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 Pink
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
    • 88 Critic Score
    They were unadulterated shredders, too, as Capitol's extensive reissues of Siamese Dream (1993) and its predecessor, Gish (1991), remind us in bountiful fashion.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    House of Balloons is a gorgeous album that pairs moody beats and samples with morbid lines about drugs and late-night encounters, all of it caulked with sex.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Despite the deceptive pop-song outlines and strong grooves, just about every piece emphasizes the rich weave of voices, and on originals like 'The View from Blue Mountain' and 'Twilight of the Dogs,' Douglas extends forms you think you know to take you someplace new.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage fails by making the obvious choice at every turn.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Amid the carnage and the stink of loss, PJ Harvey creates inspiring beauty.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    w h o k i l l may be strange on first pass, but only by its uniqueness, a music whose microgenre would disappear in a whiff were Ms. Garbus to have never stumbled upon it within her.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The sweetest instrument, however, is Wyatt’s voice, whose fragile, high, quavering tone is honest to the core.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's at once majestic and gentle, a deep breath and a sigh that declares Vernon's transcendence of the turmoil and technique of his unique breakout record and establishes him as an artist who knows exactly what he's doing. Hallelujah.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The rotating cast of vocalists and the Saturday-night spirit of the instrumentation are together more welcoming than anything the DFA has dropped in years.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Reissued last year, the debut Icky Mettle had their most celebrated pop songs ("Web in Front," "Wrong," "Plumb Line") but the follow-up Vee Vee was just as great, and thicker.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Halcyon Digest is the perfect LP to spin twice, love unrepentantly, and walk away from. This refreshing tonic (poured from the cash bar of overrated newer bands) is straight from the heart of Mr. Bradford Cox, poet and purveyor of Deerhunter's zen pop psych.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Compared to 1996's Harmacy, Barlow's maudlin tendencies are relatively reined in throughout Bakesale's 15 straightforward rockers.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Eschewing fleshed-out pop maps in favor of shiny fragments works oddly well for this duo, especially given the breadth and depth of the subject matter.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Cosmogramma is decidedly more, uh, cosmic, than his 2008 "Los Angeles," in its atmospheric spiral away from the beat and toward a more free-flowing collage of instrumentation.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Koi No Yokan is not only the year's best metal-rock-space-pop album--it's also the finest Deftones album, front to back, to date.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    On Shields, they achieve a fluid synthesis: Rossen and Droste still share vocal duties, but they often tag-team the same track, trading off lines and writing melodies for one another's voices. Their styles coalesce so smoothly, it's often difficult to tell where one singer-songwriter starts and the other ends.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Truth Is Here is his second perfect disc in that many years and just earned a spot in my Top Five Alive column.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    One of his best, no doubt, and arguably one of the best-sounding records so far this year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Yet as welcome as it is to have Newman’s acerbic wit back, it remains a singular pleasure to listen to a simple, devastating ballad like 'Losing You,' which is wrapped up in sympathetic strings and absolutely devoid of irony.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    On I See the Sign, even the quietest moments sound bold.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Diotima is poetry, classical allusion, the consideration of platonic love and our place in history. It is searing shards, intricately arranged, forward-moving, stretching to infinity--lurching, faltering, and then thundering for passages that stop time and levitate your world.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Like a perfectly attired woman, the National are fleetingly alluring, never gaudy, subtly enchanting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Rook is flush with the hallmarks of Shearwater’s style, from high-wire drama to near-hymnal stillness. Although its songs aren’t as uniformly good as those on 2006’s "Palo Santo."
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The music here is visceral enough that it holds its own in the legacy of the project.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Anyone expecting a return to the slick cinemafunk of ’90s Portishead will be taken aback by Third, but though the album never reaches the eureka moments of old, it’s a welcome step into new territory and a more than satisfying downer dose to set against the onset of sunny days and ice cream.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Rock-stardom is not necessarily what you hear beckoning on Sub Pop’s 20th-anniversary reissue of Bleach, which comes with a sludgy live set taped at Portland’s Pine Street Theatre in 1990. In a way, though, that only makes this program of lumpen lumberjack-metal moves more interesting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Although a three-song offering that sounds like something scraped together using leftovers from a four-year-old album may seem a letdown, it's not, if only because, in those four years, many have tried to mimic Burial's sound but to no avail.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    From the ironically melodic “Death Penalty” to the militaristic “Rearview,” this duo have executed one of the greatest roughneck opuses this side of last century. Let’s hope it’s not a one-off.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The only thing Dirty Projectors' fifth album leaves me wishing for is a fifth rating star to wedge in.