Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 463 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.3 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: 13 out of 463
463 music reviews
    • 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).
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Black Messiah miraculously doesn't sound overcooked. It's as if D'Angelo spent all that time building tracks up and then editing them down to their raw, spontaneous-sounding essence.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The album peaks in its second half, with a series of songs in which Cave doesn't just again walk the narrow line between love and death, but ponders whether "nothing really matters anymore."
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Much of the album has that feel, a collision of grandeur and emptiness, a meditation on the disconnect between the artist's intent and the public's perception.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It’ll take a while to absorb everything that Beyonce has poured into her sixth studio album--a dozen songs plus a 60-minute movie that is more than just a mere advertisement for the music, but an essential companion that provides context and deepens understanding. But it’s apparent already that Lemonade is the artist’s most accomplished and cohesive work yet.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This is not one of those waiting-at-death's-door late-career farewells that have become a cottage industry since Johnny Cash closed his career with a series of acoustic albums recorded by producer Rick Rubin. It instead presents an artist still near the height of his considerable powers
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Channel Orange creates a state of mind with words and sound.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    ["Compton" has] one of the few predictable moments on an album that otherwise brims with comedy, complexity and the many voices in Kendrick Lamar's head.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's an iconic if flawed album. But the overflow of songs presented on The Ties That Bind makes for a great argument-starter. Did Springsteen assemble the best version of The River? This boxed set provides evidence for piecing together an even better one.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    No Cities to Love& is not a complete triumph, the totally devastating statement of revived purpose that they might have intended, but it's not for lack of trying.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Hunt's refusal to be pigeonholed killed his major-label career, but without bean-counters looking over his shoulder, he sounds frisky and playful.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's full of surface charm, the type of music that is designed to sound big in a club, the soundtrack for a night of excess. But there's very little conventional about these beats and the way Big Boi nimbly spreads his living-large imagery over them.
    • 90 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    A Seat at the Table is in no hurry to deliver a knockout punch. Instead, its subtle grooves and delicate vocals underplay the steely resolve, the long-simmering ache in the words.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It makes for a raw, unsettling listen, tempered by shots of dark humor.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The band's feel for melodies remains sharp, and Hood's accomplished songwriting is now matched by Cooley, which makes for one of the band's strongest front-to-back albums.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Even in this raw setting, the best of these songs transcended his Northern Minnesota upbringing and crackled with subversive wit and the acute anger of a young man not just making his way in the world, but intent on changing it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Newsom can still be a daunting listen, and Divers requires time and attention to fully embrace. Those who do invest in it will find an artist whose highly personal art is edging toward the universal.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    A casual listen or two might consign A Moon Shaped Pool to the latest in a series of Radiohead releases post-“Kid A” (2000) that are more about texture and arty experimentation than guitar rock or pop structure. But as with most Radiohead releases, there’s something more going on.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    One of the year's most potent protest albums. ... The album sags midway through with a handful of lightweight love songs, but finishes with some of its most emotionally resounding tracks: the "Glory"-like plea for redemption "Rain" with Legend, the celebration of family that is "Little Chicago Boy," and the staggering "Letter to the Free."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If an album can be both chilling and beautiful at once, Undun is it.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    All We Love We Leave Behind occupies the unruly intersection of metal, punk and progressive music, weeding out the weaknesses the band perceives in each genre and saving the good stuff for its rigorously constructed songs.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The first half of the album follows one knockout punch with another, with guitar-centric melodies underpinned by glitchy electronics that have more in common with 1980s post-punk and early industrial music than they do the pop mainstream.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Mood frequently trumps melody, but the music is rarely flat or monochrome.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Shields and his bandmates have made a transitional album, one that nods to the band’s storied peak but winds up heading in a new direction.