Paste Magazine's Scores

For 3,515 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 75
Highest review score: 100 X&Y
Lowest review score: 10 Songs From Black Mountain
Score distribution:
3515 music reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    In heading Sideways to New Italy, Rolling Blackouts C.F. continue to make a strong case as one of Australia’s most vital rock acts, if not the world’s.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 76 Critic Score
    While the similarities to both his contemporaries and those who came before him are impossible to ignore, there are few musicians who could pull off singing about an aspiring building inspector and make it so equally funny and sweet—but Hutson possesses a rare balance of critical wit and soul.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    A nice surprise in a year full of unpleasant ones. It’s also one of the best experimental releases of 2020 so far. Continuous Portrait doesn’t depart dramatically from the lively ambient sweet spot of Inventions’ previous work, but it does expand the duo’s sound to make deeper use of one element usually absent from Explosions in the Sky: the human voice.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 73 Critic Score
    For the most part, the songs are compact, with only the closing instrumental, “Weekend Wind,” passing the six-minute mark. Jeremy Earl’s falsetto is at its most confident and versatile, gliding over tunes that explore the headspace newfound fatherhood has brought him.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Although their synth work and melodies are memorable beyond belief, this album’s poignance, delivered with a good-natured determination, is what takes the wheel and makes it a synth-pop milestone.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 73 Critic Score
    Even if nothing on here rises to the career-best heights of 2003’s Apple O’ or 2005’s The Runners Four, it’s another strong album from a band whose sheer continued existence (and refusal to bend to conventional recording standards) often feels like a triumph of absurdity in the face of encroaching hopelessness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 76 Critic Score
    While the album is successful at crafting smart and danceable music, it lacks the fervor that defined their 2018 EP. This isn’t to say there aren’t gripping moments of sonic intensity on Gentle Grip that more than satisfy the more frenetic yearnings of Distance Is a Mirror.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 51 Critic Score
    Where A Brief Inquiry… excelled due to its exceptional pop songwriting and well-calculated sonic departures, Notes… is far too ambitious and self-aware (“Will I live and die in a band?”) for its own good.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    A fully realized collection of 11 songs that are at once polished, precise and visceral. Williamson could not sound more in control, or less concerned about it. The effect is, well, enchanting as she breezes through tunes that pull you into the center of rich musical arrangements so unobtrusively that you’re sometimes not quite sure how you got there.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A few skippable songs don’t change the scale of Sumney’s accomplishment. With an auspicious debut in his rearview mirror and a blinding future ahead, he made an album that crystalizes the current state of his art and advances his worldview while at the same time clearing a path for whatever he wants to do next. Perhaps the only thing more exciting than græ will be seeing where Moses Sumney goes from here.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His effort to overcome the body-brain gulf is more apparent than ever throughout No Shape follow-up Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, on which Hadreas loses control of not just his body, but his heart. As ever, his voice and music contort and warp in tandem with his anatomy.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His best impulses he keeps channeling into his music, on seven albums and counting, and the result is a body of work that often feels indispensable. Isbell is a songwriter’s songwriter, but the songs that result are for all of us.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On her solo debut, Williams goes beyond all expectations to create an experimental and multifaceted picture of pain as she opens up the door into a new decade of her life.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Making a Door Less Open isn’t as memorable as its predecessors on its own: Toledo’s vision as a whole never feels truly fleshed out, representing the first legitimate misfire in the career of one of this generation’s most talented indie-rock songwriters.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Diet Cig are growing and changing right in front of us—they’re still all the bands they’ve ever been—and proving that their journey is one worth following.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 77 Critic Score
    Agitprop Alterna is far more elegant and thoughtful than your average shoegaze album. It pulls from a wide variety of moods and sounds, but its textures are always a source of joyful awe.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Good Souls Better Angels is proof that even legends like Lucinda don’t just leave their best work behind them one day: They keep writing and making as long as they can, challenging people to listen to their newest music with the notion that it could be some of their best.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 69 Critic Score
    After demonstrating intimacy and charm on her earlier material, English shows with Wake UP! that she’s capable of making a bright, big-sounding album. Once she gets around to combining those sensibilities, well, look out.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Brother Sister is a down-home record, the kind only people who are related to each other could make. It’s the sound of two people reminiscing about childhood while trying to survive adulthood.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Here’s betting their sophomore effort significantly expands Dogleg’s sound. Or maybe they spin too fast and break apart. Either way, Melee is a worthy debut for a very promising band.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 74 Critic Score
    Antartica might fall short of the punk-pop immediacy of debut album cuts like “Motorbike” and “Goodbye Texas,” but it’s another fortifying garage punk record, hellbent on trying to shake you out of your shoes. After two punk stunners, this Los Angeles trio has every right to apply “caution hot” stickers to their guitars.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 97 Critic Score
    Fetch the Bolt Cutters is exactly what so many expected it to be: brilliant. ... Fiona Apple can do with a piano, a handful of percussive items and her urgent voice what some could only hope to do with an entire orchestra.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Sawayama is an exhilarating reminder of a bygone time when boy bands ruled all and commercialism ruled the boy bands. That era is long gone, but that particular brand of maximalist pop is back, only better now than before.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 69 Critic Score
    Diamond Dreams is immersive and solidifies Shabazz Palaces’ stature as one of the few hip-hop projects to emerge in the 2010s and create a wholly distinctive genre unto itself. Its intergalactic textures don’t resemble earth, but that’s a welcome escape at a historic moment when earth doesn’t feel particularly inhabitable for humans.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 62 Critic Score
    Benton’s follow-up, Lost in the Country, is another pleasantly tuneful listen, but it doesn’t quite deliver on that promise. Its 10 songs sit and simmer in Trace Mountains’ sonic comfort zone, while most of the surprises seem to have been left behind. The result is an album that’s perfectly likable, but not much more.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    At just 36 minutes, it’s her shortest record thus far, but it’s simultaneously Marling’s most straightforward, musically simplistic record to date and her most beautiful release yet.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The album achieves a powerful sense of place, capturing the city and its innumerable narratives.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 76 Critic Score
    Far Enough would have likely benefited from shifting toward shorter, more undeniably riotous songs like these and away from the several more complex, seven-minute-or-so songs present, but when you’re fighting the good fight, is there really time to fret about the little things?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bruner’s playing—and, increasingly, his writing as well—is so distinctive he’s able to own it even as he tones down his outsize personality. Many modern artists have mined these sounds, but few have honored them quite like Bruner does on It Is What It Is.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    WOMB is uncomfortable yet poignant as an exploration of suffering and subsequent healing in a multifaceted way. Using fuzzy ambience, pitched-up vocals, and watery synths, this album takes listeners on a disorienting, Willy Wonka-like boat ride through a bloody journey of femininity.