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 Crystal Castles [2010]
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Aphrodite feels like a disjointed hodge-podge of shallow Hi-NRG dance-floor bangers for a decidedly older crowd.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Still, like the lovable Muppet, Flaws is just a little too green to have any major impact.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Where's the band's personality? Promises glimmer everywhere, as when off-kilter instrumental breaks start stabbing away at "18th Street," but the entire album eventually drifts past without delivering anything as sonically-or emotionally-provocative.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part of the problem is Rihanna's essential blandness in a post-Gaga/post-Idol pop market, but mostly it comes down to the siren-song nature of her amazingly recognizable voice.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ritual is so grandiose that it rarely has room to breathe.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nary a tippy toe strays from the well-trodden path; it's as if Lemmy and the boys spent every couple of years locked in a studio with their own discography and no outside noises that might besmirch the purity of their brand. There are occasional hints of self-awareness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What Spiritual, Mental, Physical documents is a group kicking around possibilities that could go somewhere great, but as they appear here, only a handful of these half-cooked ideas deserve an audience.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The contrived sheen marring much of the album dissolves, and things get industrial real quick. That dark and uncharted - for Cut Copy - territory might be the way to go heading forward.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Safari Disco Club is unlikely to find itself in the speakers of many dance parties on this side of the Atlantic in coming weeks.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Hooks are competent and decent but never demanding enough for you to race out to get a song's lyrics embedded into your skin.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Keys and Codes, which inverts the title of Death Cab's last record, feels slapped together, which is disappointing when you consider the array of talent present.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Returning after 11 years of officially not existing, what's left of ATR could've focused their energies on kicking lots of ass. Instead, they indulge spoken-wordy, freshman-year non-profundities that mostly siphon energy from the get-up-and-f*ck-some-shit-up ethos present on a few okay tracks like "Activate" and "Codebreaker."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although Scattered Trees get emotionally expansive throughout this full-length debut, there's a distinct lack of production (and even playing) here, and that colors the proceedings with an anonymous hue.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Closer to Closed is a testament to the decline of Braid's teen angst, but those who grew up with the band may not recognize this aging friend.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The Devil's Rain is chock full of good, campy horror business.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is a mixed bag.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage fails by making the obvious choice at every turn.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Although only adequate run-throughs of the studio-album tracks, Stage Whispers' live performances do underscore a continuity between songs from both 5:55 and IRM that otherwise wasn't apparent. Stage Whispers' new offerings, on the other hand, are consistently interesting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Though Eno is adequate, moments where he takes over the collaboration (such as on "West Bay" and "Watch a Single Swallow . . . ") are too under-nourished and ponderous to suggest that he's giving us something new.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    This is the same ol' Korn you've loved or hated (or felt indifferently toward) since you first saw that slo-mo bullet in the "Freak on a Leash" video, except with de-tuned guitars swapped for garish, beefy synths.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    A curiosity from a true talent.