Boston Globe's Scores

For 2,023 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 0.2 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:
2023 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Beck is Generation X’s answer to David Bowie, then “Colors” is his “Let’s Dance”: an intentionally lightweight, enjoyable mid-career effort with one eye on the dance floor and one on radio playlists. Whether it returns him to his former hitmaker status remains to be seen, but “Colors” definitely succeeds in putting the spring back in Beck’s step.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Aching, vulnerable, and unsparing in detail, her creations invite you to listen with your whole self and feel along.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, in fact, the music on Good Grief isn’t as expansive as was “Wildewoman.” But it still comes across that way thanks to Wolfe and Laessig, who infuse their performances with a joy that’s almost unfettered, even when wallowing in pits of sorrow.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Decade-long hiatus or no decade-long hiatus, Bloodsports finds Suede in exactly its element.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a roller coaster, to be sure, but it’s one that Olsen controls with a steady hand even as she sings for her life.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Slow, spare, and offhand, the song ["I Want to Go Back" ] admits to the restlessness that has led the gifted 42-year-old through many unpolished musical shifts, and it epitomizes the decidedly secular, deceptively low-key revelations on Revelation Road.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album is simultaneously beautiful and shocking, its razor-sharp originality infinitely relatable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album doesn’t shy from its broad ambitions, offering a glossy club jam (“Kno One”) and an after-hours groove (“One Thing”), tracks that require Gates to ease back his flow and craft a knockout hook to carry the song, something he also does on the anthemic “2 Phones.” But as a lyricist, Gates is closer to Ghostface Killah or Beanie Sigel.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Invisible Way is as spare, heavy, and lovely as anything Low’s ever done, but it feels essential; there’s an extra beauty to the bleakness of these songs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    After an all-covers debut, this second album is a major step forward.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite his place among metal royalty, Anselmo remains a convincing outsider, partially because he doesn’t exclude himself from his own rants.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While there are songs of undeniable artistic invention (“Dawn in Lexor,” “#CAKE”) there are also moments of ostentatious indulgence, intellectual handstands that feel like ends in themselves. But then, that’s always a hazard with a band this original and audacious.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finger-lickin’ good.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the material is strong, this is all about Michele's stylish but subtle vocalizing and its jazzy inflections and nuances.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His materialism threads throughout So Far Gone (champagne flutes, girls, BlackBerrys, more girls), but he chases that with soft touches of humor and honesty.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her songs have the sophistication and idiosyncracy of a singular talent. At times (“Show Me Love”) the ethereal arranging meanders, but mostly (“Bread,” “Kiss My Feet,” “Angel”) it has the authority of a signature.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    His singing throughout is flawless and expressive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Phosphorescent’s Muchacho is the kind of album that will take two listens to decide you hate it and then another three to realize how much you actually love it.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As Kelis herself once said, “Tasty.”
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Where “Butter” sounded like he downloaded every idea in his brain into the music, this is more concentrated and immersive; the 13 intricately sculptured songs inform one another and cohere into a complete work.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He's made a better disc as he shows growth and depth. In a surprisingly obscenity-free set, Chamillionaire pays increased attention to the world and its contradictions while setting aim at those who have crossed him.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In other words, Black Ice is a quintessential, if not exactly essential, AC/DC album.