stones", which best exemplifies the album's mythopoeic blues mode.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's hardly groundbreaking stuff, but McCartney undeniably has an ear for melody.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Laidback and tidy, but fun.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    As usual with Sawhney, it's typically eclectic, and surprisingly effective.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    One can't help wondering whether this was really the album that Noel Gallagher set out to make when he contemplated a solo career, or just the one he settled for.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's no denying the aplomb with which Isaak handles even Presley's vocal parts, which are respectful without being slavish copies.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The second album from Franco-techno duo Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé is decidedly less pop-tabulous than their career highlights to date.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The sole constant is the skeletal, staccato patter of peppery percussion throbbing beneath each track, the everpresent heartbeat of a project in aid of Oxfam.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The blend of simplicity and sophistication is fairly well suited to the material, avoiding cloying sentimentality and religiose bluster.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    But in cementing one style, some of the possibilities offered by Lungs have been choked off.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's not a bad album as much, but to anyone familiar with Lynch's other work, it's entirely predictable in sound and style.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Overall, it's their most spirited effort yet, and the changes have been deftly effected in a way which shouldn't alienate their core fanbase too much.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The songs themselves are low-key and unexceptional.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The high priestess of emotional turmoil returns to her apparently turbulent personal life on this latest album, vacillating between obsessive devotion, self-assertive morale-boosting and the kind of masochistic abasement depicted in "Mr Wrong".
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a pleasant enough ride which reveals some of Panda's tastes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It seems a huge effort being expended to achieve so little.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Adele's engaging ebullience is powerfully persuasive on this DVD/CD package.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While "Lioness" is a far better posthumous collection than Michael Jackson's Michael, from almost exactly a year ago, it's a poor substitute for the high-octane musicality of Frank and Back To Black.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    while Seal's voice is a natural fit, it's hard to discern what these versions add, given their general faithfulness to the originals.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    He's devised a musical backdrop that subtly evokes the innocence, warmth and zoophiliac empathy of the film's message.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What's impressive is the consistency of approach and execution.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The 16th GBV album is business as usual: plangent garage rock.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Norah and fellow vocalist Richard Julian bring a warm, smoky charm to their harmonies, while lead guitarist Jim Campilongo stitches together songs.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Finn has a nice line in sardonic, declamatory assessments – "Certain things get hard to do when you're living in a rented room"; "I'm alive, except for the inside" – but there's little comparable imagination to the arrangements, which lean towards ironic country-rock and dispirited blues-rock.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's plenty to enjoy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The interpretations range from the admirable to the abysmal.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    If You Want Loyalty Buy A Dog is a textbook Little Axe album, stuffed with dub-blues grooves that manage to be simultaneously soothing yet unsettling.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Has the dense, occasionally cluttered manner of the obsessive bedroom producer.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Mindset is short by Necks standards--just two tracks of 22 minutes each--but it is typically involving.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Pleasingly, it's all comically cosmic, as befits the host movie.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The loss of its uplifting chorus harmonies deprives "Map Ref" of its sunny appeal, but "Two People In a Room" bowls along briskly with dissonant monochord tension.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's pleasant enough ... but somehow lacks the cutting edge.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's Wagner's mix of the enigmatic and the demotic that dominates, his songs fill of understated apothegms and startling lines.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    White's albums have tendrils that imperceptibly wrap themselves around one's attention; and such is the case here.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Paolo Nutini brings the apt timbre and weary dignity to "Hard Times (Come Again No More)", while The Decemberists' Colin Meloy has the sturdy asperity of a righteous ranter on a version of Dylan's "When The Ship Comes In".
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    "Moonlit Car Chase" and "Base 64 Love" come perilously close to generic technopop.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It has a winning blend of respect, technique and humour.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There's a familiar elemental tone to the Dirty Three's latest album – except this time the oceanic influence is replaced by snow and sky and rain.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are a few too many tracks on which the hook outclasses the actual rap.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Love at the Bottom of the Sea marks a return to The Magnetic Fields' abrasive electropop, which isn't always to the songs' advantage.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The impression is of someone picking obsessively at an emotional scab, which is effectively what The Wall is all about.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Some of the better songs lack that adhesive zeitgeist quality that used to be the group's stock-in-trade. But at its best, there's enough variety and invention to recall The Beatles, sometimes directly. [Review of UK release The Future Is Medieval]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Set to a messy blend of waspish blues guitar and wild fiddle, it's a typically barbed, angry set.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A pleasant-enough handful of easy-going songs, in which the focus on warmth has left them lacking bite... but the warmth of that voice is undeniably beguiling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite this obvious recommendation, the more radio-friendly follow-up still proves hard to love.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The format sustains on subsequent tracks; but despite its apparent concreteness, the music is surprisingly warm.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The splendid The Politics of Envy simply ratchets that process up a few notches.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In places, Portico Quartet's third album recalls old-school jazz-funk, from the chamber-jazz end of the spectrum rather than the party end.