Chicago Tribune's Scores

For 351 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 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 70
Highest review score: 100 Undun
Lowest review score: 25 Lulu
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 351
351 music reviews
    • 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).
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It makes for a raw, unsettling listen, tempered by shots of dark humor.
    • 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
    • 100 Critic Score
    If an album can be both chilling and beautiful at once, Undun is it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    In many ways, it is the least forward-looking Daft Punk recording, but also the most ambitious--a concept album that plays like an alternative music history, with an emphasis on styles and sounds that don’t usually fit into the Baby Boomer-dictated pop/rock canon.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Gish remains among the more sensual hard-rock albums of the decade.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Harvey doesn't preach, she merely describes, the lilting voice and the light melodies creating a surreal backdrop for mayhem.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For all its eccentric details and occasionally fractured flow, the songs brim with ecstatic blasts of saxophone and undulating waves of rhythm that suggest Afro-pop's endless groove.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In answer to the question posed by the album title, Van Etten's characters are still in transit, spinning their wheels, uncertain of their destination. No wonder their soundtrack brims with turbulence.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The sound is a good deal plusher, the arrangements thickened with pedal steel, saxophone, horns, percussion. But Vernon still sounds like he's back in that Wisconsin cabin that birthed "Emma."
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    "Southern Rock Opera" is the kind of record most bands don't have in them.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The singer with the feathery falsetto creates a fluid, dreamscape environment that floats across eras with a connoisseur's discerning feel for the telling detail.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The legendary pianist sounds reinvigorated on "Locked Down" (Nonesuch), in part because he's not plugging into a formula, but animating it with some feisty new sidemen.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Whereas “10 Day” burst with callow exuberance, Acid Rap is a deeper, more emotionally complex work.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In "Turn the Season," "Ship of Fools" and "Life in Paper," the guitars suggest a torrent busting through a dam, sweeping away all in its path. It's an exhilarating, engulfing sound that might've been better served by a more concise album. But then F Up never has been much for holding itself back.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It would be difficult for any album to consistently live up to those peak moments, and Lost in the Dream doesn't. But Granduciel is on to something with this more band-focused release, and that new dynamic deserves an even deeper exploration next time.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The singer does a lot of luxuriating on her 10th album; 50 Words for Snow spreads seven songs over 65 leisurely minutes, her multi-octave voice and piano mostly at the forefront.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    He approaches it with a light touch and a skip in his stride. He turns the metaphysical into a series of narratives tinged not just with poignance but humor and groove.