Austin Chronicle's Scores

For 1,949 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 3.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Pool
Lowest review score: 20 Achtung Baby [Super Deluxe]
Score distribution:
1949 music reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album's whole second side rises to a bar set mile-high by the band's national breakout.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    End
    End still brims with hope and promise, no more so than on "Moving On," with its beaming synths and stadium drums, and "Loved Ones," which builds atop an extended piano interlude. End might not be a breakthrough, but it doesn't have to be.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not in the same league as, say, 2009's Willie and the Wheel, Bluegrass lacks the magic of either a great Willie Nelson record or a great bluegrass record.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nelson swings looser and more comfortably here, more barroom stage than backroad sage. Self-produced, Nelson noted that he wanted songs that could move a crowd, which Sticks and Stones delivers in sound and ethos.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Known for their self-mythologizing irreverence, Being Dead uses fairy tales as a heartfelt escape on When Horses Would Run.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    May to December, Waylon & Willie ride again.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Swirling strings and thudding guitars compare more than they contrast, brilliantly revealing that the band's "normal" music – a prowling, rhythmic churn that moves like sludge metal but strikes with blackened ferocity – is actually pretty avant. ... You'll marvel at how scrubbed of obvious influences they've become.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Epic, over-the-top, enormous in scale.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Through it all, The Great Awakening feels like a far-off summer lightning storm: all low rumbles punctuated by occasional flashes of grandeur that tease something major awaiting without delivering a single drop of anything with impact.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    "Lucifer on the Sofa" has enough endearing moments to sit comfortably in the meaty middle of the band's catalog.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Boland's great concept album endeavor may strike as too convoluted to top his catalog, but it also sets the songwriter free to launch into new creative paths and continue expanding what country music can be.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    A marvel of tone and production, the Austin trio's third half-hour aneurysm mutates root metallurgies into a future missing link of punk extremity.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Especially refreshing in this city, the player lets his modern blues simmer and smoke, avoiding pyrotechnic blister. Somber and guarded, opener "Lost & Lonesome" pins the simple tools behind most of the album – evocative acoustic guitar, barely there percussion, and Nichols' wisely pleading voice.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Although certainly not the capstone to Wennerstrom's extraordinary personal and artistic journey, A Beautiful Life reaches a new pinnacle for the songwriter, and signals a remarkable turning point on a new path forward.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Perfect in vision, voice, harmony – not to mention timing – Treasure of Love delivers quintessential Flatlanders.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    As much Tom Waits as Roy Orbison, both Amigo the Devil and Born Against expertly navigate the twisted path between a metaphorical heart on a sleeve and real live beating one bloodying up his flannel.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    As thoroughly self-possessed as Portrayal of Guilt's celebrated bow resounded in punk and metal pits, follow-up We Are Always Alone now standardizes the locals' splatter into a trademark sound. Success breeds fearlessness, focus, certainty; No. 2 harnesses No. 1's tempest.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Unexpectedly, one of the most beautiful and hopeful albums of the year comes from Black Angels singer Alex Maas. Luca capstones 2020 with a reminder of what's truly important and wondrous in the world.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    For certain, the low-voiced local occupies artistic territory with Leonard, but Gold Record also spins reminiscent of Bob Dylan's summer surprise Rough and Rowdy Ways in its zoomed-out lyrical portraiture and employment of pop culture references.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    My Love Is A Hurricane ransacks David Ramirez to emerge bloody but unbowed.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    All together, a mischievous lyricist captures the new West.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Summation of their best recorded moments, X echoes the pulverizing claustrophobia of Source Tags & Codes (2002) and sheer aggression of bone-crushing 1999 debut Madonna, erecting walls of drill-bit noise and floating ennui codas.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Lifting both blast beats and thrash dynamics from metal, the Belgian indie rock trio galvanizes enough sheer fury to knock the needle off your turntable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Arising from largely improvised performances that accompanied a cosmic expedition at San Antonio's Scobee Planetarium, The Spiral Arm ranks not as the Austin ambient trio's spaciest effort – that's 2016 debut Original Soundtrack – but as their most beautiful.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A legendary liquor-soaked session with Tom Waits, two discs containing a ragged-but-right contemporary concert, and a booklet that takes an in-depth look at the making of DTAS crackle and pop, but in revisiting its creators' original intent, a formerly sneered at LP becomes essential.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Sadly, familiar streams – "Matchbox," "That's All Right, Mama," "Big River" – don't yield any gems. Constant studio chatter and fumbled lyrics frustrate rather than charm, and even when duetting, Dylan and Cash's aw-shucks mutual admiration smothers artistic collaboration. Disc three's bonus content with banjo legend Earl Scruggs fares better.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Unsurprisingly, the true treasure for devotees occurs in long-vaulted studio moments.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    The salsa-imbued "Green" celebrates heritage and familial commitment as the LP culminates in a dreamy slow-burn.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Brighter compositions match the lyrical demands of more specified storytelling, most vividly on piano-led "Mr. Lee."
    • 70 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Still relaxed, LAHS clouds over with less reverb, punchier drums, and – at long last – vocals at the front of the mix.