Boston Globe's Scores

For 1,720 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 City of Refuge
Lowest review score: 10 Lulu
Score distribution:
1,720 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It probably wasn't her intention, but Washburn ended up making a modern classic, a folk album for people who claim they don't like a such thing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not quite of this world and not quite over the edge, these earthy, epic songs aren't meant to save us, only to supply some monumental crescendos and a wide-screen view on the way down.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Suffice to say that if you have enjoyed Griffin's repertoire of considered and emotionally precise songs -- as fans from the Dixie Chicks to Solomon Burke to Jessica Simpson have -- you will find your life enriched by "Children Running Through."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Magnificent.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    [It] seems like the album the 66-year-old singer was born to make
    • 62 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This easily ranks among the top rock records of the year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's untamed, topsy-turvy, elliptical - and one of the most exciting albums I've heard all year.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is the best, most cogent album of her career.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This album is not just a revival, but a complete rejuvenation for John Fogerty. It's easily his best solo record, and what makes it so special is that he embraces his swamp-rocking Creedence Clearwater Revival days.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not content to merely shake up the music industry by releasing Consolers with only one week's advance notice, the Raconteurs have also had the nerve to drop a near-classic album.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On one of this year's smoothest and best discs, Hunter makes The Hard Way go down so easy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ten exuberant, tender, casually elegant tracks later you realize - much to your surprise, if you're like me--that the pairing of the grizzled country star and the suave jazz master is an unmitigated, ear-tickling success.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a stroke of genius.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Backspacer, the band’s ninth studio album [is] one of its most cohesive and satisfying in terms of brevity, crisp production, and a sharp focus.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is industrial-strength Beach House with its hallmarks intact, just bigger and better. With co-producer Chris Coady, Legrand and Scally lift some of the haze that has often enveloped their music...now the band has given us this year’s first classic album.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a record that alternates between fuzzy and crisp; those who like to get lost in their headphones should approve.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Much like a riveting movie keeps you in your seat, you’ll want to pay close attention to Joanna Newsom’s astonishing new album for fear of missing too much of the plot.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album bubbles over with insidious grooves, inventive samples, and lissome rhyming about things frivolous and fraught.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If there's a lesson to be learned from The Way Out, it's that we need little more than the sounds of each other's voices to find comfort--or in the Books' case, to crank out yet another masterwork.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You barely detect it at first, but something miraculous happens on Arcade Fire's revelatory third album. The songs breathe--occasionally in long exhales, sometimes in staccato gasps.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An “anything goes” approach to recording, which included opening up to let his bandmates collaborate on the songwriting, pays off in this captivating collection.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Solo is Iyer's grand statement, and with it he has fulfilled his promise.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Guitar Song comes grouped in two parts, a "Black Album" and a "White Album," structured, according to Johnson, as a progressive movement from a dark and sordid beginning to a reassuring and redemptive end. That structure isn't always discernable in listening. What is immediately evident, though, is that this is a phenomenal collection of country music.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Everything in Between is a triumphant leap forward from an already solid foundation, and one that cements the duo as one of this era's incontestably exceptional indie-rock acts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Halcyon Digest is as comforting in its familiar feel as it is startling for its sonic variety.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Anyone who doubted that Green is one of today's most commanding vocalists simply needs to hear how he negotiates moods here and turns phrases with subtlety, wit, and style. Killer stuff.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Maybe it's not surprising that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is so seamlessly his personal best.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Northern Aggression rocks as ferociously as anything Wynn has ever done.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is an exceedingly agreeable collection of ultra-catchy garage-pop complete with slash-and-burn guitars, wheedling psychedelic organs, gauzy ballads, dollops of Motown stomp, and loads of love laments both despairing and fidgety.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Her latest album marks yet another sea change, a clanging, clamoring work of art that's as disturbing as it is moving. Let England Shake is staggering, from its seasick melodies to its visceral imagery of soldiers falling like "lumps of meat."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Where In Rainbows was mellow but brisk - an album that felt on its way somewhere - these songs are eerie and insidious, creeping like shadows - and, often because of the haunting voice of Thom Yorke, the occasional chill.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is Vile's best record to date, an idiosyncratic amalgam of intimate performance and communal expression - and one that continues to reveal new layers upon repeated listens.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Add in a clutch of terrific songs that perfectly balance leader Grohl's gift for pairing earworm melodies with both chunky power-pop guitars and thrashy screamers and you've got the most vital, stem-to-stern enjoyable Foo Fighters album in quite some time.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Steve Earle's stellar new album, produced by T Bone Burnett, takes its name from the final Hank Williams single (as does the multitalented Earle's debut novel, out next month).
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The great, and only, disappointment with Rome is that once you've heard the album, you'll want to watch the movie it accompanies. Except there is no movie.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    "Emma" was gorgeous in its austerity, but its follow-up is staggering for its vision. Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore release will go down as one of this year's most arresting albums, drunk on its own impressionistic charms and oblivious to anyone's expectations but Vernon's.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is a stunning achievement in contemporary pop. Yet, unlike so much of contemporary pop, it's timeless.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    His latest is the closest he has come to making a masterpiece in a very long time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The result is a stunning reboot.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A set of 12 songs overflowing with bile and sonic invention.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Apple has been here before, but it makes her new album no less arresting.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Way Down Low, is one of the greatest vocal albums I've ever heard.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sun
    Ripe with propulsive tempos, drum machines, and electronic embellishments, the album sounds like nothing else she's ever done.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Compton MC's long-awaited major label debut is a breakthrough, as he both resurrects and reinvents West Coast hip-hop.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This sensual song suite about the ephemeral nature of love and what it takes to sustain happiness should end up among this year’s finest efforts.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While outstanding songs ("The Catastrophe") stand on their own, this is a song cycle that demands to be absorbed whole.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Trouble Will Find Me is the Brooklyn, N.Y., indie-rock band’s sixth and most deft album yet, a haunted and lugubrious meditation on loss and despair.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tomorrow’s Harvest is as strong a return to form as it is stunning an update, with the Scottish duo refining their blend of nostalgic sonics and futuristic sheen.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a brave account of how you can fall out of love just as easily as you fell in. Like the first blush of a new romance, it is intoxicating.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With eight songs that unfurl to 40 minutes, it’s impeccably crafted and plays off a mercurial tension between Callahan’s voice--a parched yet resonant baritone--and the lush arrangements that envelop it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pusha T is at the top of his game with sharply defined autobiographical tales and defiant, self-aware verses. He often dazzles with his smooth, cold-blooded flow and connects on virtually every song.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is no mere rehash. If anything, the sequel is more intense than the original.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s among her finest work in a 35-year career, assured and at ease, and one of 2014’s first great albums.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Heard in its complete, unruly, sometimes crazed glory, Miles at the Fillmore shows just how furious the evolutionary pace of his music was at this point.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a tour de force. The work’s relentless, odd-accented, propulsive rhythms are a perfect fit for this band.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The highs wouldn’t feel so high without the lows here, which is a regular trope of the genre; but as with all tropes, execution trumps invention, and the Hotelier executes exceptionally.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Slavishly downbeat, it burrows even deeper into Del Rey’s torchy sensibility and rarely breaks its spell.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Less glitchy and bass-led than FlyLo’s previous work, it enters him in the canon of mystics and psychedelic journeyers who’ve sought to crack the doors of perception.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Haunting, jarring, and oddly beautiful, Soused defies the idea of “easy listening,” but its singular vision and harnessing of the avant-garde makes it one of the year’s most compelling artistic statements.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Backed by his new band the Vanguard, to whom the album is jointly credited, his sprawling funk grooves and pointed (if characteristically indecipherable) lyrics are still strikingly timely.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Thrilling and joyous, fierce and focused, the women sound like they’re having the time of their lives sinking their teeth back into the music together.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Where “good kid” was a perceptive look at Lamar’s adolescence in a small part of Los Angeles, Butterfly is a weary assessment of his adulthood, and a world that’s bigger, more complex, and more flawed that he knew. If the albums share anything, it’s that they’re both cinematic. But the movie Lamar is shooting now puts the current era into a more fitting frame.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For all of the gussy rhythms--which can stop just this side of overly cute--and legit power, there’s real subtlety at work, too, and in unlikely spots.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Harcourt's fourth album certifies his musical genius with songs that are catchy enough to be plastered all over the summer airwaves, bathing us in sweeping melodies and infectious beats.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These gauzy songs are an ideal fit for Gainsbourg's dreamy, impossibly light voice.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A collection of songs that proves nearly as personal, as socially aware, and as deft at intertwining the two, as was Pulp’s 1998 opus, ‘‘This Is Hardcore.’’
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike previous efforts at stylistic hop-scotch, "Phantom Punch" is Lerche's most comfortable album since "Faces Down."
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Twee or not, there is a brilliant simplicity to Svanangen's music, though the tunes are never sparse.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fortunately, the alt-country singer-songwriter’s gifts of soul mining are so acute that the songs — inspired by her mother’s passing and a wrenching breakup — enrich as well as exhaust, and engender cautious optimism.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Call it emo for adults.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album casts the duo in a new light that may not quite eclipse their former work, but it has set them well on their way.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album is sophisticated and layered with deft orchestration. And yet, the band's songwriting and delivery display an earnestness and lack of pretension that's pure rock.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Leo manages to skip from tender, unadorned romantic pop crooning to full-throttle punk yowling to Celtic-flavored folk-rock without losing the listener, the beat, or the message.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The music can be enjoyed apart from the story, but either way, this is a must-have for true Cooder fans.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rarely has spilling one's heart been such a colorful affair.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    "Cassadaga"... delivers on the wildly unlikely promise that very young, very gifted artists can grow up without losing their balance.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    23
    "23" furthers the group's recent fascination with a sleeker presentation that favors sheen over squall.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Captivating.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Forget about the dreaded decline. Arctic Monkeys have moved from their alarmingly evolved infancy into rock toddlerhood with glibness, swagger, and whip-smart songs intact.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's classic Nine Inch Nails with a few extra-disturbing flourishes.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Grand conceit aside, "American Doll Posse" is a great art-pop album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Amazingly, "Beyond" picks up where 1988's "Bug" left off, with only slightly more streamlined polish but with the old love of volume and excess still sweetly intact.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They take prime garage rock and global beats from past works and flirtatiously commingle them to craft a gossamer rock - steady creation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Far from a compilation of rough mixes and rejects, any of the songs on this disc -- as spare in sound as they are elegant in form -- would have fit beautifully on a mid-'90s Elliott Smith album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's fantastic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Together, they have their tricky, intricate flow intact, and the songs are supremely melodic, sharply arranged to remind you of how tuneful and infectious hip-hop can be.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With nothing particularly unusual to recommend, non-fans will miss out on yet another in a long string of superb collections.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The music? Thrilling as ever.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album traverses Ray Charles-like country soul, smoky late-night jazz, lush Western swing, and even a bit of Rockpile-style rockabilly.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The foreboding melancholy of "Turn on the Bright Lights" has eroded into a sound that's less idiosyncratic; by design or accident, that broad-brush aesthetic coincides with the band's move from an indie label (Matador) to a major one (Capitol).
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band's sophomore disc, which teems with drama and dark dollops of piano that swarm beautifully around singer-guitarist Tom Smith's clarion-call voice, continues to make good on the hype while again drawing on the past.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    From the terrific pulsing opener, "Don't Make Me a Target," to the curt horn and acoustic-guitar stomp of "The Underdog," these wonderfully produced and arranged songs brim with optimism and are pounded out purposefully.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Layers of production can obscure the organic--or at least faux-organic--sounds of a ripping performance. That's not the case on the debut full-length album from French house duo Justice, whose complex, dark, and heavily pop-rock-influenced dance tracks span banging disco grooves to instrumental electro-funk space operas to minimalist hip-hop.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finding Forever finds Common at his best lyrically, which means at his most basic, bending beats to fit his deliberate delivery.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's a dark, personal record that holds big promises for the future.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Almost every song is a gem, the lyrics thoughtful and melodies memorable.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Seattle boy-girl duo of Grant Olsen and Sonya Westcott fashions narcotic, melancholy pop songs that would make the band's influences proud (Neil Young and the Velvet Underground in its quieter moments chief among them).
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even though Khan's music is not yet as ambitious as [Kate] Bush's best work, it has enough arresting moments and unique beauty to suggest that Khan is an indie songwriter and chanteuse to watch.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This time, the energy is clear from the start, giving tracks like 'Heart It Races' and 'Lazy (Lazy)' the momentum to burst into the sonic equivalent of confetti.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For a sophomore effort, Combinations makes for yet another strong debut.