Expert Witness (MSN Music)'s Scores

  • Music
For 232 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 98% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 2% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 17.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 91
Highest review score: 100 Shaking the Habitual
Lowest review score: 70 Brighter
Score distribution:
  1. Mixed: 0 out of 232
  2. Negative: 0 out of 232
232 music reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    she recorded her fourth album with Polly Jean Harvey adjutant John Parish, and musically they get results.... But non-Bamanan speakers may well find that her supple vocals are no more engaging should they follow her unremarkable spiritual tribulations in English or French.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    There's a pleasure on the far edge of song in imagining that two DIY purists are making all these musical noises with their guitar collection and their home studio.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    There are hooks here, folks, and literalism fan that I am, I say they're most effective on the strictly reportorial "Nearly Midnight, Honolulu" and the lost-love "Calling Cards."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The riot godmotherrr commands pretty much the same old skinny soprano, only with soft edges that sound tender or thoughtful sometimes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It's only natural that this is less of the same, and that in "Void" and "Staying Home" early on he's as bummed as a good grunge visionary should be.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Struggling for cred as aging rappers will, they stumble occasionally. Some of these ideas obviously seemed funnier when they brainstormed them.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Give it up to the one where Beyonce pledges gangsta devotion and, best of all, the one where the "billionaire" (he says) looks back at the betrayals of his own departed head of family with something that feels like dread.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Re-examining his past, he imagines a future you can hum in your mind.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He sets his sacrilegious writ to muscular melodies that get more fetching as they speed up.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Mature my patootie--and that's a good thing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Displaced Canadian "middle child" cultivates honky-tonk misery so extreme it dallies with the absurd.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Yet subtle fiddle, accordion, pump organ, and especially bass liven up the acoustic guitars just a touch, and both Mitchell's fluting, childlike lead and Hamer's mellower follow avoid purist sanctity as well as modernizing pizzazz.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    He wants to set his people on the right path and keeps thinking up explicit ways to say so. But none of them have gotten near that goal so far, not even theoretically, as they might if his skills included the ability to rise to actual hits, as opposed to pleasurable musicality, and also to sink to them.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Amusing though he and his yelp can be, I like him best when anxiety is a mood rather than a subject.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Like Illmatic it eschews pop emoluments, and conceptually it's just as canny.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The narrative matters on this album, and as always, newcomers should hear Dennehy first. But Cohn is one of a kind, and he don't stop.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    You'll soon feel how all those slight musical differentials hoist the group's collective spirit, and how courageously the music's depressive candor strengthens their will to be alive.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    These are so fine you don't mind listening again. And as you do, you start noticing how deftly Brett negotiates lines and stanzas that aren't as blockish as their meter and his voice make you think. And then you listen to this uningratiating music some more.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Consider me converted, at least until Bradford Cox lurches off in yet another direction.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Each verse/chorus/bridge/​intro melody, each lyric straight or knotty, each sound effect playful or perverse (or both)‑-each is pleasurable in itself and aptly situated in the sturdy songs and tracks, so that the whole signifies without a hint of concept.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The tunes are Dawson's because Ae-Rock doesn't do tunes, but his beats beef up those tunes just like his gruff, clotted flow beefs up her itty-bitty soprano.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A lark evolves into a business proposition as an album of 10 inspired three-minute songs eventuates in an album of 12 expert three-and-a-half-min​ute songs.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Six songs-with-lyrics, each with its own vocal signature although there's not a proper singer to be heard, and six instrumentals, some straight and some avant and one a loving yet crudely irreverent "Take Five" cover, converge toward the same goal: demolishing your musical illusions.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    For better or worse, and it's both, this is kind of what you'd figure sort of: a Sonic Youth record dominated by that band's most important member.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Overlooking the nine subminute snippets‑-most annoying even at that length, with bows to the nine-second "Tick" and the 24-second closer‑-that leaves 16 songs that pretend to be songs, including one A plus, two clear A minuses, and six close enoughs.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An exciting, multivalent Dreijer sibling showcase. Karin provides saving shades of humanity by exercising the vocal cords nature gave her. But Olof's imagination, sense of humor, and bent rebop carry the day.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He's got relationship problems so depressing that he thinks calmly about killing himself. Yet even that doesn't stop him from saying what he has to say in under three minutes, with a catchy tune to help the time pass.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    A lot of the time he's trying too hard to say too little or trying too clumsily to say too much, sometimes even with his trusty guitar.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    His posse cuts are finally showing some savor too, albeit not on the vestigial guns 'n' violence ones.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Near as I can hear, all that marks these terrific songs as outtakes etc. is that they're slightly less produced and dramatic.