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 Pink
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    El-P's least ambitious record.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Kozelek's guitar playing is predictably tremendous, what with all those incessant triads and nervous arpeggios. But at 17(!) tracks, many of them floundering for melody and meaning, this is the first SKM release to spin its wheels.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Aside from the highlights, though, other cuts here fall short of album quality, especially the last three selections, which are paint-by-number displays of chops and over-seriousness.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    [Their] strange blend of influences can be fascinating... but Instinct - clocking in at a bloated 14 tracks and 56 total minutes - runs out of gas way before reaching the finish line.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Although the band's sonic stew isn't particularly remarkable or consistent (instrumentation oscillates between warm and comforting, and distant and anemic), their lyrics have a peculiar charm that keeps them alluring.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    From moment to moment, Never's oddball quality can be a blessing, but it becomes more of a curse when the moment passes and there's little besides disparate pieces to hold onto.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Sometimes it gets too cheerful.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Gira's career has been one of violations and risks; there are plenty here. However, his trademark brand of post-rock/ambient alienation may finally leave listeners indifferent.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Light on laughs and riffage, the title/cover entendre makes it hard to tell if it is supposed to be so terrible or a joke about being so terrible... But the long-available cover of Radiohead's "Street Spirit" is inspired, and first single "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us" grafts one candy rope hook after another into one of the year's finest melodies.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The album's listlessness - when compared to the blisteringly restless heartbreak/firecracker of Dreams - is kind of a bummer.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Even though the album's zany unpredictability can be thrilling, it often feels like Banks is adorning vacant tunes ("Arise Awake," the plodding instrumental "Another Chance") with bells and whistles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Everything about Free Dimensional is cheesy--from the mousey bedroom beats to the predictable synth lines to O'Regan's (hard) Soft Cell vocal delivery to the awkward, bumbling raps. Regardless, several songs are stunning.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The Ohio trio took their time with Feel Anything, arriving at this more focused, albeit less celestial, effort.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    The songs are what we've come to expect--approachable slacker jams mixed in with cursory love songs, and the occasional guitar solo that proves reverb and washed-out colors don't have the monopoly on nostalgia--but production is cleaner and energy levels are lower.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    If there's a knock to be had against the Harlem rapper, it's that he lacks an original presence. So it's curious that for his major-label debut he's opted to further venture down the rabbit hole of references, loading Long.Live.A$AP with a bevy of guests with personalities far more distinctive than his own.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Love Sign dips a little too far into the Fountains of Wayne kiddie pool.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    II
    Somebody needs to boot Nielson off his why-fi connection: beneath the murk is the work of a riveting craftsman.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    While lukewarm as a whole, The Messenger doesn't suck nearly enough to bruise Marr's status as a guitar deity on wheels.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Push the Sky Away feels heavy on breath-taking and woodshedding, an album of waiting for sparks to ignite.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    It ain't exactly Bill Shakespeare (or Trojans), but it gets the job done.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Hit the Waves is so heartfelt as a pastiche of '80s alternative music that it almost muscles its way into being brilliant.
    • 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.