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 The eXXecution
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Whole Love feels like a truly audacious studio record, jam-packed with instruments, ideas, and the sort of restless creativity that marked 2002's game-changer, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's one of 2011's finest pop records: 10 tracks of dreamy, weirdo hi-fi pop that grooves, sparkles, and hums with clipped beats and smooth drums.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Unlike liars, fakers, and bullshit artists, he backs up his name and claim with anecdotal gems aplenty.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bad as Me, his first album of new material in seven years, is a tour de force of wise ol' swagger and new-century blues.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's Bummer Time, and in 2011 there is no better soundtrack for banging your head to oblivion.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    They don't make bands like this anymore.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The first comeback album in history by an iconic rock act that stands up against anything else on the shelves today.... This is the mighty Van Halen at their best.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Reissued last year, the debut Icky Mettle had their most celebrated pop songs ("Web in Front," "Wrong," "Plumb Line") but the follow-up Vee Vee was just as great, and thicker.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sound is as swoon-inducing as it is complex. A brilliant debut full-length.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This stirring collection makes Father John Misty's debut one of the best solo efforts this year, a true freak-folk standout.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This may be the most uncharacteristic of his albums, but by venturing outside his comfort zone, Hawley has in turn made his best.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Only Place [is] better-sung, slower, [and] expansively produced.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Take this, the album's third legit release (which, by the way, sounds so balls you can practically hear the dank nugs), pop it in, turn out all the lights, face Mecca, and bow down.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    1991 is all about the bubble-popping lushness of "Van Vogue" and the hall-of-mirrors shimmer of "Liquorice." It's also about the summer, and showing more of Banks than just her breakout hit.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    With their debut full-length, Brooklyn pop quintet Friends have released the best pop album of the summer.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Less polished than its predecessor, 2009's Fantasies, Synthetica brings all the varied influences and styles together in perfect synchronization.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The year's most outstanding rock album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Smith seems to struggle with whether he wants to write emotional pop songs or dark experimental soundscapes, but the push and pull between the two sentiments is ultimately gorgeous.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ocean brings substance with style, rather than style demanding to be considered substance.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Teeming with B-sides, live tracks, and demos, much of it previously unreleased, 21 is both exhaustive and indispensable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ironically, this patchwork of 12-inch singles is Kieran Hebden's most delectable album-as-album.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fear of a Blank Planet is not only their most vintage-sounding album, it’s also their best.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    [Sonic Youth's] most openly “mature” disc, possibly their best since ’95’s Washing Machine, maybe even the almighty Daydream Nation.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Experimental without sacrificing anything in terms of hooks or melody, passionate yet never overbearing, and clever without giving in to the urge to indulge, it places TV on the Radio on a plane with no peers.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The simplicity of the punk-driven songwriting and the bare, urgent honesty of vocalist/guitarist Hutch Harris’ delivery drive home the album’s political points with startling effectiveness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    So the first-listen impact has been lessened, but the growing affection ends up in the same place as always.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    You can’t ask for much more from a sophomore album.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It’s as warm and melodic as the Soft Boys’ Nextdoorland was brittle and jagged.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Its stories of survivors and struggling lovers have a wistfulness that spills from the lyrics into the tone of David Hidalgo’s vocal performances and the warm guitar lines, which draw on blues, classic rock, and traditional Mexican musical flourishes.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Their third effort finds the four-piece twisting confessional post-punk into something startling, brash, and exhilarating.