The Most Underrated Albums in Pitchfork Review History


With its authoritative numerical scores, definitive-sounding Best New Music designation and reliable daily volume of reviews, online magazine Pitchfork has positioned itself as a trusted arbiter of what music matters for a certain generation of readers. Its end-of-year and end-of-decade lists are reliable sources for finding great music, and, while the site has gained a reputation for elitism in some circles, it's ultimately pretty good at pushing the things worth paying attention to to the forefront of discussion.

At the same time, the scientific exactitude of a decimal score can invite dismissiveness, offering an easy benchmark for readers to decide whether or not music is worth their attention. Inevitably, some worthwhile albums slip through the cracks and get passed over in day-to-day listening, their low scores masking their redeeming qualities or underselling their unique charm. The albums on this list aren't all lost classics or even necessarily forgotten gems, but rather albums that Pitchfork didn't hype as much as they deserved, albums that were more interesting than their score implied or simply albums that were numerically underrated. It's time to set the record straight.

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  • DapperRapper

    That “Eager Beaver” line DEF made sense if you were a smart person.. but hey who said anything about pitchfork having smart people over there right? #Justsayin

  • OfCourse

    who are you to give a deserved score?
    pnp needs to step up their game….seriously

  • RascalRT

    i lost it at nicki minaj….this site is becoming a joke.
    and lil wayne’s project….seriously? cmon now.
    a joke..

  • Dabble

    Pitchfork just tries to get more hits on their site by giving popular bands bad reviews (Mumford and Sons)

  • OC

    super bass the best song in the past few years too? man..this some bull

  • Dabble

    Two chains!

  • Trueshit

    Eminem – Recovery ya bish

  • Jesse Bowman

    but m&s is really bad

  • ONMY88SHiT

    They got the Blueprint 3 review right tho.. that shit was garbage, no way that should’ve been a 7.5

  • The Tune

    Great call on “A Rush of Blood to the Head.” Wonderful album that doesn’t get enough credit between mainstream listeners who still think Coldplay is “gay” and indie fans who are too cool for it.

  • Drew Kaufmann

    I go to pnp for new music and occasionally interesting editorials not for music reviews

  • maidentaiwan

    aaaaand that’s why you don’t write for pitchfork.

  • Rob J Hyland Monks

    I actually agree with most of the Pitchfork reviews you picked out here (of the albums I own). The notable exception would be the rather ludicrous 1.6 awarded for CAMP.

  • honsty

    coldplay, roots and possibly childish i can agree with

  • Jared M.

    good article, especially with your points about Discovery, and Demon Days.

  • sid

    these are all just albums that you guys thought should have been rated better. are there any that pitchfork rated too favorably that you thought were terrible? all you’re really doing otherwise is saying pitchfork is too critical. thats not really news.

  • Lucas Ross

    Pitchfork has emotionally driven hipsters as writers who won’t give a record the acclaim it deserves because it’s “too mainstream” or the fact that Donald Glover is also a comedian so they dismiss the fact that he can make a seriously good album. Sometimes I wonder if they even give a thorough listen to the records they review.

  • RBS

    Blueprint 3 deserved an even lower rating. Probably the worst album from a good rapper of all time.

  • RBS

    Recovery is fucking garbage.

  • Shraffi LéCamel

    pitchfork is awesome–i don’t think the point of this post is to hate on them. more just to point out that at times they give ridiculously low ratings to great projects just for the fuck of it. of course they’ve got intelligent people writing those articles because they actually make money!

  • Edward

    They did that shit to Babbletron ‘s Mechanical Royalty. That tape was bitched about and rated 4.something. You be lucky to hear emcees that skilled these days or even back in the early 2000s

  • Ari

    Pitchfork is garbage, they’re full of critics who are probably talentless hacks who probably tried to make it themselves and failed, and now they rip on other artists who are actually talented that aren’t crazy or hood.

    Pitchfork reviewed, case closed:

  • CDGG

    Mumford and Sons is a bit generous…..for P4K

  • MrMeowgi

    Pitchfork really is a joke. They seem to think it’s cool to just rag on everything and give low scores to everything. Coldplay is a good example. A 5.1 on probably their best album? Seriously? They also gave a 4.4 to their most recent album, Ghost Stories. While it isn’t their best album, I hardly think a 4.4 is justified.

    Another recent review gave a 6.3 to Neil Young’s A Letter Home. The head-scratching thing here is that the review itself is actually overwhelmingly positive in notes. It’s like the score contradicts the actual review. Which begs the question, do these tards just give low scores on everything whether they like the music or not? Is it just the “cool” thing for them to do?

    The new Pixies albums got a 1.0 and a 2.0 and from what I could gather, the reasoning was that it “didn’t sound like Pixies.” Not necessarily that the music was bad or anything, but that it sounded like a modern indie band and not like they used to. Does a band not earn the right to evolve their style? Especially a band that hasn’t put anything out in over 20 years? A 1.0 and 2.0 is an unbelievable slap to the band’s face.

    Honestly I think these guys take themselves too seriously as critics. There’s no use in even paying mind to their ratings. They give laughably low ratings just because they can. Anybody who thinks otherwise needs to get out more.

  • MrMeowgi

    I’d say it’s probably their best album. Very very underrated. But then again, the band itself is very underrated, especially by critics like the ones over at Pitchfork who think it’s cool to just tear them down for whatever reason.

    A good critic needs to be completely unbiased, but it’s very clear that Pitchfork has issues on that front. Their reviews constantly reek of personal opinion.

  • MrMeowgi

    If you notice sometimes they pick out lyrics from a particular song and criticize them. Is this what they’ve devolved to? Picking out individual lines in a song to find a reason to hate on the album? It really feels like some of their writers are given an album, give that album a low score, and then spend the entire review trying to justify the score by picking apart individual songs and lyrics.

  • this dude

    hm no …like clockwork

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