The A.V. Club's Scores

For 4,483 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 64% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Kala
Lowest review score: 0 The Great Escape Artist
Score distribution:
4483 music reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Given that none of the tracks on Path Of Wellness are eager to commit to any one style, the blend of influences almost feels like a conversation.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    While Half-Light feels more apt to be listened to under twinkling stars, Changephobia is a fitting record for sunny summer days, leaning into a stripped-down sound that combines pop with jazz.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Soberish starts off strong, opening with the infectious “Spanish Doors” and building to “Hey Lou,” whose chorus is the most invasive earworm on an album that has plenty of them. ... And while the orchestral elements add some much-needed texture, too many of the songs unfold at the same midtempo pace, an effect that makes the title track, for one, seem much longer than it actually is.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Her debut record, SOUR, will be a contender for best pop album of the year. There are no filler tracks on SOUR. Each song represents a different side to Rodrigo’s artistry, embracing every influence that’s shaped her music, while still creating something fresh.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is a record in love with the bygone spirits it conjures, and even the sparsest tracks sound like they’ve been punctiliously determined. It’s an album that sounds like it wants to be messy, yet is anything but.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    With tons of great hooks, and minimal cringe, this is the rare Weezer record that is simply fun to listen to, without fear of having to jump for the “skip” button every couple of songs.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    She has launched the re-recorded Fearless (Taylor’s Version), adding a mellifluous upgrade to an already remarkable album. Sure, it works as a throwback, but it’s mainly a showcase of Swift’s mature, confident vocals, with a sharper sense of musicianship and instrumentation this time around.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    “Tulsa Jesus Freak” is arguably closest to the Lana Del Rey longtime fans know and love, and it’s no surprise that it was written in 2019, around the time NFR! came out. “Yosemite” is another highlight, a stunning number with Del Rey’s vocals at their best. But most songs on Chemtrails don’t stand out. They blend together in their delicateness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Lout is a difficult EP to place. It’ll either entice long-standing fans with its heavier sound, fitting well with the band’s aesthetic, or alienate those who prefer the band’s early work. But this reinvention of The Horrors somehow works.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With Little Oblivions, the singer-songwriter has made her most cohesive record yet. The resuscitation of a heavier sound works in Baker’s favor, while she still adds hints of the fragile gentleness that has captivated fans since her Sprained Ankle days.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    While the band’s smoothness may mirror the gentrification of the dive bars it once canonized, its empathy and affection for the dirtbags yearning for transcendence remains as strong as ever.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Heartbreak, anger, acceptance, new love, mental health, and hope converged into something a little more well-rounded. Flowers For Vases, for all its beauty, appears single-minded in comparison, focusing solely on pain-tinged recollection and the challenge of moving forward. But if Williams chooses to spend some extra time wading through the uncomfortable emotions that mark a particular breakup—especially when those feelings make way for more personal growth—then it’s a worthwhile bit of exploration.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It’s solid, in other words—which isn’t damning with faint praise, rather affirming that Weezer is nailing this material. It’s in the slower, more balladry-driven songs that OK Human (the latest in a long line of stupid reference-heavy album titles, this time nodding at Radiohead’s classic) finds its openly beating heart.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    evermore is even better than folklore, thanks to greater sonic cohesion (Antonoff only has one production credit, on the superlative “Gold Rush,” leaving the bulk of the music produced or co-produced by Aaron Dessner) and stronger songwriting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Fortunately, midway through the record, McCartney III starts to soar. When he’s not pouring his heart out into silly love songs, McCartney fares best harnessing his seldom-seen inner rage, à la “Helter Skelter.”
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Positions isn’t a perfect album (and far from an instant classic in the vein of Sweetener or Thank U, Next), but the LP is a more-than-worthy stepping stone to whatever comes next for the artist.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His new record Letter To You is an absolute triumph, one that can take its place alongside the best albums of Springsteen’s long career.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A bloated and often beautiful portrait of political and emotional anxiety that longs for nothing more than to break away from the systems that brought us to this current moment.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    So yes, Katy Perry has grown up, but in doing so, she’s abandoning some of the best things about “Katy Perry.”
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Unlike the singer’s rootsy solo work, Down In The Weeds is rich in what brought many of us to Bright Eyes in the first place: the drama. ... There’s the mature reflection he intertwines with his urgency. There’s his hard-fought optimism. And there’s the embrace of community, the sense that Oberst doesn’t want to stare down these songs alone.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    In the end, folklore may or may not reflect a permanent musical shift for Taylor Swift. But it doesn’t necessarily need to be a grand step forward—that it’s a whimsical and intriguing album offering new insights into Swift’s work is completely enough.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Whether she intended to do so or not, Phoebe Bridgers has created a musical monument to our dissociative age with Punisher. It’s an album about sleepless nights and sinking feelings in the pit of your stomach, wrapped in a musical package that’s both feather-light and lush enough to run your fingers through.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    “Enigma” really is a fitting word for Gaga. Her choices can be puzzling, and not every song is a success, but that unpredictability is what makes her exciting and leaves us coming back for more. So maybe Gaga doesn’t know who she truly is yet. It’s still enjoyable to watch her figure it out.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Notes On A Conditional Form feels less like a 1975 album than it does a hodgepodge collection of songs by a band trying on various sonic identities to see what fits. If anything, to understand and appreciate the record, don’t approach it as an album-length statement from one band, but as a personalized, diverse playlist curated by a favorite human tastemaker.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The intensity and diversity of Part 1 hinted at even more bombastic and unexpected songs to come on Part 2, which instead mostly continues the sound he already mastered on Aromanticism. It’s not that Part 2’s songs aren’t gorgeous and poignant; it’s just that, given Sumney’s unwavering focus on shattering longtime boundaries, Part 2’s songs occupy shockingly familiar musical territory.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Though it contains mere hints of the scrappy rocker we’ve watched for 15 years, Petals Of Armor is the bold signature of someone who is more than ready to show off different sides of herself—yet has nothing left to prove to anyone.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    If there’s a downside to the electricity in Williams’ veins on Good Souls Better Angels, it’s that the gentler material doesn’t have quite the same impact.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fetch The Bolt Cutters is full of visceral, jittery, wonderfully imperfect performances that make the album feel like a dreamlike concert at Largo.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    If you can get past the pall cast by that song’s sentiment, I Am Not A Dog On A Chain features some of Morrissey’s best songs in years, and a couple of his worst. It leans—in weird but not unwelcome ways—on electronics more than any record he’s ever done.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This is the sound of a band working hard to evolve, and if the strain of incorporating such a large swath of musical experimentation occasionally shows, well, maybe that’s the cost of attempting new tricks at an advanced age. Never let it be said that the band embraced different sounds at the expense of its tried-and-true formulas, however. Part of what makes Gigaton fascinating is the way these sonic departures actually fuse in unexpected ways with some of the band’s traditional four-on-the-floor stompers.