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 Black Sea
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    For the second time in 2006, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface has released an album that makes it seem everyone else in the hip-hop world should be paying more attention to Ghostface.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    If there are a few dull moments, that’s all part of recording an album that functions like one extended, magnificent achievement of a song.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Yeah, the alternate/alternating track sequence is screwy for the first seven songs or so — Deerhunter build momentum only to lose it. But it gives the album’s backside something of a black-and-white-to-Technicolor moment.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Here the material has the swagger and toughness of loud, sloppy rock.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It feels endless — in a good way.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Like a perfectly attired woman, the National are fleetingly alluring, never gaudy, subtly enchanting.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Maybe it’s Lambert’s dark, rocking side that makes her ballads sound so disarmingly tender, sweet, and vulnerable.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Johns’s stylistic schizophrenia might set you off here; even his singing on Young Modern changes from cut to cut. Everyone else: dig in--this thing is quite a feast.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The title Revival is no hype: Fogerty is again in full command of his talent for blending heartfelt writing with irony-free meat-and-potatoes rock.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The sweetest instrument, however, is Wyatt’s voice, whose fragile, high, quavering tone is honest to the core.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Any of these songs would have been a charttopper in the day. Should be now, too, but that’s another story.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Fans of old-time music, that vague notion of a genre called Americana, and bedrock artists like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard should find Dirt Farmer, Helm’s first solo disc in 25 years, appropriately haunting.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Here you get an hour’s worth of top-notch disco-house jams crammed together into a non-stop megamix that emphasizes both the duo’s tune sense and their body-rocking beatcraft.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Their songs of experience suggest they spent some time exploring that darkness, only to have found the light on the other side.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The recent full-band reunion "Volume 4" was a small triumph, but Rain may be even more satisfying, since it’s the best work Jackson has done with a line-up that’s not strict-rock-band.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Even Youngster’s more modest near-ballads, like 'My Year in Lists,' preserve the band’s boisterous style through outlandish lyrics (“You said, ‘Send me stationery to make me horny’/So I always write you letters in multi-colors”) and ecstatic delivery, making twee fare like long-distance relationships or working in a bookstore seem like serious pop paydirt.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    No, Virginia ranks with Elvis Costello’s "Taking Liberties" as a B-sides/leftovers album that turns out to be more fun and more revealing than a thought-out official release.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Pollard has long been in the business of writing songs, but here he seems invigorated; and for the first time in a long while, his business is mixed with pleasure.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    All rappers ride on the claim that they’re the best, but on III Wayne makes his case.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Youth Novels, one-ups the competition by being sillier, funkier, and less comfortable--more “Konichiwa Bitches” than Keren Ann.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It’s a sonic adventure thanks to Burnett’s current signatures: booming drum kits sans cymbals, knotty guitars, lyrics sung through amplifiers, and an open, airy quality that’s the antithesis of modern rock production.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Every song, no matter how familiar, is transformed by one detail or another.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It’s a ridiculous album, sure, but take "Defenders of the Faith," replace the Metallion with Nostradamus, double the number of awesome riffs, add the occasional pan flute and symphonic embellishments, and you have the most grandiose metal record likely to be released this year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The lyrics run, uh, let’s say straightforward, but Black Kids know as well as any good sentimentalists that delivery is everything; teenage yearning couldn’t hope for a much better vehicle than their pouting power pop.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    LP3
    The result is some kind of cosmic machine music, reflecting not just a stoner’s world of internalized minimalist headbanging but an entire universe of culture, texture, and possibility.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Throughout Love on the Inside, Nettles and Bush trick out their twangy tunes with shiny new-wave guitars, creamy pop harmonies, and robust rock beats.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It’s just an Omaha boy playing some good old country pop--for once.