PopMatters' Scores

  • TV
  • Music
For 10,467 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Outland
Lowest review score: 0 Travistan
Score distribution:
10467 music reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Electro Melodier by Son Volt is a lot of what you’ve always loved about the band. They give you melodies that are perfect for dark, cramped clubs. At the same time, Farrar provides thought-provoking lyrics. This album isn’t a scathing indictment of American society. Rather, it poses questions that are well worth considering.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With catchy melodies and always engaging writing, the record brings Dacus’ early era to a sort of summation, a realization of what’s been coming, yet without any sense of her artistic momentum slowing down.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The dozen tracks here showcase the range of her talents as a singer and a songwriter and that of a human being who refuses to accept life’s limitations and stand up for herself.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Taste of Love is a good album, but it’s too “good” and not enough “wow” for its own good. TWICE can do better.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Exit Wounds isn’t radically different from the band’s other albums. It remains true to the formula the band have always embraced. The lyrics paint vivid pictures and are easy to sing. The melodies are instantly familiar, which is part of what makes them so endearing. And if it isn’t broke, why fix it?
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Browne stays in his – and our – comfort zone for much of the album while still finding new avenues to explore.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While Spiral, like Psychic, includes moments of virtuosic integration – songcraft complemented by innovative sonics, innovative sonics contextualized by songcraft – there are other (and more) moments where the album seems to lack a unifying aesthetic.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The music itself is always infectious. The melodies share a slithering under-tempo that makes everything from lyrics about eggs with toast on the side to the color of one’s clothes seem fraught with deep meaning. The subliminal message has an erotic aura.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On Blood, Juliana Hatfield has shown that she knows what all the buttons do, but in her voyage of discovery of The Wonderful World of Record Production, she’s forgotten to pack enough decent tunes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With his latest jewel, Staples mines an artistic, existential, and notably fertile limbo.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Penelope Three is not a pop record, but it is Trappes’ boldest, most straightforward work to date. Even if the end result may not be as consistent as past records, it’s refreshing to hear her set her voice free and break out of her dream-pop reveries.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Flatlanders end the album with “Sitting on Top of the World” and therefore go out in a blaze of glory. But as electric guitars and screaming voices drop out, the music continues to ring on in one’s head as the album insists upon being replayed.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE makes bold statements in unpretentious ways with its production and creative choices. It feels like a natural continuation of TXT’s path, while it also showcases new sides of the members’ potential as singers, songwriters, and producers.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The great news is that Dreamers are Waiting is very much in the excellent category.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A solid but unspectacular listen. It won’t knock you flat, and it probably won’t light up too many dancefloors, but for fans of early-aughts techno, there is plenty to love.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At certain points, Thorburn tries to add more gravity to the proceedings, but he needn’t have. The two more downbeat songs that close out Islomania sound a bit labored.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While not their most unique project, Broken Hearts presents a steady, mellowed pathos that’s hard to deny and undeniably genuine. It’s straightforward.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Hiatus Kaiyote have crafted something brilliant with Mood Valiant – an album that’s effortlessly likable, commandingly confident, and rich with heart and soul.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Golden Casket is almost a complete package. Its 12 songs are remarkably tight and focused for a Modest Mouse album, which again feels reflective of the composed, focused headspace Brook seems to be in. It’s another wonderful, soulful release by one of the world’s most singular rock bands and wholly obliterates the retrograde notion that musicians require tortured head scapes to create rich, compelling art.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s clear that the quartet really enjoys playing together, and even in the extended songs, Darnielle keeps the band reined in enough, so they aren’t approaching jam band length. Despite this being the Mountain Goats’ third album in just over a year, Darnielle’s songwriting is as strong as ever, and the band shows no signs of fatigue.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    She continues to be nothing short of magnificent as a performer, and her generosity in bringing newer artists with her into the spotlight is wholly gratifying. And, while the sentiments here may not be wholly novel, they are well-timed, and they soar when Kidjo sings them.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The result is a mixed bag that features all sides of a fearless guy in construction yet practical in tone. The most interesting moments come when he decides to feature frequent collaborator Henry Solomon on saxophone.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s not exactly a work of brilliance – the tracks are too slight, and the whole tone is too wilfully perverse for that. Nevertheless, Blunt has crafted something undeniably engrossing for those willing to play along with his strange game.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What they have delivered sounds like Dinosaur Jr. are at ease with themselves, but they still enjoy making a hellacious din at the appropriate time.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    A Few Stars Apart by Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real is further evidence that Nelson is a musical chameleon.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a broad and satisfying collection, and given the diversity of the artists – from Helmet to La Roux – it doesn’t sound like a malfunctioning jukebox. That’s quite an achievement.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Many of these tracks don't even have much in the way of guitar riffs or interesting drum rhythms, even though studio aces like drummer Josh Freese and guitarist Robin Finck (both veterans of Nine Inch Nails) are doing excellent work with their playing throughout the album. Combined with Elfman's lack of vocal color, this makes the album sound like a buzzing, pounding collection of white noise punctuated by occasional bursts of interesting string themes or the odd downtempo track.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Marina re-embraces her inner strength and quite possibly creates her magnum opus with Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Second Line is an important record in that it brings deep humanity and emotion to dance and club music. It’s a deeply personal album, one that brings to mind the soulful singer-songwriter albums of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, or Syreeta Wright but marries the confessional, candid sentiment with a self-consciously synthetic soundscape of house.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her music is too bighearted and alive to fall in line with most kitschy, modern-day dream pop. On The Tunnel and the Clearing, she takes us even deeper into her fuzzy, dubbed-out analogue sound-world.