Paste Magazine's Scores

For 3,146 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 75
Highest review score: 100 Illinois
Lowest review score: 10 Songs From Black Mountain
Score distribution:
3146 music reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    At their best, Shiny matches the sheer majesty and emotional depth of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. At their worst, they sound like a third-tier Muse cover band (“Seek And You Shall Destroy” is a particularly low track).
    • 57 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Mumford and Son resisted the temptation to upend their sound for more commercial ends, with an album of carefully chosen material and plumbing even deeper declinations for lyrical insight. It’s a strategy that pays off; along with increasing anticipation, it results in a better set of songs overall.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Instead of muscling through on charisma and bluster, this guy pushes himself in new directions and ends up with perhaps his best solo album since 2002’s The Instigator.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Grace doesn’t graduate from punk on Bought To Rot--she expands and elevates it with explicit revelations, fervent melodies, head-banging chord progressions and unruffled tenacity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Though it slips occasionally into a humdrum loop, Darker Days is a solid indie rock album that’s sure to please PB&J’s fans as much as your run-of-the-mill radio listener.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Elastic Days is Mascis at his most playful and fun, further adding to one of the most accomplished back catalogues in the history of indie rock.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The cream of this set is the five full concerts captured at different junctions of the group’s existence. All are near perfect, breaking down with clarity how tightly controlled they approached live performance and elucidating how R.E.M. evolved from the jangle and fidget of Chronic Town to the agitated rock and lucid beauty of Accelerate. ... The set isn’t a complete picture of R.E.M.’s full evolution as it skips over the post-Reckoning years.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Bridgers stans a noirish, haunting, folk-pop, Baker an emotionally-scorching rock and Dacus a literary take on guitar music. On boygenius, however, the three become one, miraculously and pristinely so. Bridgers, Baker and Dacus pack a novel’s worth of narrative and as many masterful melodies (not to mention harmonies) into just 21 minutes that will leave you feeling as if you’ve had the wind knocked right out of you.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 64 Critic Score
    Dionysus is a great album to play while relaxing, or, even better melting into a deep meditation. It’s short by contemporary standards, coming in at just over 36 minutes total, so don’t expect to plan a whole dinner party around it, but it’s perfectly suited for the main course. Just don’t expect Dionysus to show up when this is played--it’s too cluttered to work as the intended invocation, a showtunes version of ritual celebration.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 77 Critic Score
    Though Cash refrains from direct political speech on this record, she offers solace amid the political unrest, choosing to focus on personal connection rather than polarization as we near the end of a chaotic, divisive year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    This particular setlist was thoughtfully curated to engage his devoted listenership, who, at this show, sang along to his lyrics in sublime, chill-inducing unison. This live record heedfully honors a legendary venue, beloved songwriter and an evolving South.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 77 Critic Score
    Ryder-Jones is trying to put himself back together throughout the lines of Yawn, but his affecting songs, nostalgia-swathed observations and unabashed vulnerability will inadvertently help you heal too.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    He takes a minimalist approach to the nine songs on Starter Home, focusing mostly on acoustic guitar and his warm, slightly rumpled voice. There are adornments here and there from violin, keyboards and steel guitar, which add texture and atmosphere to songs that seem unassuming until you listen closely enough to hear just how devastating they are.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    She handcrafts everyday situations into something angelic yet relatable and celebratory yet poignant. Her appeal extends well beyond the realms of pop as there’s a distinct, developed lyrical voice and a dynamic, extraordinary literal voice that makes 2018 feel much less scary and isolating and much more pure and magical.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Pleasureland is an unexpected turn for McCallum, but an interesting exercise in autonomy and expectations. The result is a slight 27 minutes that manages to contain worlds—of emotion, texture, and feeling. No words needed.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Honey is a near-flawless dance pop album. It doesn’t need political or cultural commentary to assert relevancy; in Robyn’s deep understanding of human emotion and what moves us, Honey feels dire all the same. Release through dance has long been a tactic wielded by humankind, but rarely has it felt this inclusive, kind and positively radiant.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 79 Critic Score
    A dream-pop icon teaming up with a protégé on an album of western(-ish) songs is probably not a collaboration anyone was looking for, but if Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre was unexpected, it also turns out to be unexpectedly satisfying. They sing well together, they picked interesting songs to interpret and they perform them in a way that is reverent without feeling too earnest.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 78 Critic Score
    Parcels feels miraculously out-of-place, conjuring ghosts of music movements past. But, with its perpetuation of millennial angst and ability to offer release through dance, it does so in a way that feels both necessary and relevant to our present day.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 72 Critic Score
    It shred and stomps ably, but it doesn’t feel special. Instead, it roars by for a half-hour and then it’s gone, and whatever thrills it delivers dissipate quickly.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 65 Critic Score
    Her voice is what stitches these songs together, though what is probably supposed to be evidence of her range often feels like she’s trying on musical costumes. The result is a lack of cohesion that turns Shake the Spirit into a series of genre exercises. They’re impressive for what they are, but there’s not enough depth to merit digging much below the surface.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    This time around, the 11 songs that graced the initial disc, along with two new tracks, provide a serene counterpoint, one that coaxes the listener along and shares some sentiment along the way.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 71 Critic Score
    If at any point you find yourself starting to lose interest, just wait; something good will be along soon to snap you back into head-bobbing bliss.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 81 Critic Score
    Dying Star is a very impressive effort from Kelly, a heretofore little-known Nashville singer-songwriter with a perfectly fine-grit voice and a gift for pairing heavy lyrics with remarkably graceful melodies. Evidence of both appears all over the album, revealing an artist who is not only ready for a slice of the spotlight, but also capable of his own crossover someday.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 68 Critic Score
    If his latest album doesn’t quite rise to the level of Bring the Family or Slow Turning, well, that’s a high bar, and Hiatt is not the same person as he was in his mid-30s. But the past is past, and The Eclipse Sessions is strong enough to make an impression of its own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though Swearin’ are emotionally fully-grown on Fall into the Sun, there’s still ample youthful energy, making it one of the brightest, ruddiest albums you’ll hear this year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 73 Critic Score
    The album feels like a strange reaction to our troubled times, misplaced optimism rubbing uncomfortably against our current straing ubiquitous outrage. It’s not a bad thing to hear Parker sound so nestled into a comfy chair with all his needs met, but it wouldn’t hurt to have him in the trenches with us.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    More illuminating is the accompanying hardcover book that walks through the making of the album and the inspiration behind each track. ... A great companion to the book is the fourth CD in the set, subtitled The Evolution Documentary. ... The remaster of the original album tracks puts you just as close to the feeling of being in the studio as a surround sound version would.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Her ability to make music feel tactile is one of her greatest strengths, and Perfect Shapes is tangible from start to finish.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    This is still Phosphorescent. It’s just that the man behind the wheel is older and a little bit wiser these days. C’est La Vie is bookended by instrumental tracks. ... In between, Houck’s songs are are consistently wide-eyed and wondrous.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 66 Critic Score
    WAX
    It’s a well-crafted album with variety, conviction, skill and Tunstall’s husky, muscular, soulful voice navigating seamlessly between singer-songwriter, pop and fuller-bodied rock. She’s consistent, and there’s nothing terrible here--it’s just not terribly exciting either.

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