Robert Christgau — maybe the best-known, best-respected rock critic in the United States — has decided to end his influential monthly Consumer Guide column, which provided capsule reviews and letter grades for pop albums.
Christgau's Web site provides a massive database of his reviews, searchable by the artist's name. You can't really substitute somebody else's ears for your own, and I've found his reviews vary in usefulness. I often disagree with his views on rock music, but I've found his reviews of country music albums nearly infallible, and he's been very useful in pointing me to good Afropop albums.
Go here for an exit interview, where he reveals which kinds of music the average listener should be paying attention to these days.