Rolling Stone's Scores

For 5,386 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 33% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 64% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 6.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Purple Rain [Deluxe Expanded Edition]
Lowest review score: 0 Scream
Score distribution:
5386 music reviews
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On Getting Into Knives, Darnielle shows that the Mountain Goats’ toolkit is always expanding, and his tools are getting sharper all the same.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Coherence has never really been a hallmark of the Gorillaz aesthetic anyway, but this set of songs isn’t a mess, either; several moments offer interesting cross-generational riffs on U.K. music history. ... As always, Albarn’s ability to create dubby, drifting synthetic beauty — a kind of futurist pastoralism — remains a key ingredient to his music’s distracted wonder.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At its best, Fake It Flowers is right up there with the first Veruca Salt record or That Dog’s Totally Crushed Out in its ability to fuse pensive elation, sugary guitar charge, and sweet pop melodies.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In the years since Petty released his 1994 classic album, he slowly revealed, on-stage and in interviews, more about the darkly personal inspirations for the record, this retrospective box does the same for the sprawling, bursting creative process that went into making Wildflowers. It’s the definitive artistic statement that newly illuminates one of the most fruitful, inspired periods of the American legend’s career.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Springsteen sounds at peace. Although the LP doesn’t sport the same youthful urgency as the recordings he cut in the Seventies and Eighties — there’s no “Badlands” or “Cover Me” here — you can hear how the anger and depression of his tougher times and his many split personalities delivered him to stability, and the most fascinating parts of Letter to You are when he comes out of the shadows to admit that he realizes it, too.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The record’s only failing is Weiner’s instinct for maximalism. Many of Private Lives’ 17 tracks are one- or two-minute segues that don’t sound so much like intervals as undercooked songs; it’s like songs that Low Cut Connie could have developed but just felt they had to release to fill two albums. But these are easily skippable, and there’s enough top-shelf Connie here that a few speed bumps don’t slow it down too much.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The most interesting stuff here is in the Blackberry Way Demos, some of which came out on a previous expanded edition of the album. ... Even the collection’s rough mixes — usually the most over larded part of a box set — offer new insights.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While SM1 was ineffable and mystic, Savage Mode II spells out its influences and its place in the canon of Southern rap.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    On Tickets To My Downfall he tries a new gambit that works surprisingly well, switching to late-Nineties/early-2000s pop punk, with Blink 182’s Travis Barker producing and playing drums. Trashily lachrymose and full of easily digestible angst.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If there’s one downside to the album, it’s that it’s too short. At just eight tracks, the high has barely kicked in before the party is over, and The Album leaves you wanting more: more grit, more experimentation, and yes, more than eight songs.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sign ‘O’ the Times was an eclectic funk-pop-rock-R&B-gospel-novelty hodgepodge of songs about love, sex, and Jesus that sounds awful on paper — what great record this side of Little Richard could include the phrase “green eggs and ham,” as Prince deadpanned on “Housequake,” and still work? — yet it was a masterpiece. Its very lack of focus was its greatest strength. ... It’s impossible to trace his thought process, which makes it all the more exciting to find the diamonds he left in the vault.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The most heartening thing about this record isn’t the critical takes, it’s the guys bringing the noise.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With the exception of “Wasted,” with its hard-rock guitar and raging solo, there’s a gentleness and a sweetness to The Waterfall II that is easy to get lost in.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Blue Hearts gushes more piss and vinegar than Stanley Kubrick could fill a hallway with, but what makes it jaw-dropping is the precision with which Mould has focused his ire on conservatives, evangelicals, homophobes, while leaving room for some self-criticism as well. ... Blue Hearts often feels like a lost Hüsker Dü album with Mould howling invective over his buzzsawing guitar.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pecknold has come up with a pleasing album about letting go and being thankful for what we’ve got, be it love in a time of quarantine or an old Silver Jews record.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Alicia is one of her most musically engaging LPs, with production from Mark Ronson, Sampha, Tricky Stewart, and her husband, Swizz Beatz, among other reliable hands. Alicia moves easily between moods and styles.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hearing it reimagined 50 years later, the album’s themes — transcendence, renewal, breaking free of materialism — resonate even more than they did all those years ago.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The 80s-loving Vegas crew delivers its strongest set of songs in years. [Sep 2020, p.68]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Americana firebrand makes a grand rock & roll record worthy of her Bowie jumpsuits. [Sep 2020, 68]
    • Rolling Stone
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Goats Head Soup didn’t — and still doesn’t — sound like what one would have expected from the Stones after Exile. ... The alternate mixes of a few of its songs don’t add terribly much, but the same can’t be said of an instrumental jam on “Dancing with Mr. D,.” which lets you eavesdrop as the band locks into a groove and jams without Jagger. ... The Brussels Affair bristles.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The ska-reggae legend sounds stronger than ever on Got to Be Tough, his first album in more than a decade.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Giving both of these records some distance allows for the songs to have breathing room, and for Whole New Mess to stand on its own.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    With Energy, Disclosure continue the refined, radio-friendly takes on house, U.K. garage, and more that made them stars, but find plenty of room to expand into new territory.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At its heart, Down in the Weeds is a wounded, hopeful take on the Los Angeles midlife-crisis record (he moved there a few years ago). It’s a topic well-suited for Oberst’s abstract cynicism, as he tackles crumbling SoCal interstates, Malibu beach disasters, and, of course, yoga.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The record flows, hitting knee-skinning highs like “Stuck in Your Head” (“I just wanted to pick up the tempo!” Bognanno sing-songs as the band counts off), barn-burners like “You” (about, it seems, an absent parent) and the hauntingly discordant “Hours and Hours.” Whatever the subject matter, whatever the tempo, each track finds Bognanno full-throated, wild and free.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All of the pieces in the box set complete a puzzle that explains how McCartney found himself again and hit the stride that has propelled him to the present day.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Although they indulge more textures this time, they don’t stray so far from Dogrel’s art-punk blueprint to the point of losing themselves. It’s just that the palette is wider and more pronounced. If anything, their chiming, noisy guitars and messy arrangements only fit their highfalutin aspirations even better.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But the real surprise is the music itself — the most head-spinning, heart-breaking, emotionally ambitious songs of her life.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The album shines brightest when Juice stops navel-gazing, when he tempers his fatalism with a sense of hope and togetherness, the yang to his depressive yin.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Their fifth album is pure misanthropic splendor. [Jul 2020, p.87]
    • Rolling Stone