New York Magazine (Vulture)'s Scores

For 158 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Stankonia
Lowest review score: 10 18
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 158
  2. Negative: 22 out of 158
158 music reviews
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Filthy Philly rapstress ropes in famous mates, but falls short of rap superstardom.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Either way, this latest effort is set to be interpreted more ways than the Qur'an and see him sat atop an almighty fence pushing anyone who hears it either side with reckless glee.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is pure non-homogenised, heart-on-sleeve, downright meaningful music, the sort of thing The Wombats cry themselves to sleep over on a nightly basis. For that alone it’s worth a tenner of anybody’s money.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His latest album, Hold Time, is as finely wrought and thoroughly affecting an indie effort as 2009 is likely to see.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The disc ultimately hangs together on mood; Price unfailingly accentuates the bright, shiny, and happy. This not only makes good pop sense, it provides an effective counterbalance to Flowers and his achy-breaky vocals.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Q-Tip's flow on his new disc remains mellow, freewheeling, and vaguely inspirational. But it doesn't feel relevant.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though the album can’t really stand with the Pretenders first three, it approximates them pretty well, like a faux vintage T-shirt that’s faded just right.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are no state-of-the-art flourishes (like Kanye West’s sped-up soul samples); he furnishes most of his own hooks, without the assistance of Auto-Tune, the now ubiquitous vocal effect favored by rappers who can’t really sing (Devin sings, and quite nicely too); and the only big-name rapper he invites is Snoop Dogg, with whom he shares some genuine stoner chemistry. Track after track (there are only twelve, and mercifully no skits), the beats land just so. And nowhere is he more confident than in his rhymes.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The whole record is about the band skillfully weaving in and out of dramatically different textures and arrangements; each song plays with several musical ideas, not just one or two.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It rewards that attention with small pleasures: guitar and organ playing off each other’s reverb, bass and drum dancing in and out of step, horns and vocals collapsing into a single bellow. In essence, it offers that luxuriant buzz that made rock and roll one of the great narcotics of the last half-century.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When in doubt, crank the amps. This is the philosophy behind R.E.M.’s new album, Accelerate, their best, and certainly their loudest, in years.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Badu has rejected the role of soul princess and chosen instead to embrace a raw, unhinged spirituality that separates her from the pack.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you give it the chance, though--and if you’re not already a member of the tribe, it takes perseverance--Bedlam sinks its fangs into you.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Put the last eight years of Williamsburg micro-genres in a blender— all that electroclash, disco rock, retro glam, and psych-folk—and you’ve got a sense of the charming mess that is this Connecticut-via-Brooklyn duo’s debut.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dirt Farmer is an iconic album, this year’s "Time Out of Mind" or "Freedom." Just give him a Grammy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s their most accessible and coherent to date.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Packaged in big, bright doses of piano-pop, her expressions of puppy love are as irresistible as puppies themselves.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their debut album, released in the U.S. this week, proves that the Brighton lasses aren't only well constructed, but sharp and tough all on their own.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though his voice is strong and sincere throughout the album, most of the material has a certain karaoke-like vibe.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although it lifts off with a flawless indie-pop opener and sounds somehow lively even at its most melancholy, the lovely new Weakerthans album disc is all about the art of settling in and telling a good, unhurried story.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Notice it now, or wait until people start hailing it as a lost classic in a decade's time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Animal Collective has evolved; its songs continue to meander and digress, but the mania seems driven by a greater sense of purpose.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Per Vulture, the Curtis-shaming Graduation "has better songs waiting in the wings. Bonus: No Jamie Foxx!"
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The latest electro-folk offering from these Canadian twins is somehow cuter, catchier, and more heartache-y than their last disc.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Underneath all of those lush, gorgeous strings, [producer] Hogarth then layered the electronic beats, delays, fades, and distortions that lend the album its freshness and vitality.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Each and every hand clap and piano chord on their foot-stomping, flawless new album, now streaming on their label's Website, is obsessively placed.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like The OC, Easy Tiger manages to be pleasurable without ever being interesting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sky Blue Sky shows his restlessness as an artist, his need to keep moving - not always forward, but never merely standing still, and certainly not dipping into the back catalogue for an idea or two.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is nothing tentative or unpolished about any of these songs.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What really makes Ghosthorse and Stillborn worthy of a jump for joy is CocoRosie’s transformation from self-conscious oddity into an actual songwriting force.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is a tutorial in finely textured songwriting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    If he hasn’t yet invented a persona intriguing enough to live up to his music, give him credit for being one of the few white men still brave enough to make black music.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Entertaining and surprisingly consistent.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A deeply satisfying work of storytelling through pop.... What Are You On? is emotionally complex in a way that few of the more prosperous songwriters of Cornog’s generation are capable of producing at this point in their careers.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The first half, in particular, has irresistible momentum... The second half drags a little, and you wish Madonna would strip the synths back to work a bass line every now and then.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too much of Aerial fades into a soft-focus background of soothing synthesizers, murmuring bass, and twittering birdsong.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Broken Social Scene has pulled off the rare feat of making a heavily produced record sound instinctive and spontaneous.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best record of his career, a collision of the idiosyncratic charms of Portastatic with the exuberant rock power of Superchunk.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Her songs still revolve mostly around the adolescent hell of looking right and pleasing jerky guys, a shtick that would be old if Hatfield, well into her thirties, didn’t genuinely sound as if she were still living through it.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Marrying his sturdy rock-guitar talents to lively beats, he’s found a comfort zone.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It is a noble effort, modeled on Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, but the results are underwhelming.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    X&Y
    Your level of interest in their music probably correlates with your willingness to be bored.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The songs, which have the choppy angles and elegant dissonance of Pavement’s, are painstakingly layered with keyboards and all manner of funky blurps and beeps. It all sounds very labor-intensive—and pretty smart, too.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Many of these songs are thin schematics for “perfect” pop songs. They’re impressive in their commitment to formula--deploying catchy, whiny hooks, taut structure, loud-soft interplay, and well-timed guitar peals. Yet for all their nakedness, they offer little in the way of revelation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stands somewhere between Nebraska and Joad in terms of impact and quality.... But this album doesn’t merely find the middle ground between those two earlier releases: Its best songs break new ground for Springsteen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Beck integrates his personae into a fairly seamless whole, and his knack for synthesizing disparate musical elements (hip-hop, robot funk, blues, country, jazz, garage rock, etc.) extends beyond samples and individual tracks. The songs migrate smoothly from one to the next; there aren’t any throwaway numbers to sabotage the album’s momentum; the whole thing coheres.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The Massacre is as frustratingly uneven as Get Rich or Die Tryin’, but it’s longer and messier.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Aha Shake Heartbreak showcases four feckless stoners speaking in their own shop-class patois, it also captures them playing alarmingly sophisticated pop.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The songs, engaging as they are, sound cursory, as though Lee wrote them while riding the bus on his way to the studio, staring at his watch and an empty notebook.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A profoundly emotional, uncynical brand of songwriting that showcases Antony’s obsession with nature.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Manages, despite an excess of throwaway material, to be an appropriately eccentric testament to Cobain’s talent.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite its faults--and there are many--Ray Ray is a startlingly inventive record.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s a lot less monotone than its predecessor.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    [It] doesn’t help in pinpointing the moment Costello veered into self-parody, but it does catalogue nearly everything that’s become impossible to take about him.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Showtime, Dizzee doesn’t give up his sonic adventurousness, but he is a lot more disciplined about it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It’s merely another nice try, charmingly forgettable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Especially when heard on headphones, Medulla is an overwhelming sonic bliss-out, Phil Spector’s wall of sound channeled through the voice box.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cover albums tend to be self-indulgent stunts, but not for Dulli. She Loves You comes across as the most natural expression of him as an artist.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Bubblegum is a blues record, a powerfully original reinterpretation of the genre.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band take their experimental ethos even further without sacrificing the emotional power of their debut.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Uh Huh Herb is a disappointment, the tepid, not-quite-there record that many artists seem to make after hitting a career peak.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Skinner’s finely honed sense of place still has a nearly hypnotic effect.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Quarry doesn’t have great songs, just not-so-clever quips.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A darkly compelling masterpiece that taps into the pitch-black id of Johnny Cash’s best records.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Musicology is a thrilling, electric statement by an artist who just might be building toward another creative peak.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Damita Jo, sadly, is an outdated product of the turn-of-the-millennium pop scene, in which female singers conflated sexual openness with empowerment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Endlessly pleasing (or trying to please), Feels Like Home dilutes even Jones’s brand of comfort-food jazz, grinding it down to something like a chewy gob of baby food.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    You can’t help but get lost in Minogue’s music.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The songwriting is scattershot... and the sound strains for punk-on-a-budget but is as three-chord conservative as other retro acts like Rancid and the Distillers.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A sprawling and undisciplined mess... but it’s fully attuned to what made West so compelling in the first place, namely chunks of samples that feel raw and convey an underdog sensibility.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The carefully constructed sonics, though beautiful, can be so snoozily contemplative.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Tasty features predictable envy-inspiring flaunts of sex and cash, the album is good-hearted, too.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The note that truly dooms Diary is thematic, not musical. The disc collapses under the weight of one song about heartbreak after another.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Like the market-minded collaborations that run rampant on hip-hop records, Elliott’s range here feels like base-covering.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Once in a Lifetime shies away from the Talking Heads’ life force. It presents them as winking ironists, not the true black-music believers that they were.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Putting Naked together was likely satisfying for McCartney, but like a lot of inherently selfish artistic endeavors, it’s somewhat less rewarding for everyone else.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Pink pitches a brand of seriousness that is pure Lifetime-TV mawkishness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The central flaw of Room on Fire is the lack of hooks.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Wainwright’s powers of observation recall both Morrissey and Cole Porter.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike her recent work, Stumble Into Grace is made up solely of Harris’s work--love songs like “Can You Hear Me Now” that perfectly suit her voice, which is sweet and whispery yet never sentimental.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Speakerboxxx--by itself the album of the year--makes the failings of The Love Below all the more evident.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Clones testifies to how familiar (and hollow) the Neptunes’ studio tricks have become.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Everything Must Go is a profound disappointment.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hail to the Thief is overloaded with miraculous sounds.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Utterly raw and rocking.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    How the West Was Won proves that Led Zeppelin was nearly peerless in creating gigantic, thunderous rock.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album feels like a romp, with Thompson performing everything from delicate waltzes to roadhouse rock.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    When you’re treated to such a powerful front woman, it seems almost unfair to complain about the lack of sophisticated sonics.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is stranger, thornier, and meaner than anything in the band’s past.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    What gives A Little Deeper its heft, though, is Dynamite’s voice: She can hold a word so long it almost floats in the air, and she purposefully embellishes her girlish, almost kewpie-doll-like whine to deliver her most stinging rebukes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Without question, 50 Cent has one of the most distinctive voices in hip-hop: He raps in a molasses-slow, beyond-laconic drawl, and chants in a singsongy patois reminiscent of dance-hall stars like Sean Paul. But there isn’t enough invention in the rhymes, and, worse, barely any humor.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Reed coaxes great performances out of a few unexpected collaborators--Ornette Coleman delivers frenetic sax playing on “Guilty,” and downtown singer Antony warbles in a truly otherworldly soprano on “The Bed”--but these players are crowded out by the album’s sprawling mediocrity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Here, Nas is so fierce, so plainspoken, so lean with words, that he demolishes not just the oeuvre of our ruling rappers (yes, including Eminem's) and recalls the music's lyrical champs like Rakim, he even brings to mind hip-hop progenitors like Muhammad Ali in the "Rumble in the Jungle" era.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    What's particularly, notably bad here is its production.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Strange and wonderful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    What a curse Jay-Z's ideas represent: Nearly everything about The Blueprint 2 sounds like a retread, including its title.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    3D
    Charitable fans and critics will probably seize on the few sparks generated by 3D to eulogize TLC as vanguards. The truth -- that their riskier impulses were often tamped down by a conservative industry -- is somewhat more depressing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Timberlake and the Neptunes work hard at creating memorable songs, an admirable undertaking given the pathetic state of songwriting in pop music. But little more is expressed in songs like "Señorita" and "Take It From Here" than flowery notions of romance or brusque come-ons.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    American Supreme proves that Suicide can reach backward and still remain ahead of the pack.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Trots out an unceasingly uninteresting parade of pop personalities singing against a patina of Latin music so drained of ethnicity and soul that it makes Herb Alpert seem like Sun Ra by comparison.