37 albums that music critics really hate, but normal people love

In popular music, negative reviews can often mean nothing to the everyday listener, who will flock to albums that critics have condemned.

To track this disparity, Metacritic provided Business Insider with data about which albums (since the year 2000) have most divided critics and regular listeners, looking at titles with high user scores and low critical averages.

The resulting list includes lesser works from the likes of Michael Jackson and 2Pac, as well as commercially successful but critically maligned acts like Matchbox 20 and Enya.

Check out Metacritic’s 37 albums that people love but critics hate, ranked by an increasing divergence of critic and user scores:


37. The Cult — “Beyond Good & Evil” (2001)

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Critic score: 60/100

User score: 9/10

Difference: 30%

What critics said: “A study in stretching the limits of silliness, cliche and old-school rock’n’roll unreconstruction.” – Mojo


36. Unified Theory —  “Unified Theory” (2000)

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Critic score: 58/100

User score: 8.8/10

Difference: 30%

What critics said: “Like far too many bands whose members bring strong musical pedigrees to the project, Unified Theory’s sum is less than its parts.” – Wall of Sound


35. Tenacious D —  “The Pick of Destiny OST” (2006)

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Critic score: 52/100

User score: 8.2/10

Difference: 30%

What critics said: “The only person this record would ever appeal to is the man who made it – Jack Black.” – NME


34. Staind — “Break The Cycle” (2001)

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Critic score: 55/100

User score: 8.6/10

Difference: 31%

What critics said: “‘Break The Cycle’ is nu-metal as envisaged by Tipper Gore – 14 tracks of parent-friendly grunge-flavoured soft rock that make Creed sound like GG Allin.” – NME


33. Ashanti —  “Chapter II” (2003)

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Critic score: 51/100

User score: 8.2/10

Difference: 31%

What critics said: “There are so many idiotically composed adverts between tracks, you wonder if you haven’t tuned into a local radio station by accident.” – Q Magazine


32. Michelle Branch — “Hotel Paper” (2003)

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Critic score: 57/100

User score: 8.8/10

Difference: 31%

What critics said: “In the course of the album, it’s hard not to notice that all the songs sound the same, and for that matter, they all sound the same as that Avril Lavigne song about the damn cold night.” – Rolling Stone


31. Matchbox Twenty —  “Mad Season” (2000)

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Critic score: 57/100

User score: 8.8/10

Difference: 31%

What critics said: “Music for soccer mums and rich yuppies to play really loud in their BMWs.” – MTV


30. JC Chasez —  “Schizophrenic” (2004)

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Critic score: 57/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “An over-the-top homage to sex whose emotional age equals its bloated number of tracks: 15.” – Spin


29. Christina Aguilera — “Stripped” (2002)

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Critic score: 55/100

User score: 8.7/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “Nü-Mariah on mood stabilizers, extended with pseudo-pastiches of semi-popular songs.” – Village Voice


28. Michael Jackson — “Invincible” (2001)

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Critic score: 51/100

User score: 8.3/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “Jackson has lived a bizarre train-wreck life of mystery and tragedy, but following such a lengthy absence, ‘Invincible’ just reeks of desperation and aimlessness.” – The AV Club


27. Billy Idol —  “Devil’s Playground” (2005)

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Critic score: 52/100

User score: 8.4/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “The bodybuilder’s physique and sneering expression haven’t given way to age; nor has his conviction that singing pedestrian clunk-rock is tantamount to signing on as Satan’s orchestra leader.” – The Guardian


26. Duran Duran — “Astronaut” (2004)

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Critic score: 52/100

User score: 8.4/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “The default setting is funk-pop bombast augmented by horribly dated electronica.” –Blender


25. Frou Frou — “Details” (2002)

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Critic score: 57/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “An inseparable bond of lyrical pabulum and musical monotony.” – Rock Music Review


24. Stereophonics — “Pull The Pin” (2007)

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Critic score: 46/100

User score: 7.8/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “Cops the sterility of newer Rick Rubin, each song lumbering on a chassis of waterlogged tempo and Jones’ wooden melodies, begging for just about anything to grab you.” – Pitchfork


23. Roger Waters —  “In The Flesh” (2000)

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Critic score: 55/100

User score: 8.7/10

Difference: 32%

What critics said: “A couple of hours negotiating the treacherous whirlpools of Waters’s fears, paranoia and loathing can still prove a slog, mind, no matter how stately the settings.” – Q Magazine


22. Fabolous —  “Street Dreams” (2003)

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Critic score: 51/100

User score: 8.4/10

Difference: 33%

What critics said: “The ideas are thin and the beats thinner.” – Entertainment Weekly


21. Deadsy —  “Commencement” (2002)

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Critic score: 56/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 33%

What critics said: “If only they didn’t sound like a dying Flock of Seagulls.” – Entertainment Weekly


20. Blink-182 —  “Live at the Mark, Tom & Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back)” (2000)

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Critic score: 56/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 33%

What critics said: “This is as base as it gets, friends, a frantic, frenetic, and unapologetically adolescent orgy of sexual and scatological tomfoolery.” –Wall of Sound


19. Sophie Ellis-Bextor  — “Make a Scene” (2011)

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Critic score: 53/100

User score: 8.6/10

Difference: 33%

What critics said: “The bulk of the record is shopping-mall pop that was probably expensive to make, but sounds depressingly cheap.” – The Guardian


18. Def Leppard  —  “Songs from the Sparkle Lounge” (2008)

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Critic score: 47/100

User score: 8.1/10

Difference: 34%

What critics said: “A few bright spots don’t make up for the album’s general lack of immediacy or memorable hooks.” – The AV Club


17. Korn —  “Take A Look In The Mirror” (2003)

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Critic score: 49/100

User score: 8.3/10

Difference: 34%

What critics said: “Sounds both out of focus and curiously out of date.” – Mojo


16. Vanessa Carlton —  “Harmonium” (2004)

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Critic score: 54/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 35%

What critics said: “You can’t simply put strings on next to every song and think that makes you a mature artist.” – PopMatters


15. India.Arie —  “Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship” (2006)

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Critic score: 53/100

User score: 8.8/10

Difference: 35%

What critics said: “Arie’s smooth, husky voice isn’t enough to forgive the jaw-dropping simplicity and clumsiness of her songs.” – The Guardian


14. Flickerstick —  “Welcoming Home The Astronauts” (2001)

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Critic score: 52/100

User score: 8.7/10

Difference: 35%

What critics said: “It’s all pretty silly stuff, but if nothing else, it manages to establish Flickerstick as a frontrunner for the Varsity Blues II soundtrack.” – Pitchfork


13. Billy Talent —  “Billy Talent III” (2009)

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Critic score: 45/100

User score: 8.1/10

Difference: 36%

What critics said: “The intensity on Billy Talent III feels the same as the intensity of the band’s live show, awkwardly forced and absolutely repellent.” – Drowned in Sound


12. Sneaker Pimps —  “Blood Sport” (2002)

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Critic score: 50/100

User score: 8.6/10

Difference: 36%

What critics said: “Sounds like a watered-down Pearl Jam spiked with a drum machine and a couple of extra synths.” – Vibe


11. Paloma Faith —  “Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?” (2009)

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Critic score: 51/100

User score: 8.7/10

Difference: 36%

What critics said: “This time the Mickie Most-omatic (phasers set to Winehouse) has dredged up someone so inauthentic she makes Duffy look like Johnny Cash.” – NME


10. New Kids on the Block —  “The Block” (2008)

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Critic score: 51/100

User score: 8.8/10

Difference: 37%

What critics said: “The Block bears no distinguishing marks aside from a compulsion for sex, sex, sex with a lover whose name, apparently, is Girl.” – Entertainment Weekly


9. Obie Trice —  “Second Round’s On Me” (2006)

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Critic score: 48/100

User score: 8.5/10

Difference: 37%

What critics said: “Dreary production from hometown benefactor Eminem does little to liven things up.” –Spin


8. Five For Fighting —  “The Battle For Everything” (2004)

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Critic score: 47/100

User score: 8.4/10

Difference: 37%

What critics said: “Ondrasik’s self-pitying ballads overflow with dewy-eyed dreaminess, as his vocals swoon and swoop – think of a more annoying Chris Martin.” – Rolling Stone


7. Mudvayne — “The End of All Things to Come” (2002)

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Critic score: 48/100

User score: 8.5/10

Difference: 37%

What critics said: “The musicians still churn out standard-issue heavy metal thrash à la Metallica to support Chüd’s nihilistic pronouncements, usually sung in an enraged howl.” – AllMusic


6. Sum 41 —  “Screaming Bloody Murder” (2011)

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Critic score: 47/100

User score: 8.4/10

Difference: 37%

What critics said: “Revolting, messy, lazy, and undeniably Sum 41, Screaming Bloody Murder is a dead band moaning in its grave.” – Sputnik Music


5. Matchbox Twenty —  “More Than You Think You Are” (2002)

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Critic score: 50/100

User score: 8.7/10

Difference: 37%

What critics said: “The songs lack hooks, as if melody would be too commercial, while the production has its sights on the radio, resulting in tuneless songs that are polished for mainstream consumption.” – AllMusic


4. 2Pac —  “Until The End Of Time” (2001)

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Critic score: 51/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 38%

What critics said: “Heavy on outside contributions and certainly missing 2Pac’s editorial control and final production decisions, Until the End of Time bops and weaves from peak to valley in schizophrenic fashion.” – Rolling Stone


3. Chicane — “Behind The Sun” (2000)

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Critic score: 50/100

User score: 8.8/10

Difference: 38%

What critics said: “Anodyne dance music for people who don’t go to clubs, comedown music for people who don’t do drugs.” – NME


2. The Black Crowes — “Lions” (2001)

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Critic score: 50/100

User score: 8.9/10

Difference: 39%

What critics said: “A muddled mess of hard rock cliches.” – Wall of Sound


1. Enya —  “A Day Without Rain” (2000)

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Critic score: 41/100

User score: 8.5/10

Difference: 44%

What critics said: “Unless you’re bound in an herbal body wrap, there’s simply no acceptable reason to listen to this New Age nonsense.” – Entertainment Weekly