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 Praise & Blame
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is accessible music pushed to the very edge of accessibility, far away from the safety of the band's song-oriented efforts "At War with the Mystics" and "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Paired with an artful book that spins the tale of these sides and their place in Woody's world by Guthrie historian Ed Cray and Rounder co-founder Bill Nowlin, these four CDs are a superb introduction to an artist whose influence extends to Dylan, Springsteen, and, indeed, nearly all American music that followed on his dusty heels.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This beautiful disc needs only her sweet muted-trumpet voice and optimistic viewpoint to sail gracefully through its 10 songs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ay Ay Ay, the second full-length effort from Chilean-born, German-raised Matias Aguayo (who now splits time between Buenos Aires and Paris) is, in source and spirit, one of the most human dance-pop records of the year.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Split over six fantastic-sounding CDs, these live recordings are a revelation, an aural document of the Doors and Morrison at their professional best.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The likes of Kate Nash and company have flitted through this piano siren/exuberant dance-diva territory, but never mind, because this gorgeous genre starts now.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    After years of being the untrained savage in the china shop of modern metal, HOF may find themselves owning the store with this accomplished thrash platter.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Having put aside the gimmicky Atari-melting antics of yore, the Castles have created a dense-yet-airy thicket of pure pop transcendence.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Stooges' third and final studio album before their recent reunion--remains a uniquely visceral listening experience, a confrontational slab of psychedelic punk made in the dead zone between psychedelia's demise and punk's birth.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    He’s no slouch in his endless catalogue of exhumed pop tropes, and here he treats radio pop’s past with the all-encompassing vagueness of its title.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Anyone digging into Maya (or MAYA, as it's being promoted) expecting club-banging pop hits will be . . . not disappointed, but definitely confused.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    But tempos that gait like a swinging pocket watch and Kozelek's drowsy, double-tracked voice make a strong case for a spellbinding kind of sublimity. This uncanny effect is even more pronounced on Admiral Fell Promises.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Praise & Blame casts away the extraneous baggage that has weighed down many of Jones's previous recordings and puts the focus squarely on the voice.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The lyrical immediacy and intimacy lift Black City leagues above much of the disassociated drivel that's labeled vocal house.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The album is full of this kind of mish-mash, but it never feels forced or too clever. In fact, it's the apparent lack of thought that makes the whole thing work.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    From the opening "Variation 1" to the acoustic closer, "Sous le ciel de Paris," Ribot's phrasing is slow and contemplative, so each elegantly chiseled note stands as a beatific example of his virtuosity.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fantasy is the sound of an artist who is so far from shunning the spotlight that the firepower of the wattage pointed at him is a full-on supernova.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sublime production quality and danceability aside, this mix scores as a chronicle of American pop music that elicits a dual layer of nostalgia: the first for the sampled songs themselves, the second for the thrill of the novelty of early mash-ups.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Nearly a quarter-century in, Faith isn't timeless, but it fits into an '80s time capsule where horns, cheesy-sounding drum machines, and four-day-old stubble were the standard.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Amid the carnage and the stink of loss, PJ Harvey creates inspiring beauty.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The fact that Greatest Story didn't drop on a major just attests to how perverted the industry is. That said, the delicious and anthemic Just Blaze beats, money cameos, and precise orchestration that spoiled deals afforded render this the last great major-label rap album of all time - even though it's on an indie.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Whether he's in onomatopoetic punch-line mode or scratching the Cee Lo end of his terrific range, Monch is hip-hop's superlative talent, and now he has a solo stripe to prove it.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    So many wonderful things happen on Lenses Alien that you can't possibly remember them all. The only solution, of course, is to listen again.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Almost dreamlike in his flow, Thundercat totes us along by way of his agile bass-neck work, sly Rhodes riffs, and vocals that sound filtered through daisies and sunshine.