XXL's Scores

  • Music
For 332 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Life is Good
Lowest review score: 40 Hotel California
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 332
332 music reviews
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With a slimmed down tracklist and looser vision, A Better Tomorrow would be a fantastic offering. But as it stands, what could be the last Wu-Tang album ever leaves much to be desired.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the songs with Rae's contemporaries bang, the joints starring his artists--JD Era, Ceazar-N-Reason, Camoflauge, Big B, Tommy Nova and R&B singer Altrina Renee--are hard to sit through
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Theophilus London’s musical ability is evident throughout Vibes, a mesh-mash of genres that come together to form one of the better listenings of 2014.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Its greatest moments shine through in club hits that seeped through virally on the web and made him a nationwide phenomenon on the radio, it’s other moments aren’t as flashy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to its potential, and the result is lackluster, with bland efforts both lyrically and production-wise.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The highs of PND 2 have replay value, and the lows--though there are certainly more of them--blend with the rest of the album as it plays in the background of a bedroom.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Overall, the album has a good balance of solo tracks and features.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    13
    Despite using a familiar formula, Havoc’s beats never sound too dated here; new techniques in his repertoire, such as using more melodic synths and complicated drum arrangements, keep things sounding fresh. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for his lyrics.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Filled with lust, desire and sexual journeys, Trey Songz reaches an expected level of mainstream success with Trigga, and while safe is always encouraged during sexual acts, perhaps Trey could’ve taken a few more risks with this album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The times when it succeeds are when Tinashe doesn’t overdo things.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It pans out as--at the very least--a unique and varied production that asks to be received seriously, even if Riff Raff’s choppy, uneasy flow and absurdist imagery runs counter to that.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Self Made Vol. 3 won’t silence the haters of Rick Ross’ MMG movement, and it certainly does not break the mold of previous iterations in the series. However, the album’s hits should have a lasting impact, serving as jump off points for several of the artists on the label.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ace is still aiming for the club on certain tracks. His enthusiasm and rapid-fire flow sound at home over the menacing summer jam “Bugatti” with the warbling hook of Future or on the triumphant “We Outchea”. But on other tracks, like the flimsy Chris Brown-assisted “Rider,” he comes off clumsy and out of place.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While God of the Serengeti doesn't blaze any new ground, it is a release that will hold up to the Paz's legacy on the underground scene and will surely satisfy long-time fans.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the LP is worth the wait and a worthy debut, it lacks the explosive selections and raw exuberance that put Vic’s Innanetape mixtape in classic territory and ignited his buzz.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Brevity in music can be good, but some of these songs seem to end as quickly as they start, and could be fleshed out a bit. Desiigner’s lyrics also seem to be limited in subject matter, and the themes of the song can all seem the same after a while.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It's a pretty fun album to listen to--just don't listen too closely.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It works just fine and follows the blueprint of most major label projects today. The thing is that, in doing so, Curren$y loses some of the magic that makes him a true original.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Although D4 will not be celebrated as much some of his other work, he does reminds all why Hova considered sending "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" to "the Mixtape Weezy."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Not unlike Lasers, lots of songs on this album have focused verses from Lupe and large scale, sing-along choruses from featured guests, which both helps and hinders the overall listen.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The LP is fun and a return to what hip-hop started out as in the parks--a way to rock the crowd and have a good time.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While BS may not exhibit the growth sonically or conceptually that fans may have anticipated after hearing Cole’s early work, he remains too gifted lyrically, too keen of a storyteller, and too emotionally open for his sophomore LP to be anything less than impressive, but not overly so.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There is a lot of content geared towards the party, bullshit and get money topics that are present in rap culture. However, the production (which is mostly done by Bobby Ray) evokes a deeper appreciation for his music as a whole.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    When he does step out of his zone, his temperament--hood and Memphis to the core--feels out of place. But luckily for Gotti fans, these moments of mediocrity are brief. On the majority of I Am, he stays rooted in the ideas and melodies that he’s been refining since he first dropped From Da Dope Game 2 Da Rap Game over 10 year ago.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The lyrics on this album are more of the same.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With No Hard Feelings, Dreezy attempts to find a happy medium between street rapper and silky songstress. Fans of her harder bars and grittier raps will be championing for the former while those looking for versatility will appreciate what she has to offer here when it comes to her sing-song flow.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While the tape may not win Gucci many new listeners, it should satisfy his already established fanbase.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Black Milk’s versatility shines on Hell Below, even if at times some parts felt disjointed. This is a small complaint for an overall album that culminates in the talented musician effectively communicating a consistent concept through the LP.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Chris Brown and Tyga have given fans what they wanted, but with an abundance of turn-up tracks, the album fails to tackle more serious topics, as the duo has in the past on “Deuces.” It’s a wonder why they avoided the prior formula this go round.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There was opportunity on Blue Slide Park to genuinely capture some real elements of youth, and the album doesn't capitalize on the opportunity.