The Independent (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,425 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 5.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 Carrie & Lowell Live
Lowest review score: 20 London with the Lights On
Score distribution:
1425 music reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Always prey to their psychedelic tendencies, here MMJ swallow the full tab and dive headfirst into a whirlpool of supposition, analogy and swirling guitars.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's an ease and comfort about the songs that suggests they fell into place naturally, rather than suffering endless alterations; and the band seem content to let them breathe and take on a life of their own, rather than freight them with unnecessary adornment.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wreathed in mellotron, vibrato guitar and ghostly backing vocals, several songs evoke the windswept psych-pop of The Coral, whose singer James Skelly co-produces Blossoms.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On their sixth album, Calexico finally sound more like a band with memorable, individual songs, than a project dedicated to creating audio soundscapes evocative of the American southwest.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like some hibernating agit-prop agency awakening to meet the needs of these hard times, Gang of Four are in typically brusque form on their first new material for 16 years.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Moreover, Newman never sounds more quintessentially Newman than when experienced, as here, alone at the piano, with the lyrical intricacies and ironies of his songs dependent on just his laconic delivery and trenchant accompaniment for their effect.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout, Tweedy’s arrangements are the soul of discretion, employing the merest suggestions of rhythm and texture to show Staples’ iconic voice to best advantage.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Modern Kosmology, long-time Manchester folktronic siren Jane Weaver has made her most completely realised album yet, albeit by dispensing with folk music almost entirely, in favour of more forceful Krautrock and psychedelic influences.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's still suffused with a retro 1960s vibe, but this time the garage-pop influences prevail, with a sizeable side-order of psychedelia courtesy of the edgy West Coast lead guitar that streaks tracks.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He wields with sumptuous beauty, from the Floyd-like swathes of mellotron and piano carrying “The Boat Is In The Barn” and the stately “Lost Machine”, to the implacable electropop fizz of “Evermore”.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The confessional, autobiographical elements that are its strongest aspect also serve as its Achilles' heel: the whole enterprise depends on how fascinated the listener is with Rowland's psyche.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Electric finds Richard Thompson at his most stripped-down and potent.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [A] strange and compelling work.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nadia Reid’s 2015 debut Listen To Formation, Look For The Signs heralded the arrival of a prodigious talent, the young New Zealand singer-songwriter’s confessional material embodying an emotional intelligence and honesty akin to Laura Marling and Judee Sill, her folk leanings tempered by languid jazz inflections set among a patina of subtle sonic textures. Preservation continues in like manner.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Augmenting her folksy troubadour style with Latin percussion and an acappella group for that streetcorner-symphony flavour, she effectively expands the notion of Americana to accommodate another cultural strain alongside the usual blues and country influences.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [The first three] tracks follow fairly seamlessly on from MBV's previous work, but thereafter subtle changes are applied that tug the album into pastures new.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Its dark, unflinching songs certainly ponder humanity’s less attractive traits, with arrangements to match.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are echoes of Pops Staples’s gentle, miasmic guitar in the folksy gospel stylings of “Peaceful Dream” and the cyclical twang carrying the Black Lives Matter anthem “Little Bit”, warning youngsters to be careful around cops; but elsewhere the influence of Sly & The Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On is paramount.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On her best album in years, Thea Gilmore darts back and forth between sharp, intelligent pieces on dark themes--depression, loneliness, murder--and more positive songs about love and hope.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Garwood forces the listener to adopt his pace--a sort of aural equivalent of the “slow food” movement. But it works.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though that melancholy seeps deeper into songs like “So Now What” and “The Fear”, it’s never allowed to dominate, with the latter’s rolling drone groove quixotically tempered by the addition of mariachi horns, a typically off-centre touch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With her delivery tacking impressively between sweet and smoky, "On the Road" recalls what happened when the Kind of Blue influence hit the likes of Tim Buckley and Tim Hardin.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The new instrumentation affords a more nuanced approach, from the thrumming bass, piano, tom-toms and subtly tingling guitar evoking the resolute support of “Broad-Shouldered Beasts”, and the keening, spacious synth textures of “Tompkins Square Park”, to the unison guitar thrash that opens “The Wolf.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Save for the big live band arrangement of Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” that closes the album, it’s a thoughtful, intimate set.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Blixa Bargeld's collaboration with Italian composer Teho Teardo finds him in fine fettle on a group of typically sardonic songs set to unusual string and electronic arrangements performed with The Balanescu Quartet.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The confidence of the performances benefits strong contemporary material dealing with issues from outreach to domestic abuse.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Race is richly entertaining, immersive and evocative, orchestrated with fastidious care and feeling.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For his final recordings, Allman returned to Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, where gospelly backing vocals and burring horns bring a deep-soul tone and texture not just to a soul standard like “Out Of Left Field” but also to material like “Going, Going, Gone” and the Dead’s “Black Muddy River”.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A brave, and welcome, transformation.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beautiful, blissful melodies are buried in there.