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 1.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 MAYA
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1091 music reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What Spiritual, Mental, Physical documents is a group kicking around possibilities that could go somewhere great, but as they appear here, only a handful of these half-cooked ideas deserve an audience.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Aphrodite feels like a disjointed hodge-podge of shallow Hi-NRG dance-floor bangers for a decidedly older crowd.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    On "Cynic's New Year," Portland, Ore., indie-folk duo Horse Feathers stick so firmly to their sonic guns that it becomes tightly constricting.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Returning after 11 years of officially not existing, what's left of ATR could've focused their energies on kicking lots of ass. Instead, they indulge spoken-wordy, freshman-year non-profundities that mostly siphon energy from the get-up-and-f*ck-some-shit-up ethos present on a few okay tracks like "Activate" and "Codebreaker."
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Individually, these songs pack an emotional wallop, performed with a passion that is rare in today's indie-rock scene of disconnected cool. But taken as a giant lump, they're exhausting dead-ends: 12 straight climaxes cancel each other out - and Babel could use a little rising action.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sun
    Bland, quasi-political lyrics and zonked-out, dead-end textures.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    But as a musical concern, the Conchords can’t hold a candle to [Tenacious] D, a shortcoming that’s much more apparent on this homonymous CD than it is on TV.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Only the title track bears any resemblance to what Dashboard once were.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Keys and Codes, which inverts the title of Death Cab's last record, feels slapped together, which is disappointing when you consider the array of talent present.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Besides sounding more like laptoppers Fennesz and Tim Hecker than proto-drone cousins Sunn O))), All the Way even dips into the glorious filter sweeps of trance music, here twisted toward sonic decay rather than utopia.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Gorilla Manor is listenable and inoffensive, but it doesn't express a single aforementioned component of its genre with any gusto.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The murky production seems lazy rather than artful; the hard-rock riffs don’t kick as hard as they’re meant to.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Devil's Rain is chock full of good, campy horror business.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too many of the songs rely on a stilted, march-like rhythm that makes them sound formal and restrained, especially when paired with Newman's arch lyrical delivery.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage fails by making the obvious choice at every turn.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Freedom is mostly lame club tunes with mega-auto-tuned vocals about wishing "I could just stop by and lay by your side."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Their loping AM-radio psychedelia--like later Stereolab or lighter Dungen--engages with enough noise (if not complex rhythms) to keep the band out of mawkish territory.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though Eno is adequate, moments where he takes over the collaboration (such as on "West Bay" and "Watch a Single Swallow . . . ") are too under-nourished and ponderous to suggest that he's giving us something new.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    La Radiolina is the most rockist album of his solo career--and also the most disappointing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Yes, there are some colorful, more fully realized moments toward the end, but all the mumbling and fussing it takes to get there is murder.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Like any great jingle, it leaves you with nothing but a vague craving for the product, without quite knowing why you need it.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The rest of the album, which was produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, never quite lives up to that early peak.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The heart is here, but the lyrics have him sounding like a man who’s turned healing into a systematic process — a man who’s heard too much kind advice or maybe sat through too much therapy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Despite the raucous vibe, Diamond Rugs is flawed - scattered, unfocused, and rather long, at 14 tracks.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ritual is so grandiose that it rarely has room to breathe.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Donnas get the ball into the red zone from time to time on Bitchin', but they never really score.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Polished, tuneful, and utterly unmemorable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Where's the band's personality? Promises glimmer everywhere, as when off-kilter instrumental breaks start stabbing away at "18th Street," but the entire album eventually drifts past without delivering anything as sonically-or emotionally-provocative.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too often on The Evolution she’s looking over her shoulder, too self-conscious to be a real seductress.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Kasabian can’t do anything besides snarl, a limitation that’s starting to show after only two albums.