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 Pink
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1091 music reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There is a place in this world (Pottery Barn maybe, or a future Eddie Murphy romantic comedy) for the R(ap)&B cocktail party that is Finding Forever.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For a while, Magic Hour - the band's fourth full-length - lives up to the promise of its hilarious, zebra-centric-2001: A Space Odyssey cover art. But the wheels fall off with "Year of Living Dangerously," a campy, aimless doodle not even rescued by its random violin solo.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nary a tippy toe strays from the well-trodden path; it's as if Lemmy and the boys spent every couple of years locked in a studio with their own discography and no outside noises that might besmirch the purity of their brand. There are occasional hints of self-awareness.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The songs start running together till they’re not distinct tracks so much as guitars and bass and drums and yelpy indie vocals that happen to have been recorded at the same time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The echo-saturated clang works as background music if you’re washing dishes in a haunted house or performing at-home knee surgery, but hunker down with the sound by itself and it evaporates like stale smoke.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The results are hit-or-miss.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A curiosity from a true talent.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The King of Limbs, a breezy exploration of the depths of subliminal glitch-folk, is this band's admission that the labyrinth of post–OK Computer zigs and zags they've led their audience through may never again lead to an arena-rock goldmine.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Hamilton attempts to resuscitate it with his warm voice, but the record plods on with one mid-tempo nodder after another.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For the jaded among us, this is regressive and full of genre-contrivance.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The General Strike sticks to the same supposedly state-smashing standards that drove the previous six or so albums from these Pittsburgh-bred punks into redundancy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although the Cribs are very good at what they do, the songwriting on the album just feels tired and unfocused.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part of the problem is Rihanna's essential blandness in a post-Gaga/post-Idol pop market, but mostly it comes down to the siren-song nature of her amazingly recognizable voice.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Their most subdued effort yet.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    And so it goes with Mogwai's A Wrenched Virile Lore: a broad range of electro producers, ambient knob-twiddlers, and singer-songwriters re-assemble the Scottish post-rock champs' most recent studio album, the excellent Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, mostly with shitty bonus-feature-styled results.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is the same ol' Korn you've loved or hated (or felt indifferently toward) since you first saw that slo-mo bullet in the "Freak on a Leash" video, except with de-tuned guitars swapped for garish, beefy synths.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Seaside Rock amounts to a log of underhashed production ideas from the test kitchen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For a densely layered, expertly produced dance-rock album, this second full-length from British three-piece Friendly Fires is perplexingly bland.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, the record seems an ascetic exercise, complete with drumstick count-ins.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    In exploring his split psyche, T.I. forgets what made the excursion interesting to begin with: there’s good and evil in everyone, but you gotta mix the two to get a reaction.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    More often, however, CooRosie appear uninterested in the listener's experience--and that can make Grey Oceans a bit of a slog. The cost of their commitment is you.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Very few of their melodies go anywhere memorable, and when they do, they never go anywhere else. ("Courage" plays like one long mid-tempo drone.)
    • 77 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Lack of body heat and dynamics aside, the ideas on Warm Heart of Africa are pretty strong, perhaps awaiting ironically fairer treatments in the hands of future remixers.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Long on tweedly solos, rambling structures, and songs about being trapped in space and time, Prior to the Fire--love the title, dudes, despite my disappointment--is sure to satisfy hardcore stoner-metal devotees with no fear of the occasional eight-minute track length. Everybody else should seek out "Hello Master."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    The lyrics are nonsense about grotesque surgeries and a futuristic interface of man and machine; they’re sung with a weariness that suggests that even the singer is fatigued with this kind of thing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Gordon isn’t much of a tune man; his melodies rarely take a memorable shape here, and his adenoidal singing turns what he does have into open-mic mush. The lyrics, too, are on a pretty low burn.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Call it what you want, just be prepared to call it something other than music.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Throughout, you can feel the tension between RJ's desire to make something real, in spite of his limitations as a performer, and his discomfort with his true strengths in sample-based pastiche. In the end, it's a colossal waste of talent and time.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    So far--on two full-lengths and a pair of EPs--the results have been underwhelming. That trend continues on this homonymous disc.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Suuns' debut LP is pieced together from a few decent ideas and a lot of bad ones.