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 Diotima
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Chalk up at least some of this disconnect to Brendan O’Brien’s production, which is often so slicked down and smooshed together that it doesn’t just airbrush the band’s jagged edges, it sandblasts them.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The effect is as scattershot as the guest list.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Only the title track bears any resemblance to what Dashboard once were.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Kasabian can’t do anything besides snarl, a limitation that’s starting to show after only two albums.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    His much-delayed solo debut eschews the kind of risk his productions are known for, and the result turns into one big mash of slow fades waiting for pretty ladies in the video.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Too often on The Evolution she’s looking over her shoulder, too self-conscious to be a real seductress.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ode to Ochrasy is a little more energized, but Mando Diao still aren’t breaking fresh ground.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Last 2 Walk is a club-banging record, but it’s hard to recommend something so by-the-book.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    La Radiolina is the most rockist album of his solo career--and also the most disappointing.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There’s something melodious and calm about Will.i.am’s third solo hip-hop/R&B album--but there’s also something boring about its euphonic electro-funk dolor.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Despite always titanic levels of rock-star delusion must at some level be aware that this time they have turned in a truly half-assed piece of work.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Unless you’re a diehard fan, wait for their new album in the spring.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Those vocal harmonies are used to good effect in the blue-eyed-soul tune 'Alaska.' But 'Die Die Die,' a slow and raggedy piece of psychedelia complete with funereal organ but thrown askew by out-of-place handclaps, is far too taken in by its own gloom.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There are so many clashing vocal parts and guitar effects that you have to strain to hear the actual songs. Which is a shame, because said songs (all of which Ringo co-wrote) are pretty good.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Brian Wilson and his karaoke-smooth backing band the Wondermints have instead given us something on par with 1970s Beach Boys--kinda bloated, kinda silly, mostly out of date, but with enough earnestness and pop intuition to be so, so, so puerile that hating it would be like hating Raffi.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Seaside Rock amounts to a log of underhashed production ideas from the test kitchen.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The meta quality of the immoral, libidinous singer refracted through unblinking irony feels too transparent for a songwriter of Cocker's depth.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    In the end, the record seems an ascetic exercise, complete with drumstick count-ins.