The Independent (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 1,360 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 None the Wiser
Lowest review score: 20 Exile
Score distribution:
1360 music reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Overall, the album offers a surprisingly successful transformation that somehow enables one to hear this most familiar of material as if through new ears, a remarkable achievement in itself.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His symphonic-soul innovations here would map out the course of much 1970s soul music, while his use of multi-layered vocals – the happy result of an engineer accidentally running two vocal takes in the same mix – added an extra element to Gaye's vocal armoury which he would use extensively throughout the rest of his career.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Though spoilt in places by distortion and too-prominent electric piano, the hitherto unheard material is notable for the innovative exploration of yet another roots blend, through the impassioned country-soul of songs such as “That’s the Breaks”. Clearly, in this most congenial of creative cauldrons, virtually anything was possible.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It remains one of pop's most impervious generational touchstones.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The character of the base music here is overwhelming: complex, ebullient and life-affirming, and in yoking this intricate dance music to his sophisticated New Yorker sensibility, Simon created a transatlantic bridge that neither pandered to nor patronised either culture.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Proving that it is possible to have too much of a good thing, the five discs of this outtakes-and-all edition take the (let's be honest) rather meager delights of Brian Wilson's unfinished "masterwork" and wring the life out of them.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's an extraordinary collection, which demonstrates exactly why Guthrie was perhaps the only performer who could square the circle pointedly implied by the title American Radical Patriot.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This album isn't a 'Holy shit I need to text my friend imploring them to listen immediately' mind blower, but it is a valuable addition to his oeuvre.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    So although Cave’s adept grasp of vocal expression, from aching melancholy to erupting hysteria, guides the narratives of these songs, this is not simply a singer backed by a band, it’s a unit striving for collective expression, by whatever means possible.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Notwithstanding the occasional foray into jazz and blues, Black Messiah is much the same blend of miasmic boudoir soul, bare-bones funk and liberation songs that characterised his 2000 milestone, Voodoo.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They pushed the single envelope in various directions – processional chants, electric-organ improvisations, big-band “space bop”, and at the furthest extreme of his sonic galaxy, the furious free-jazz of “Cosmo-Extensions”, guaranteed to clear the floor at any party.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The result is beautiful, visceral and, predictably, emotionally devastating.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Like Picasso, he acknowledges that the chief enemy of creativity is good taste--which is just as well, since it's not a quality with which he seems over-burdened on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. For which we should all be thankful.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Twenty-five years ago, Lifes Rich Pageant found R.E.M. metamorphosing from what was effectively a turbo-charged folk-rock cult indie outfit into a proper rock band capable of filling stadia.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It all adds up to probably the best Stones album since... well, since Some Girls, actually.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This 1991 album is the best of three reissues of their work – also available are their debut, Isn't Anything, and a 2CD compilation of outtakes and EPs.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    [It is] possibly the band's best album.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Macero’s edits on the original double-album collaged four nights’ shows into a single, 20-minute track apiece; but this 4CD set presents each night’s ebullient flow in full.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Lemonade is fiery, insurgent, fiercely proud, sprawling and sharply focused in its dissatisfaction.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a relief to report that Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down is his best effort by far since Chavez Ravine.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gently marching strings furnish an aptly martial underscoring for the conflict imagery of “Treaty”, the latest of Cohen’s romantic mea culpas, which reveals how, for a Great Seducer, love is an essentially narcissistic, even solipsistic, pastime, its protagonist apologising “for that ghost I made you be”. It’s just one of several sharp, stinging twists casting new and unusual shadows on old themes in You Want It Darker, culminating in the mordant, bitter advice of “Steer Your Way.”
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's simply marvellous, an unalloyed joy from first to last, with Robbie Robertson's finely wrought storytelling songs augmented by a few well-chosen covers.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fuelled by a black humour that’s almost become her trademark, there’s heartbreak and ecstasy, desire, fear, uncertainty, acting on impulse, making mistakes and (maybe) learning from them. And those are tunes we can definitely dance to.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finally, maverick genius Sly Stone receives due respect in this four-disc retrospective, as the leader of rock's first multi-racial, multi-gender, multi-genre band.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The 10 albums that comprise this box set depict one of the most extraordinary career arcs in all of pop music, testament to the questing intelligence with which Joni Mitchell approached music.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All in all, it’s a fine addition to the seemingly bottomless corpus of Springsteen’s ever-expanding oeuvre.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Four decades on, it sounds as revolutionary as ever.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the hiatus, this guest-laden double-album finds the group still very much engaged, rattling out tongue-twisting, articulate verbal flows dealing more with social realities than self-aggrandising brags and outlaw fantasies.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rarely have his revelations been as direct, or as personal, as on Carrie & Lowell, a cathartic exercise exploring the effect of his estranged mother Carrie’s death on him two years ago.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though frowned on by some purists expecting the traditional fare of the family band The Watersons, the siblings’ original songs were eagerly accompanied by luminaries like Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson and Ashley Hutchings, who bring a roguish enthusiasm to tracks such as “Rubber Band”, on which even the horns seem to have their cap at a jaunty angle.