The Independent (UK)'s Scores

  • Music
For 2,187 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 COWBOY CARTER
Lowest review score: 0 Donda
Score distribution:
2187 music reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even if you don’t love This Could Be Texas, it’s a hard album not to respect. English Teacher have well and truly arrived: the class had better pay attention.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On Don’t Forget Me, she’s found a beguilingly relaxed momentum.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a record that sucks in all of the band’s best-known sounds and blows them out in a wild confetti blast of twisty-indie-anxious-punk-jazzy-joy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Variously embracing fado, jazzy whiskey-bar blues and tensile, grandiose strings, ... Eastern Esplanade is easily The Libertines’ most expansive and ambitious record.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Their rock’n’roll friends, from Beck to Noel Gallagher, are on hand to lend the album a rabble-rousing tone. Ohio Players sounds like a house party where the whiskey is flowing.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Across 27 tracks, almost all with compellingly muscular melodies, she whips and neigh-neighs through every conceivable form of classic and modern country, roping in elements of opera, rock and hip-hop at her commanding, virtuosic whim. .... Cowboy Carter keeps on dealing aces.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are more hooks here than on Lenker’s previous albums, 2020’s great but ethereal Songs, and its companion album, the lyricless Instrumentals. Tracks like the gentle, mellifluous “Cell Phone Says” showcase Lenker’s skill with a soulful folk guitar riff, while the lively and finger-picked “Fool” is a standout.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The songs on Tigers Blood feel natural and unstudied.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The result is a mixed bag. “La Fuerte” (“The Strong”) would be a forgettable club banger were it not for Shakira’s lyrics, still raw with grief. “Tiempo Sin Verte” and “Como Donde Y Cuando” are more interesting thanks to their minor chord acoustic strums and angsty one-two punch of electric guitar.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Beyond these introductory tracks and a couple of others (“Give It Up for Love” struts to a Nile Rogers beat), the album chugs along at a pleasant mid-tempo pace.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The record’s sprawling R&B slow jams are more likely to inspire snoozing than shagging. Weighing in at a bloated 18 tracks, it’s got the soggy dead weight and wonky springs of a fly-tipped mattress.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Deeper Well is a revelation – as though Musgraves stumbled on an oasis after months in the desert.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While there’s a moreish quality to the off-key guitar of “Imperfect for You” and an unexpectedly golden flush of brass on “Ordinary Things”, Grande’s delicately conversational tone is often left having to compensate for her lack of strong melodic snags.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Bleachers occasionally lets Antonoff’s genius shine through, but more often it feels like an experiment gone awry.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    You’ll hear the recycled riff from the Beatles’ Paperback Writer (“Rain”’s original A side) on their new song “I’m So Bored”; the hook of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” smoking its way through “Love You Forever”; and the brooding melody from the Stones’ “Paint it Black” on “One Day at A Time”. The pair poke fun at their own slapdash songwriting process on “Make it Up as You Go Along”. But still, there’s fun to be had with the way Gallagher tows teenage ‘tude into middle age.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    She’s still in her prime, as you can tell when she delivers a knockout vocal on the guitar-backed ballad “Broken Like Me”. .... But for all her promises to show us the “real her”, it’s a struggle to see it in the slick and sexy production of tracks such as “Mad in Love” or “Rebound”.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    How you feel about that will depend on your threshold for Coming Home’s smooth-bossing seduction style. What Usher lacks by way of foreplay (“I wanna be inside ya/ I’ll be coming” is the album’s second line) he compensates for with stamina: smooching his way through 20 tracks of mostly silky-solid grooves. Coming Home is enlivened by a cool cast of collaborators sharing the mic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Prelude to Ecstasy gleefully delivers.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s wonderful to find so many moreish layers in music that was, apparently, composed so quickly. Grab yourself a bean bag and settle in for the long haul with this one.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Tight and heartfelt if ploddingly unoriginal.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Pink Friday 2 shows flashes of the inventive brilliance that made Nicki such an undeniable superstar, but like so many legacy sequels, it mostly just makes you wish you were listening to the original.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    i/o
    The tracks on i/o grow both on and in a listener like seeds germinating. Those who like their song structures neat and tidy may struggle with the jazz odysseys, but Gabriel asks very little of his fans – just time. Give him that, and you will find this album gently becoming part of you on a cellular level.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His grievances on For All the Dogs seemed exclusively directed at women, causing some to wonder whether we’d ever see a return to his puppyish, boy-next-door type. Scary Hours 3 isn’t that, but it does even the playing field somewhat, not least by praising the women in his life and castigating the men.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Rockstar is so long that it can feel like a bit of a slog.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    So many ideas have gone into I<3UQTINVU that it’s almost a new album in its own right. So while it’s not quite as brilliant as I Love You Jennifer B, it does suggest the restless duo are moving into more thrilling terrain.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    McCartney gives Lennon’s vocals space and prominence, blending his own voice sensitively into that wondrous brotherly harmony we thought we’d never hear afresh again. The lyrics – while reading like a typical holding-pattern Lennon love song until greater inspiration stuck – resonate now after 40 years of loss. .... “Now and Then” is the musical event of the year and one of the greatest tear-jerkers in history.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This revamp does at least serve as a reminder of the album’s untouchable greatness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The album could have been shorter and catchier but fans will feel their cockles warmed and their pulses raised.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Although she’s got the makings of a great songwriter, she needs to push the sounds into sharper corners to give her narratives more distinctive definition. Because this album delivers many shades of grey but never the promised punch of black.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A late-career Exile on Main Street? Their best since the Seventies? Arguably, but such hyperbole undeniably rests on the broad shoulders of the seven-minute “Sweet Sounds of Heaven”, the album’s spectacular spiritual crescendo.