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 1.8 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:
1091 music reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It would help if the songs were better, but with all the up-and-down scales and chirp-chirp-chirpiness, the American Express commercial gradually gives way to a Riverdance special on pay-per-view.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage fails by making the obvious choice at every turn.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's a bummer that Visions ended up as a fever dream of a record: unnecessarily oblique, listlessly long (48 minutes!), and painfully shapeless.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Sun
    Bland, quasi-political lyrics and zonked-out, dead-end textures.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It's all meant to sound fresh, but it doesn't always sound good.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Forsaking subtly Southern melancholy in favor of jangling, twanging hillbilly heartbreak, Here's to Taking It Easy misplaces amplified country fever instead of channeling it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    La Radiolina is the most rockist album of his solo career--and also the most disappointing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For a while, it's promising: "Only If for a Night" pits Welch's soulful-and-strange vocal gymnastics against a firecracker beat and a gang of chorus chanters. But elsewhere, Ceremonials feels drained of personality.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The release is not without brief visits to riff heaven, and it’s in the details that there are pleasures to be found....But too often you bop along to the tight drum/bass syncopations only to forget what you’re listening to--or worse, why.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Of all the possible directions the band could have taken, they decided on generic coffeehouse folk pop, with predictably pleasant-yet-dull results.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    For the jaded among us, this is regressive and full of genre-contrivance.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nothing about The Soft Pack makes you wanna know who these guys are or what they have to say about the world outside their practice space.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Not everything is new on Everything Is New, this young London singer's sophomore set, but enough is to make you wonder what on earth persuaded Jack Penate to ditch the ample charms of his terrific debut.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It lacks the playfulness of the early Faust records, where the band's experiments with jazz, folk, and raunchy rock and roll were coated with acceptable degrees of avant-garde theatricality.