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 2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Snakes For The Divine
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    This new release is a work of subtle majesty, sidestepping whatever you might think of as "folktronica" while still keeping everything from running into the red.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Brothers finds the Black Keys digging their own space, one that needn’t be geographically defined.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    'Young Hearts Spark Fire' showcases their gleeful exuberance, but even on more subdued numbers like 'Sovereignty,' they still sound like two kids who don't yet know their own strength.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    What still holds up is the low-end garage-rock throb of Mick Taylor and Keith's guitars with bassist Bill Wyman, and the idiosyncratic bite of Jagger's diction. But even Mick's attempts to offend (like changing the age of that stray cat from 15 to 13) make this special four-disc 40th-anniversary "deluxe" edition more historic document (and collectible!) than satisfying listen.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Singing gets no more graceful than Green’s hot buttered tenor, which he plies here with every micron of grace and soul he can muster. Add the Dap-King Horns (able backers of Sharon Jones and Amy Winehouse) and this is more than a soul album. It’s an album with soul.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Although some songs ("Taxi Cab" and "Holiday" especially) can make it seem like just another, nicer sweater to knot around our necks, the other word I never expected to use here is perhaps the most important for a young band of VW's talent: better.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Rough-edged and overdriven in the right places, super-slick as their Reagan-era new-wave touchstones elsewhere, this pomo-funk concoction from Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé is like a French kiss from Sonny Crockett.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Though the Long Beach band's sound may not be the most original going, Avi Buffalo pull it off with polish, not sacrificing quality production or songwriting for the sake of a vibe.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Her [Andrea Lukic] presence makes Sundowning cathartic--if not downright life-affirming.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Embracing those basics of simplistic pop, the kind that doesn't need to be over thought, works nearly all of the time, and though a little bit of depth to the proceedings would have been nice here and there, a robust hook will do just as well.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    On Life Is Good, he's lyrically and musically rich as he's been for years now.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    In short, it's a triumph. Yes, it's still messy, and yes, Patrick Flegel's apathetic nasal vocals are too saturated, or buried in the mix, or both, but the intricate musicianship and songwriting take this from "yet another lo-fi garage album" to mini masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Here's one of the few first-quarter releases of 2011 that people will still be listening to in 2012.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The bilious frontman has aged like a cheap wine: embittered, but with enough kick left to make for a good time.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Push the Sky Away feels heavy on breath-taking and woodshedding, an album of waiting for sparks to ignite.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Songwriter Stuart Murdoch often makes good on Morrissey's promise to deliver songs that live up to their titles.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their fourth album isn’t substantially different from their first three: Jones’s delivery, alternately muscular and tender, and the band’s total empathy with the genre’s rules elevate each tune to lost-classic status.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Unthanks’ voices are hair-raisingly exquisite in the most sororal of ways.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Full of airy vocals and synths, the album sounds as if it could lift off at any moment if not for the drum thumps tethering it down. But the beats sound weighty only in contrast.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It's a refined sense of balance that sets her apart from Grouper and Julia Holter, artists to whom Evans is too often compared.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    '(Keep Eye On) Others' Gain' and the title track sound similarly hopeful. The gloom is still there on 'You Remind Me of Something' and 'Willow Trees Bend,' but it feels less crushing. There is also more variety to the sonic textures.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's easy to imagine her getting very famous, because Torres doesn't wash the songs out with its prettiness.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Damaged isn’t the most tuneful record Wagner and company have made.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Here, as on 2005’s "Takk," Sigur Ros have chosen to distill their rapture epics into shorter, more accessible bursts of swelling beauty. Yet this album still offers all the signature touchstones that make the band so deliciously unlike their post-rock contemporaries.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Even more than on last year’s auspicious digital-only "Exposion," Austin’s White Denim stomp down the fine line between fertile versatility and iffy uncertainty. More often than not on Fits, this works out awesome.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Metals packs more sonic punch than its 2007 predecessor, but the problem here is not with recording quality--it's libido.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    This, their third album is as ambitious as its predecessors but mutes the joy in favor of a more serious tone and tighter focus--well, as tight as an album with a 10-minute number called 'Dragon's Lair' can be. The results are mixed.
    • 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.