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 Oceania
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Us
    The same goes for nearly every cut in this hip-hop opera, a rare work of rap that simultaneously inspires self-confidence and aggravation with the broken world around us.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Their third record proves that even the most militant punk songs are often best served by a stripped-down aesthetic.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If world domination is in question, hooks could be more defined, production could be less flat, and Paternoster's yodel most resembles the forgotten Lunachicks. But she and this Brunswick, New Jersey–born trio have staked an impressive claim.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    His most compelling collection of songs in years.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Ellison excels everywhere else, keeping the beats brisk and the instrumentation organic and lively.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    One of the more interesting rock albums in recent memory.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Attack on Memory is simultaneously abrasive and sentimental; it's a self-deprecating soundtrack for a new generation of adolescent loneliness.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This barrage of relentless noise and pummeling rhythms, when coupled with Garden Window's amorphous arrangements, can make the album claustrophobic, monotonous, and overwhelming. But the record's redeemed by its range.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Thirty-some years in, the Beasties are as sharp, hilarious, funky, and escapist as they've ever been.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For the most part, it's like a time-travel expedition back to when My Bloody Valentine ruled the land of college dorms everywhere - and pretty in pink was the way to be.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It offers a peppy antidote to You and Me, their especially downbeat 2008 offering, walking you through all the requisite Walkmen emotions: chipper resentment ("Blue As Your Blood," "Woe Is Me"), resignation ("All My Great Designs"), hung-over longing ("Torch Song"). But it's "Juveniles," the opener, that consolidates in one track all we expect the Walkmen to deliver.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The tracks are re-released here, along with some extras, and mostly betray a songwriter still finding his own voice.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    These New Puritans maintain a sense of prim composure that may appeal to listeners who prefer their dread to be more precise, less anarchic.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    There's no obvious precedent, and the session shows Redman at his best as he mixes funky riff-based bop themes with looser, free-form meditations, sometimes within the same tune.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Quik knows what he's doing. You can hear it on every track of this symphonic mini-masterpiece.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    None of the Solillaquists of Sound (S.O.S.) is originally from Florida, and that begins to explain how they could compose an eclectic cornucopia as sweet as No More Heroes.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Scandalous, though a natural progression, takes some surprising turns that attest to a tightened-up band still figuring out just how much dy-no-mite they're capable of exploding.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The first thing they did right was actually to be a band: to write songs, and tour with them, before recording. The result is a tight, energetic sound with elements of punk, heavy rock, and new wave.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The stylistic hopscotch on Harlem River Blues--he flits easily from real-deal rockabilly to soulful power-balladry to roadhouse-ready honky-tonk--points to a restlessness that serves him well.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's Bummer Time, and in 2011 there is no better soundtrack for banging your head to oblivion.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Throughout Love on the Inside, Nettles and Bush trick out their twangy tunes with shiny new-wave guitars, creamy pop harmonies, and robust rock beats.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The disparate riff-based writing can be too heavy on cue cards and too light on connecting the ideas, but it's that same friction that makes the band worth listening to.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Aficionados of ambient music might moan over Florine’s sometimes frustrating lack of low end, but for those with an open mind, a long drive, and/or a large joint, Barwick provides one of this winter’s prettiest half-hours.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    23
    A weirdly entrancing collection of polished electronics and acoustic-guitar riffs layered like fruit in a parfait glass.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's difficult to decide whether Butler's thing is psychedelic thuggishness or thuggish psychedelia, and he probably doesn't intend for us to figure it out. Either way, he's done the near-impossible in creating a sound that's wholly fresh and grows richer with every listen.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Hollenbeck leavens the severity of his attack with instrumental warmth and unusual ensemble timbre: reeds (Chris Speed), accordion (Ted Reichman), vibes (Matt Moran), bass (Drew Gress), percussion--plus, on Royal Toast, frequent collaborator Gary Versace on piano.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Teen Dream sheds the uncertainties evident in past Beach House albums--each melodic turn (and there are many) balances the force of confidence with the momentum of curiosity.
    • 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.