Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 343 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
Lowest review score: 25 Teenage Dream
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 343
343 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    [Siamese Dream has] more focused, sturdily constructed songs and even more fastidious production [than Gish].
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If an album can be both chilling and beautiful at once, Undun is it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With R.A.P. Music he's added a must-hear chapter to the hip-hop bible.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    His fourth solo release, The Ecstatic (Downtown), reaffirms why hip-hop aficionados cared about him in the first place.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's free of gimmicks (Hey, an R&B record without Auto-Tuned vocals!) or trendy producers (No Kanye, no Timbaland; instead, guitarist Hod David does most of the work). No wonder BLACKsummers'night walks its own confident path down the artier fringe of R&B.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Producer Peter Katis (who has worked with The National and Interpol) ornaments the duo’s foundation--Hansard’s battered acoustic guitar, Irglova’s piano, co-ed harmonies--with nuanced orchestration and a spacious mix that flatters the singers’ interplay.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Nasty riffs and sticky melodies are everywhere, buttered over by the androgynous harmonies that have made Homme a hard-rock anti-hero, but verse-chorus arrangements hold little interest. Instead, there are fascinating digressions, packed with surprises.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    IRM
    Though the album hits a few sleepy troughs along the way, it gets progressively stranger and more aggressive, with distorted bass (“Trick Pony”), tribal drumming (“Voyage”) and T-Rex-style boogie (“Dandelion”) giving Gainsbourg room to stretch.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The details – the drone of a guitar string, the reverberation of a drum mallet, the swoon of a string section --- are reason enough to reward a close listen.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The music casts long shadows, packed with foreboding. But Cash's voice isn't particularly morbid or self-pitying. Instead, it's tinged by longing--not for what he's leaving behind, but for what's next.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Right now no one is making music this grand, this big, this moving with so much assurance.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Recording over five days with his hand-picked band of California-based conspirators (including ace drummer Jay Bellerose and guitarist Greg Leisz), Henry puts the jazz great in a limber, small-group setting well-suited to Allison’s no-frills style and laconic tone.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    I Learned the Hard Way (Daptone) is a master class in soul singing, songwriting and arranging.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The nine-song album aims for a more unified and introspective feel, a good deal darker, denser and less instantly accessible than the debut. Instead of concise singles, it more fully embraces the duo's interests in waving the Barrett-era freak flag
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It in many ways is the most danceable LCD album yet, a celebration of losing yourself in semi-darkness and a sea of undulating bodies between the speaker cabinets.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Erickson's voice transparent and vulnerable, the lyrics direct yet poetic, sifting through years of pain for signs of hope. With the exception of the howling "John Lawman," the music is contemplative and atmospheric, a mix of field recordings from the past and unfussy, live-in-the-studio interactions.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Together they create absorbingly terse songs, and prove that the indie-rock trend of minimalist, two-person bands still has some kick in it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The first half of the Roots' ninth studio album, How I Got Over, sounds like a hangover, a brooding meditation on a world teetering toward anarchy.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Even more so than its two predecessors, The Suburbs is an Arcade Fire album designed to be heard as a whole in a specific sequence.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Whatever you think of Mellencamp, this is the kind of record that will compel a re-evaluation, an out-of-leftfield shot that mostly works because of its modesty, shagginess and humor--qualities not normally associated with the singer in the past.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Coincidental or not, the [live] setting opens things up considerably for Thompson the guitarist, his songs gaining an immediacy and intensity that sometimes gets refined away in his sometimes too-careful studio recordings.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Cave dials down the fiercely vivid imagery for a stark meditation on sex and death that leaves almost everything to the listener's imagination, accompanied by little more than the crackle of static.