Spin's Scores

  • Music
For 4,152 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Phantom Power
Lowest review score: 0 They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
Score distribution:
4152 music reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Port of Miami 2 further cements Ross as a mainstay among the aging elite—those rappers whose names now carry them further than their music does. Playing it safe with the sequel to his far more ambitious debut LP, Ross regurgitates that which people have come to love from him, or at least have accepted as his standard.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An ambitious but interior new sound. On i,i, Bon Iver’s expanding universe feels at once new and familiar. ... Vernon is still the dominant creative force, but on i,i, he steps confidently into the role of curator and conductor (an approach he may have adopted from his work with Kanye West). The result of this collective energy is an album that’s both frank and easygoing, reveling in the magic of close personal relationships.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A swaggering, electric, and passion-fueled statement that lives up to the towering persona being put forth at its outset. ... African Giant is easily Burna Boy’s most cohesive and strongest project, with even the diverse list of guest stars—from Damien Marley to Nigerian rapper Zlatan to Jeremih and Future—being used expertly without overkill. Burna Boy is the true star at the center.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Purple Mountains was produced and accompanied by Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle of Woods, with eight other musicians filling the gaps. The arrangements, some of the most gracious Berman’s ever had, hum and glow with foggy organs and soft golden horns. Their serenity is at odds with his desperation: This is a portrait of a shattered man.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His voice emerges from the din only occasionally, embodying the sound of ANIMA itself: half-man, half-machine, totally immersed in the beat.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bandana isn’t a sequel so much as another helping of what worked so well the first time: a selection of Madlib’s finest beats, cave-aged and peppered with the same Gibbsian blend of lighthearted flexing and street philosophy. It’s a more refined take on a proven formula, with sterling track after sterling track cementing Gibbs and Madlib as a remarkably effective duo.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is Help Us Stranger, the group’s richest batch of songs to date.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest distinguishes itself in Callahan’s catalog not just by its subject matter, but also by the holism of its compositions. Paradoxically, they achieve their feeling of tossed-off informality through an astounding intricacy of form.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    They’re about the feeling--everything tween inside every grown adult, and thus they are still unmistakably Carly even as she tries on new sounds. When Dedication falters it’s in the latter half, where her producers seem to be trying to chase pop, or at least Spotify “airplay,” by making her sound like everyone else.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What first makes the record baffling is also what makes it fascinating, as the band toes the line between experimentation and self-sabotage. They wring maximum potential from bizarre ideas.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    A mediocre album without the ambition to flirt with the terrible, Beauty Marks manages to land in the middle of Ciara’s discography when boldness is required.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For listeners coming into the album without knowledge of its overarching concept, PROTO is also full of pop-forward compositions that are striking in their own right. ... For a record about the development of machine cognition, PROTO is remarkably human at every turn.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The lyrics are certainly emotional, as he says, but there’s an immediacy to them that feels new for DeMarco, and it doesn’t always suit the music.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    What we’re left with is a stylistically stimulating album that further fleshes and mellows out the band’s peppy, preppy sound, shading it towards country music and acoustic stoner-rock--the sort of thing you might hear at, say, an impromptu Earth Day concert in a park.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It moves according to the oblique logic of the subconscious, entering your mind through the back door. A newfound attention to space has allowed Big Thief to expand their palette even as they’ve brought the volume down.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While We Wait has more features than the nearly all-Kehlani SweetSexySavage, but the guests acquit themselves best when they’re subsumed into the mood, like neo-soul throwback Musiq Soulchild and a relatively chill Ty Dolla $ign. Where the ballads on SweetSexySavage were very period-accurate--in that they were often filler--on While We Wait they’re the standouts.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even more than on FLOTUS, the vocal effects and electronic textures of This (Is What I Wanted to Tell You) create a fractured and sometimes staggeringly beautiful sonic environment for his songwriting, which is as strong as ever here.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their most fascinating record to date, and possibly their best as well.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When I Get Home, on the one hand, is a portrait of Solange, following the success of A Seat at the Table, leaning to the point of falling into all the most pretentious aspects of that record. On the other, When I Get Home is a complex and fascinating exercise in reconfiguring a whole history of black music for the post-modern age. ... Yes, When I Get Home is overbearing in the way it wants to announce itself as art, but the album also makes that easy to forgive.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The music is stately and nocturnal guitar pop, arranged precisely and played with quiet conviction, as sure of its purpose as the song’s narrator seems unsure of theirs.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    None of the songs on the Black Album are as garish, horrifying, or catchy as “Beverly Hills,” nor as totally committed to a one-dimensional concept as those of the White Album. By contrast, the Black Album sounds scattered, as if the comedy is beginning to lose definition.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    On every track, the mad-libs are paired with stylistically diverse arrangements--and invariably plodding tempos. The album’s lone sugar spike is “Dumb Blonde,” a rehashed “Girlfriend” that features a phoned-in Nicki Minaj guest verse midway through and, for some reason, a pre-chorus melody yanked from Lipps, Inc.’s “Funky Town.” In spite of everything, Head Above Water offers one brief moment where Lavigne’s emotional alchemy assumes a bolder musical form that’s properly befitting of her powerhouse vocals and enduring authenticity: the opening stunner of a title track.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    At times the writing struggles to keep pace: The concepts behind songs like “needy” and “fake smile” are as relatable as they are predictable, and begin to stretch thin after a couple of minutes. Still, there is an awful lot to like.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The relatively trim Buoys winds up feeling as minor as 2018’s A Day With the Homies EP, despite being twice as long and bearing far higher expectations.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a record that sounds like it could be performed in living rooms, in department store foyers, on mall stages, at any moment, anywhere. The songwriting stands strong enough that the context of the music matters less and less, and the instrumentation becomes secondary to the tonal and lyrical moves--chamber music for the microdosing set.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Remind Me Tomorrow turns on thoughts of growing older and reflecting on the past, resulting in some of Van Etten’s most mature lyrics to date. Most bittersweet is “Seventeen,” which applies radiant clarity to the hazy, faded production aesthetic of a band like the War on Drugs. Even when swamped in overproduction, Van Etten’s performances are uniformly the best of her career, and Congleton for once gives her the perfect amount of space.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For such crackling peaks, there are also times where it seems Blake has found himself at the forefront of a heady new genre, trap-schmaltz. ... Despite those shortcomings, Assume Form stands as Blake’s most coherent statement to date. The Spartan singer-songwriter tropes of his debut, the half-baked collabs of Overgrown, and the overlong The Colour in Anything fall away to reveal a more dynamic Blake.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though A Brief Inquiry is just as dizzying and disorienting as 2016’s heroically omnivorous i love it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, the 1975 take themselves a little more seriously now.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album reasserts his status as a uniquely fascinating rapper. On Some Rap Songs, he’s making the most adventurous and exciting music of his career so far.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you come to this collection strictly as a fan of one particular period, you may have to work to appreciate the others. An Artist’s Legacy is certainly comprehensive, but it fails to highlight any common threads that might help us navigate Cornell’s long and varied career.