Boston Globe's Scores

For 1,753 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:
1,753 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.