PopMatters' Scores

  • TV
  • Music
For 10,727 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol. 2: The Reprise Years 1968-1971 [Box Set]
Lowest review score: 0 Travistan
Score distribution:
10727 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    They excite, inspire, and energize, but also soothe, amuse, and comfort on this incredibly varied album, leaving practically no time to get bored. So whether Hot Chip continue in this finely-crafted-pop mode or not, it was definitely worth investing in that new recording studio.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is beautiful music, as obvious an instant classic as you can get in the so-called “desert blues” category.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Through her vulnerability and strength, she offers her listeners a path to realistically embrace the cycle of ache and joy in relationships, all within the confines of what might be one of the finer albums to come out of Nashville this year.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Renaissance succeeds as a post-Covid soiree and massive PR campaign, though one can’t help but note that the album occasionally sports more style than substance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lynn’s ability to balance some of her most personal lyrical matter, such as the reflections on motherhood in “What Is This Body?” and “You Are Not on Your Own”, with this newfound pop ebullience, comes through resoundingly throughout the whole of Something More Than Love.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The juxtaposition of breezy bangers with more challenging musical ideas makes XI: Bleed Here Now a recommendable fare for both the hard-to-impress music snoot and the more open-minded rocker, though both are likely to agree that sometimes less is more.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Heard It in a Past Life was the culmination of the Maggie Rogers who broke through from indie folk artist to viral sensation; Surrender sounds more secure and less eager to prove itself.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Unless one is already into jazz improv, jam-rock, or ambient electronics, the record may be a tough sell. For those predisposed to any or all of those styles, though, this album has a lot to like. Navalny and Branch are creative enough that it feels like they’re perpetually on the brink of making something really musically engaging, and Parker’s expertise finds a way to bring out those moments.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The arrangements find a balance they haven’t always found. It may not always click—“Clean Clothes” and “Did It Really Exist?” in particular don’t ever really take off. But mostly it does
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ultimately, My Other People feels like the work of a band in progress that hasn’t entirely figured out how they operate as an ensemble.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their ability to drop a pop banger has been proven already – they can do it – but they just find reimagining what Cybotron would sound like as a future-punk band, and that exploration in sound proves to be a gripping listen here.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Entering Heaven Alive lacks the thematic and musical consistency of Fear of the Dawn, it is no less striking with the depth of its musical diversity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The result is a mish-mash of commercially viable tracks and more whimsical excursions that her fans will cherish but might leave others feeling warm, then cold.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Special is such a disappointment because you can hear the better album she’s capable of – but she insists on digging her heels in to crank out one-size-fits-all empowerment jams that can’t be resonating with anyone beyond someone just getting back to the elliptical for the first time in a year.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In the context of their discography, this colorful album is a strong addition to the enigma of Guided by Voices. It even manages to produce songs (“Boomerang”, “Flock”) that will likely one day be considered essential. Outside of this context, Tremblers and Goggles by Rank is a smashing and replayable album that only sometimes forgets that people are listening.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The 14 cuts on Found Light are more inquisitive and exploratory (and even experimental) than before.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The bad news is that The Other Side of Make-Believe suffers from a gaggle of forgettable material. The good news is that the record shows us all that Interpol are willing to try a few new tricks as they age.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s perhaps the first time Bird has made his songs so easily accessible to his audience.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    It’s mainly miss. The limp steel guitar backing “Cold in the Summer” is too low-key to maintain any interest whatsoever; same with the forgettable strummed final track “Wind in My Blood”.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On MUNA, the group has crafted a collection boldly exploring how being queer is composed of joys and traumas, and there’s no shame in messily embracing both. As they put it on their first album, we are loudspeakers.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His most experimental, wandering, and gorgeously unkempt album to date.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Putting her body and feelings out in the open makes them real, especially when portrayed so artfully as in songs such as “Patron Saint of the Dollar Store” and “Heart Swell”.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Absent an infectious melody and accompaniment that establishes rhythmic and/or ambient contrast, her voice tends to grow monotonous and disengaging. But when the aesthetic balances are in place, as they are for much of Sometimes, Forever, then Allison glows like a moon reflecting a dying sun, one of the substantial artists of her generation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Yet by the end of Closure/Continuation, the main feeling that’s left behind is a sense of limbo. Wilson, Harrison, and Barbieri remain top-notch musicians, comfortable in songs that require technical proficiencies well above the average rock or pop musician. At its best, the album captures and rejuvenates the cerebral and melancholic mood that is Porcupine Tree’s signature. But in the end, the uncertainty innate to a title like Closure/Continuation hangs over the proceedings.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Farm to Table is a record to dwell within, not one to merely be impressed by, making it a fitting and remarkable sophomore effort for an artist whose debut turned so many heads.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Sometimes their vocal melodies aren’t particularly strong. Yet those songs seem to be written to have the vocals at their center. Instead, they end up as tracks with really solid rhythmic backing, interesting guitar playing, and a sort of void where the song’s primary focus should be. The good moments here are worth lauding, but the trio could use a few more of them.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are at least a handful of worthwhile inclusions here, and Shearwater’s overarching purpose is admirable. Regrettably, though, good intentions don’t necessarily equate to good execution. For the most part, The Great Awakening is a plodding creation whose occasionally fascinating nuances and continually astute insights are marred by persistent musical tedium and hollowness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When musicians play with each other for years, they build an intuitive understanding of their creative sensibilities. It’s clear that they love making music with each other, and their mutual passion is emblazoned in this deeply compelling batch of heavy rock songs.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Knowing about Matmos’ back catalogue or Schaeffer (or electro-acoustic music in general) isn’t a requirement for getting with Regards Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer; it’s an entertainingly strange, multi-layered immersion on its own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The problem with Headful of Sugar isn’t that it’s bad. It’s that if a band is going to tell people one more time that, “Nothing in this life is really free”, they’d better have a profound, distinctive way of doing it, and Headful of Sugar doesn’t quite get there.