Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 478 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 46% 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: 72
Highest review score: 100 Undun
Lowest review score: 25 Dr. Dee
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 478
478 music reviews
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Its sweep across genres and eras is exactly the point. The time-traveling heroine of "The ArchAndroid" aims to uncover previously hidden points of harmony amid chaos. In this case, it's a big risk that brings big reward.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Though not quite as instantly catchy as its predecessor, it expands on its widescreen musical reach and introspective intensity, and sharpens the political perspective until it draws blood.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    [Siamese Dream has] more focused, sturdily constructed songs and even more fastidious production [than Gish].
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The word "cinematic" gets thrown around a lot in describing densely orchestrated music these days, but "Smile" was among the first albums to achieve that distinction in the rock era, conjuring movie-like images in the listener's mind with its vivid blend of instruments and sound effects (the crunch of vegetables, the tapping of nails, the riotous conversation of barnyard animals).
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With Burton as his accomplice, the singer has learned how to juxtapose contrasting textures and emotions for maximum impact, and it makes for one of the year's most consistently engaging listens.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I Like to Keep Myself in Pain works as both a career summing up and a fascinating introduction to one of the most accomplished, underappreciated vocalists of the last two decades.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Somehow, the Australian singer-guitarist has made something fresh out of everyday vignettes performed on everyday instruments (guitar-bass-drums). She sounds like she's day-dreaming out loud instead of singing, but she's deceptively incisive as a lyricist. Her guitar-playing, while never particularly showy, can be subtle or scalding.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It all builds masterfully to a powerful, closing one-two punch.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The album (and the Detroit quartet's career so far) peaks near the end with two brilliant songs, in which the humanity that underpins this bleak, bracing music finally becomes undeniable.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If an album can be both chilling and beautiful at once, Undun is it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The entire album plays like an Ocean view, clear and uncluttered by outsized cameos.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The album is full of those kind of unexpected juxtapositions, a stunning statement from an artist who shows no signs of slowing down.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With R.A.P. Music he's added a must-hear chapter to the hip-hop bible.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    That sense of teetering on the ledge of chaos, of mayhem fighting melody for control, makes Wild Flag a debut for the ages.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Jagger on Blue & Lonesome is 73, three years older than Waters was when he died in 1983, and Richards is 72, Watts 75 and guitarist Ronnie Wood 69. In a sense, the Stones have become their elders, and their seasoning as a first-rate blues band is evident.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Damn. strips down the rhythms to their essence, flavored with the occasional cameo (notably Rihanna and U2). Lamar’s voice does most of the heavy lifting, playing multiple roles and characters. His supple singing complements a variety of rap tones and textures.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It makes for an entertaining rollercoaster of a listen.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Williams lets the songs burn slowly and sensually until there's nothing left but smoke and ash.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The tracks tumble out in short three- and four-minute bursts with barely a pause. The density of the wordplay heightens the dizzying momentum.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Nothing else on the album can top 'Russian Roulette,' but they certainly complement it, and make its startling conclusion feel sadly inevitable.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Fortunately, the music and, above all, the voices of the two singers fight through the darkness. The voices complement, converse and contradict, like sisters finishing or amplifying each other's sentences.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    What made "Surf" and now "Coloring Book" compelling is his ability to let his personality seep into the broad canvases on which he and his collaborators paint.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Few artists create a tougher, colder world as convincingly.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The tracks brim with sing-along choruses, strutting horns and bright melodies that evoke the heyday of Philly soul, the mystic optimism of Earth Wind & Fire and the "Car Wash" soundtrack.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Still feisty after all these years, his entanglements with love and aging [are]documented with wicked wit and an attitude that is anything but sentimental.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Rome does one better than conjure nostalgia; it puts those vintage signifiers in service of fine, contemporary songs.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The quintet likes to pull melody out of dissonance and repetition. Now they've also found the soul.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's actually quite good; not exactly a return to the band's mid-'90s Brit-pop peak, but a welcome progression beyond. Blur delivers a stranger, more atmospheric but still melodic brand of electro-folk salted with rock guitar and orchestral sweep.
    • Chicago Tribune
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    With "The Courage of Others" (Bella Union), Midlake singer Tim Smith sounds like a refugee from the late ‘60s English-folk scene, with songs delivered in an unaffected, understated voice that could’ve easily complemented Sandy Denny or Anne Briggs, or fit in with Pentangle or Fairport Convention.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    They patented a style and on their fifth studio album, Snakes for the Divine, see no reason to change it.