The Boston Phoenix's Scores

  • Music
For 1,091 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 63% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Convivial
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Phillips captures the imagery, as well as the heart, of an era’s underground.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ce
    A brilliant shot of Veloso the pop composer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The son has a strong, pleasing voice and an easy facility with the sort of æthereal, filigree guitar picking that served the father so well.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    White Chalk is more chamber music, and a dark chamber at that. The only flickers of light come from Harvey’s voice: high, airy, and imperiled as she weaves her echo-coated and darkly soulful spell till the story’s bleak finale.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    After a few listens, the entirely synthetic remainder that is Supreme Balloon is not merely a relief but a delight. If anything, the limitation of having no limitations has revealed Matmos as more skilled, stylish, and sculptural here than on any of their past releases--not to mention versatile.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The record bursts with energy and purpose, revealing the brilliance that advocates like the Roots’ ?uestlove have long suspected 9th had in him.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    At Mount Zoomer will give you those same goosebumps you felt when you heard the band’s debut.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Humor, melody, and weirdness rule, and that makes Ceramic Dog lighter than both Ribot’s Los Cubanos Postizos Afro-Cuban band and his aggro-noise outfit Shrek.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Modern Guilt is a hot thing of indefinite course.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Elsewhere we get lots of the usual earthquake bass and keening synth arpeggios and staccato horns, and, of course, Jeezy’s hypnotically commanding flow, all of it amounting to one of the hardest mainstream rap albums in years.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Of special note is the 10-minute instrumental 'Suicide and Redemption': listening to it, you almost forget that there are supposed to be words in rock songs, since it’s filled with building riffs, escalating volleys of tension and release, and moments of frantic drum abandon from Lars Ulrich that should do a lot to redeem his standing in Modern Drummer’s Drummer of the Year polls.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s brimming with curious melodies (like the darkly cute skews of the title track), rich poetic detail (as lush as the orange carpet in '16A'), and a truly generous spirit (you can listen to the whole damn thing over and over).
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is DiFranco’s most sophisticated album, a musical convergence of her best qualities: warm singing, graceful writing, experimentation.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music is neither bastardized nor precious, just a riveting reflection of the ongoing allure and paradox that is the Congo.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    These tricks crop up throughout the album--sly moves familiar to house fans are retrofitted to a pop framework, and the result is an entirely new (and very livable) structure
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Blending in traditional strings and flutes, singular soulful vocals, trenchant dub pockets, and inventive production flourishes, this is the most powerful contemporary release out of Ethiopia in years.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Matador's two-disc Nicene Creedence Edition (nyuk nyuk) goes way beyond the original 12-song release, adding a whopping 31 additional cuts: outtakes, B-sides, compilation tracks, and live radio sessions, all of them top-notch.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Suffice to say that with all its slowly blooming beauty, alluring aberrations, and deftly measured brute force, the closest analogue to what Fennesz has done on Black Sea seems to be nature itself.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Eschewing fleshed-out pop maps in favor of shiny fragments works oddly well for this duo, especially given the breadth and depth of the subject matter.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Middle Cyclone is her most fearless and arresting record, ruthlessly composed and beautifully recorded.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Truth Is Here is his second perfect disc in that many years and just earned a spot in my Top Five Alive column.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For their ninth studio album, the Welsh quintet go heavy on vamps, riffs, and refrains; the result is their most spontaneous and blissfully lax effort since 2000's "Mwng."
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is not so much a reinvention as another way to look deep into the heart of Elliott's music. It's also an early nominee for folk album of the year.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s just solid, classic Dolls, with all the swagger, muscle, righteous kitsch, and ballsy defiance you expect, plus some new twists.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The only thing Dirty Projectors' fifth album leaves me wishing for is a fifth rating star to wedge in.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Quik knows what he's doing. You can hear it on every track of this symphonic mini-masterpiece.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Despite the deceptive pop-song outlines and strong grooves, just about every piece emphasizes the rich weave of voices, and on originals like 'The View from Blue Mountain' and 'Twilight of the Dogs,' Douglas extends forms you think you know to take you someplace new.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Because Bergsman keeps Eden's doors open (centerpiece 'Wapas Karma' is a traditional performed entirely by locals), there's a natural light and a welcome freshness--a breeze from across the world, rather than a suitcase of souvenirs.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Crash is easily A.F.I.'s best since 2003's "Sing the Sorrow," and the cheeky pop-punk chorus of 'Too Shy To Scream' is their first successful decree to boogie the night away.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Despite all these lyrical dalliances, there's one of the best house albums of the year somewhere in these songs--you just have to agree to their terms.