Boston Globe's Scores

For 2,011 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 0.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 City of Refuge
Lowest review score: 10 Lulu
Score distribution:
2011 music reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    After his 2005 debut, DeVaughn ups the ante with a sprawling effort that works as a showcase for his lush vocals.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yoav proves that a guitar and his voice are the only instruments you really need to make powerful, versatile music.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is a surprise and a thrill to hear that even as the band enters its "artsy" phase--expanding its instrumental palette to include mewling saws and clattering percussion--the songs remain uniformly excellent from stem to stern.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Most of Little Hells is musically quite simple, giving the sense that whatever Nadler has to say rests entirely in her sound, not in the songs themselves
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Congratulations, MGMT's time-warped sophomore release, is a strange beast, a candy-colored acid trip set to music, and easily the most hallucinatory rock record of the year so far.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shelton continues to shine as a singer, especially on the heartfelt "I'm Sorry'' and the title track, a tender duet with wife Miranda Lambert.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Williams adapted the song from a poem by her father, Miller Williams, and it gives Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone its emotional compass if not its melodic direction. The rest of this double album, Williams’s first, settles into a deep groove that suggests the singer-songwriter was fired up and couldn’t--and shouldn’t--whittle her latest to a standard 10 songs.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In addition to producing the set with an ear for warmth, Grohl plays drums on “Let It Rain” which definitely gives the band some extra snap. And the group’s signature harmonies are lush throughout. Given the title, we look forward to a possible “Vol. 2.”
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With her slight but sweet voice, Musgraves has a way with a sing-songy chorus, many of which she co-writes with her frequent collaborators and fellow hitmakers Shane McAnally, Brandy Clark, and Luke Laird.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Be it personal or observational, O’Connor is definitely in charge on Bossy.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album bumps from electronica to cabaret to jazz and back again; it's busy but never feels schizophrenic.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As always, the British-French band has crafted upbeat, bubbly, retro-futuristic songs from strands of krautrock, lounge, French cafe music, and samba.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Middle Cyclone is by far Case's most quixotic album, and that's saying a lot considering the abstract ideas behind her last studio album, 2006's "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood." Yet it's also the most revealing and rewarding work in a 12-year recording career that has seen Case evolve from an alt-country siren to a singular songwriter as capricious as a weather vane.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His richly contoured, slightly raspy voice and the production work of Austin Jenkins and Josh Block (of the scruffy Texan rockers White Denim) give the album heft.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    LP1
    LP1 is the kind of soft-focus album that the late American R&B singer Aaliyah might have made.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even Spike Lee appears to show he got game. All this would be distracting if the 14 tracks weren't so darn good. Luda's lyrics are so sharp and supremely witty throughout.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Rick Rubin at the helm, employing his trademark austerity but not overdoing the dryness, the group swings for the fences musically, lyrically, vocally, and emotionally. Its batting average is sterling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is a new energy and focus acting as the perfect foil to Hot Chip’s lyrics, which have always been remarkably clever, particularly in the emotionally stunted realm of dance music.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Wolf Alice balances the difficult combination of seeming guilelessness and utter confidence.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The volleying guitars of "My Gap Feels Weird" and friendly ferocity of "Rope Light" signal a group with the same playful spirit that made its best work roar (see: 1994's "Foolish"), but with refreshed energy from a nine-year nap.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    No matter the stage of the romance, it's always DEFCON 1 in Clarkson-ville. And on All I Ever Wanted, out Tuesday, that melodrama translates into a delightfully incongruous good time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Richard’s “One Life at a Time” is roots-rock for the barroom, and Linda simply shimmers on the folk lament “Bonny Boys.” Kami’s buoyant “Careful” proves she’s the pop singer of the bunch. Zak gives “Root So Bitter” some pluck and pickup, while Jack’s “At the Feet of the Emperor” is a sumptuous instrumental. Teddy steals the show with the title track.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    That said, it's not an instant classic, but it is the best rap album since Kanye West dropped "Graduation" last year.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While memories of the accompanying visuals of the jokes from the series helps, it is by no means strictly necessary to enjoy the humor and musicianship of Freaky.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rapping about how well you rap is both stubbornly old school and totally meta. It's also a form of hip-hop Darwinism, as the Beastie Boys, now in their mid-40s and still one step ahead of trash-talking competitors, demonstrate to the fullest on their eighth studio album.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There may not be any moments of dramatic catharsis to compete with “Sea of Love” or “Mr. November,” but the band’s gift for slow, sad beauties (“Nobody Else Will Be There,” “Carin at the Liquor Store”) remains undiminished. Even as they tinker with their style, The National can’t help but sound like themselves.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all the lyrical power of those songs (and others here), the album’s most affecting moment may be its most plain-spoken: At the set’s end, Lund shares a song about a young niece who died of cancer, “Sunbeam,” that brims with quiet, heartfelt beauty.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album is very much a producer’s piece, all layers, overdubs, and effects. Yet the swirling miasma of sound wholly suits Scott-Heron’s mood, which is angry yet humble, and even more his voice, which is rich and intent as ever.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Trans Am has proven more complex than most critical reductions would suggest, and its 10th album plays like a highlight reel of the band’s best facets.