The New York Times' Scores

For 2,017 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 55% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Score distribution:
2017 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    “Harry’s House” is a light, fun, summery pop record, but there is a gaping void as its center; by its end, the listener is inclined to feel more intimately acquainted with the objects of his affections than the internal world of the titular character himself.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It is an album that aims to repel, or if not quite that, then at least is at peace with alienating some of its audience. ... [The album] often feels insular, lyrically and musically. “Mr. Morale” is probably Lamar’s least tonally consistent work. ... Rangy and structurally erratic, full of mid-song beat switches, sorrowful piano and a few moments of dead air.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    WE
    Despite its occasional moments of brilliance, “We” too often finds Arcade Fire stuck in a digital maze of its own design, ignoring the fact that it’s always sounded more at home off the grid.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “Blue Water Road” instead radiates delicate warmth. In a creamy, full-throated voice, Kehlani exudes a tenderness not felt since their 2017 studio album, “SweetSexySavage.” ... But it’s Kehlani’s candid ruminations on queer desire and estrangement that resonate the deepest here.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [“Livin’ for the Ones”] draws a life force from mourning, countering petty impulses toward lethargy or self-pity with the blunt recognition of so many lives lost. ... Another kind of solace after death arrives in the quietly poignant title track of “Just Like That…”. ... The rest of the album features Raitt’s more typical fare: songs about love lost and found, about getting together or drifting apart.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “Warm Chris” is an offbeat, infectious and ultimately liberating invitation to stop making sense.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The new album presents Hval at her most approachable, with upbeat tunes and consonant sounds, both acoustic and electronic.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Throughout “Ants From Up Here,” and through the course of every song, Black Country, New Road tests and reinvents itself, creating music that sounds both intricately plotted and precarious.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    She’s constantly observing and interrogating herself. Her melodies are long-breathed and deliberate, sung with calm determination, while the arrangements, largely constructed by Mitski and her longtime producer Patrick Hyland, veer between austere, exposed meditations and perky, danceable propulsion.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Another collection of all originals, it is just as unrelenting as “Omega.”
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the lyrics are convoluted, the music simply charges ahead. Like so many pandemic albums, “The Boy Named If” was pieced together remotely. ... Yet the Imposters sound gleefully, brutally unified, every bit as bristling as the Attractions on “This Year’s Model” or the Imposters on “When I Was Cruel” in 2002.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    “Dawn FM,” his fifth major-label album, is sleek and vigorous and also, again, a light reimagining of what big-tent music might sound like now, in an era when most global stars have abandoned the concept.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The “Unlocked” songs sound like public performances, neat and armored and solidly 4/4, more locked than unlocked. The “Originals” hint at freer, messier, closer, unresolved feelings, daringly unguarded — and thoroughly, openly human.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    30
    Even as she sings about desperation and uncertainty, on “30” Adele’s voice is more supple and purposeful than ever, articulating every consonant and constantly ornamenting her melodies without distracting from them. Details are fastidious.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Mars and Paak] flaunt skill, effort and scholarship, like teacher’s pets winning a science-fair prize; they also sound like they’re having a great time. Silk Sonic comes across as a continuation for Mars and a playfully affectionate tangent for Paak.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    “Valentine,” her remarkable second album as Snail Mail, is alive with such crackling and revelatory emotion.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately, “=” neither adds to nor subtracts from the trusty formula for success that he long ago worked out. It is the sleek sound of stasis.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This layered approach makes PinkPantheress’s debut album, the warmly ecstatic and cheekily gloomy “To Hell With It,” so striking. It’s short, controlled and lived-in. ... On some new songs, though, like “Reason” and “All My Friends Know,” the balance is slightly off: She sounds more firmly embedded in the music, not quite riding atop it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    “In These Silent Days” consolidates Carlile’s strengths: musical, writerly, maternal, political.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The 10-song collection is a fluid excursion through the contours of trip-hop, noise, R&B and electronic music, but even prohibitive genre categories cannot capture its free-flowing depth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lil Nas X has little interest in deconstructing the conventional structures of a pop song or the traditional narrative arc of an album: He clearly wants these songs of queer yearning to be legible to the mainstream. Working mostly with the production duo Take A Daytrip — who favor melodic hooks and bright, flashy sounds — “Montero” funnels the more fluid and outré aesthetics of SoundCloud rap into familiar pop-musical shapes.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    She never appears to be singing to convince you — her voice, which is modest in scale but deadly precise, connotes the power of malaise and exhaustion. It is regret embodied.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album struggles to truly innovate: “Jose” is an itinerant, unfocused effort that offers an impressionistic inventory of the sounds that have established him as a force: pop-reggaeton, trap and EDM. ... “Jose” colors inside the lines, safeguarding Balvin’s reign by reveling in the familiar.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It demonstrates how sonically rigorous even the most casual, tossed-off Drake songs are. But its storytelling doesn’t always hold up to strict scrutiny. ... “Certified Lover Boy” is his least musically imaginative album, the one where he pushes himself the least in terms of method and pattern.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    As a Kanye West album, it feels more like a stabilization than an innovation. ... [The album] is sonically cohesive but also overlong and full of heavily assembled songs — multiple producers and writers, a bounty of male guests. West has long been shifting into conductor mode, and on several songs here, he is the ballast but not the focus.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Even when Halsey returns to first-person through most of the album, their lyrics are less confessional, more general, as if they have stepped back from immediate conflicts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Every song on “Solar Power” pulls from a similar and finely curated aesthetic — early 2000s “CW”-theme-song pop; sun-drenched ’70s folk; just a pinch of Kabbalah-era Madonna — and rarely draws outside those lines, let alone picks up differently hued crayons. ... “Solar Power” stops just short of offering a full, varied range of expressions.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    During its slower stretches, “Happier Than Ever” languishes. ... The risks start to pay off, though, on the album’s strong closing stretch, beginning as the warping “NDA” segues into the brash posturing of “Therefore I Am,” one of several lukewarm singles that benefits from the surrounding context of the album. ... Eilish remains an inveterate rebel. “Happier Than Ever,” though, exposes both the strengths and the limitations of her preferred mode of subversion.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “Welcome 2 America” balances hard insights with visceral joys.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gold-Diggers Sound” — named after the Los Angeles studio where the album was made — is more confidently single-minded [than his previous albums].