The Guardian's Scores

For 5,482 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 49% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 1989 (Taylor's Version)
Lowest review score: 10 Unpredictable
Score distribution:
5482 music reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stevie Wonder’s Overjoyed (a fittingly ecstatic Iyer homage to Chick Corea’s interpretation) is unfolded over a rocking left hand and Tyshawn Sorey’s crackling polyrhythms, sparking one of several breathtakingly headlong Iyer solos on the set, coolly placing fragments and twists of the original theme into the onrush despite its scorching pace.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In truth, Lytle’s crestfallen songs – sung in plaintive sigh suggesting Brian Wilson channelling Charlie Brown’s existential angst – are a seductive joy, and getting lost in his soft-focus happy-sadness is an addictive pleasure all its own.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Not everything on Tangk works, but the vast majority of it does, with an urgency that draws you into its message of positivity: reason enough to break out the freudenfreude.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As per usual, the actual music is hard to hear over the accompanying clamour, but if you strain your ears you can make out an album that’s an improvement on 2021’s Donda. It’s still uneven in a way that occasionally makes you wonder what on earth Volumes 2 and 3 of Vultures are going to sound like.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dissociative, distinctive album.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On paper, All Life Long looks like hard work for anyone whose musical tastes don’t usually dwell on the avant garde fringes. The reality is that it requires virtually no effort on the part of the listener: you just have to let yourself succumb.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It’s all very pleasant if familiar – not as thrilling or groundbreaking as, say, 1976’s Super Ape: Jesus Life all but mirrors Max Romeo’s reggae classic Chase the Devil (recorded with Perry’s band the Upsetters and later sampled by the Prodigy). Still, it’s hard not to be moved by the atypical and lovely Goodbye, which features piano and strings by classical composer Hugo Bechstein.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    relude to Ecstasy is a delight, filled with enough ideas to suggest that they’ll come up with just as many more the next time around: the Last Dinner Party’s confidence may stem less from the hype they’ve provoked than the fact they know how good they are.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The band’s wash of guitars and vocals tap into the renewed interest in shoegaze while also channelling Pixies/Breeders grungy pop and mournful Cure/New Order basslines; their youthful energy and production gloss gives 30-year-old sounds and styles a more contemporary reboot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It makes for an album that’s too involving and engaging and powerful to count as merely more of the same: you leave the turmoil of People Who Aren’t There Anymore feeling moved, rather than jaded.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    What An Enormous Room doesn’t yet fulfil Torres’s stadium-sized promises, but form and ambition align on album highlight I Got the Fear.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Bending Hectic is] one of the best things Yorke and Greenwood have put their names to in at least a decade. Like the rest of Wall of Eyes, it really doesn’t feel interstitial, like a placeholder until the definite article reappears. What that portends for Radiohead’s future – if anything – is arguable; the album’s quality is not.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Halvorson’s fusions of written and spontaneous music reach an entrancing new seamlessness and seductive warmth with this terrific set.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    No wheels are being reinvented here but it’s another tune-filled, uplifting, solid winner.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    So it’s dreamy and fuzzy but sharp, witty and danceable with it; varied but coherent, consistently enjoyable. It’s an album on which Kali Uchis sounds not just like an artist who is now doing exactly what she wants, but one who also knows exactly what she’s doing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is a slow-burning piece that encourages us to view time in geological rather than human terms – the rapturous, otherworldly sounds that the planet might continue to make long after humanity’s extinction.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Musically, the album isn’t dark at all. It’s overwhelmingly lovely, with classy hooks and rousing choruses.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I Get Into Trouble is a generous and deeply emotional record that embodies what Zietsch does so well: offering the listener a window into her most vulnerable thoughts, while also holding a mirror to the social structures that have led her there. Through this album, Zietsch bears witness to both herself and the world.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    McRae is still fitting a lot of currently popular boxes without escaping them. There are highlights, but the overwhelming impression is of placeholder pop, filling space until something different comes along.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s a lovely intimacy and openness to songs such as When I Hold You in My Arms and while his voice has lost some of the old youthful power, it has gained in tenderness, nuance, humanity and warmth.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It may be as imperfect as Pink Friday was, but Pink Friday 2 offers more than enough supporting evidence to make the latter claims sound like anything but hollow boasts.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There’s not nearly enough of that bullish intensity on The First Time, and far too many songs like Too Much, an A&R-by-numbers team-up with the BTS member Jung Kook and the behemoth UK drill rapper Central Cee.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    i/o
    It’s dense and rewarding and has more interesting things to say than the earnest but pat song titles – Live and Let Live, Love Can Heal – suggest.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is a remarkably exposing record that showcases Ntuli’s mastery of her instruments. Opener Sunrise (In California) sets the tone, shifting through Robert Glasper-style chord progressions, while its counterpart Sunset (In California) taps into the plaintive phrasing crafted by the father of South African piano jazz, Abdullah Ibrahim.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There’s no obvious storyline to Clarke’s cinematic adventure, just the same note of dread ringing throughout. But the righteous Blackleg provides an emotional hinge to this largely wordless album, setting a scab-bashing miners’ song from 19th-century Northumberland to a pitch-dark chasm of drones.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Rockstar might have got away with the obviousness of its material if it had opted to do something interesting with it, but virtually every cover here seems to have been made as close to the original version as possible.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His lyrics tend to overshadow his skills as a tunesmith or his musical eclecticism, but if you listen to the more manageable two-CD set, you’re struck by how melodically strong and varied his output sounds.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The trouble with using simple riffs is that they can easily skew naive or simply dull; too often in the quieter sections, the duo opt for ponderous arpeggiated runs of notes that make their songs feel pedestrian rather than merely slow. But when they bring in groove (as on Woe), or let noise fill up the space – be it shredded or screamed – they carry the listener aloft to a hard-won clarity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These dozen tracks have a pure, hymnal quality. Rather than sounding bleak or dark you can hear the healing process under way.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Listening to the album feels like witnessing a fireworks display, each song exploding to reveal intricate patterns before quickly vanishing as the next one launches.