Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 388 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 0.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Le Noise
Lowest review score: 25 The Jazz Age
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 388
388 music reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The musical detail is impressive, if not quite adding up to as many catchy songs as on the debut. A greater concern is that after two albums, it's pretty apparent that Vampire Weekend doesn't really have a whole lot to say.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With Praise & Blame, Jones dials down the camp and tries to act his age--he turned 70 in June. So what we get is a more refined, more serious Jones, and that's no fun at all.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Only "Virus" connects in the way Bjork's best work can, uniting the fundamental optimism and wonder underlining this project with music that sounds otherworldly yet welcoming.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The lyrics flirt with turmoil--there are lots of songs about holding on or jumping into the fire, and so forth--but don’t really say much of anything.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's all competently done, but none of it matches the invention of Grohl's drumming in the last decade with Queens of the Stone Age, Probot or Them Crooked Vultures.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    He's written some resonant songs. But he lost his nerve as a coproducer, going for stadium bombast instead of the unadorned grit these stories of hard times demand.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The 28-minute length of this album adds to the impression that this feels more like a demo, a collection of fragments woven by Russell into a cautionary mood piece, rather than a major comeback.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The problem is that the songs all have a similar arch, with instrumental grandeur substituting for the previous album’s emotional punch and tears-of-rage specifics.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It sounds like it was made by the last survivor on a dying planet, a final transmission from an underground bunker.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too much of Hesitation Marks sounds tentative.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In many ways, West and Jay-Z are saying something similar on their new album. But their approach is not to shine a spotlight on their community. Instead, they urge listeners to "watch the throne," and gaze in awe on their good fortune.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album's attempts at shaking up the down-tempo, down-hearted mood fall short.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It was a promising evolution, but four years later the Scottish band's new album, Write About Love, sounds like old news.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lanegan remains a master of mood, his baritone croon one of rock's most inviting instruments. But even that voice can't patch over the weak spots on this inconsistent album.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultraviolence almost qualifies as a parody. Unfortunately, there's not enough punch in the songs to make listeners care whether she's joking or not.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The hooks are more pronounced and the bottom end beefed up, which gives Barnes' R&B leanings a lot more dancefloor appeal and makes songs such as the buttery Solange duet "Sex Karma" sound better than anything Prince has come up with in years. But the affectations remain troubling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Maybe working on a novel distracted Earle, but the feisty dust-kicker of old appears to have taken this one off.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unfortunately, the ambitious concept proves too unwieldy to work as a consistent album.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Most of the songs are so flat that the singer sounds constrained.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Much of Welcome to Oblivion feels like a 65-minute placeholder akin to a remix album rather than a major new direction for Reznor to pursue.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The album definitely could’ve used a little more friskiness; as it is, a horn-spackled version of Derek and the Dominoes’ “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad” and a brisk run-through of the Beatles “The Word” are the only moments where LaVette busts loose from her always heart-felt, but sometimes overly earnest, introspection.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Rather than a personal statement, the music becomes an exercise in smoothness. Even La Havas' vocal power plays don't translate as an emotional imperative so much as a pop formula.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    With the Strokes, Casablancas exploits the tension between his behind-the-beat, just-woke-up vocals and the band’s hurtling rhythms. On Phrazes, the slower-moving tempos match the unhurried pace of his distinctive croon, and the melodies and arrangements aren’t strong enough to make up for the loss in urgency.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's the kind of hair-raising music that one wishes occurred more frequently on this overly subdued collection.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The sense that we’ve all been here before, twice, is exacerbated by the tired samples and interpolations.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What better band to cover R.E.M. than R.E.M.? That's exactly what the longtime Athens, Ga., trio sounds like it's doing on its 15th studio album, Collapse Into Now.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's almost impossible to screw up Fogerty's sturdiest numbers, but some of his collaborators sound like they're trying too hard to put their thumbprints all over them.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But as with “Horehound,” “Sea of Cowards” is all about the volatile vibe rather than songs. When the vibe works, it’s a decent approximation of the band’s top-shelf live show. But beneath all the “Hustle and Cuss,” the tunes just aren’t there.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    They sound more like singer-songwriter leftovers from his solo albums than the stuff of which big rock-band comebacks are made.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Much of the rest is mid-level and middle-brow, from respected artists who have done better work elsewhere.