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 Cause I Sez So
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 51 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    For a gangster, Banks sure plays it safe.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    So far--on two full-lengths and a pair of EPs--the results have been underwhelming. That trend continues on this homonymous disc.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    There’s plenty in the way of ambition on Widow City, but little substance to back it up.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    They don’t always succeed on Walk It Off, in part because producer Dave Fridmann’s oversaturated-in-both-senses-of-the-word indie-psych sound does them no favors in their attempt to establish an identifiable TNT brand.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    The lyrics are nonsense about grotesque surgeries and a futuristic interface of man and machine; they’re sung with a weariness that suggests that even the singer is fatigued with this kind of thing.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Gordon isn’t much of a tune man; his melodies rarely take a memorable shape here, and his adenoidal singing turns what he does have into open-mic mush. The lyrics, too, are on a pretty low burn.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    This record is a sequel to 2007’s "The Stage Names," and it shares its predecessor’s concerns: artifice, authenticity, and above all, the sniveling insincerity of hazy-eyed media zombies.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Even Folds’s knack for a well-placed f-bomb has devolved into a lazy device masquerading as irreverence. His attitude may remain young at heart, but his irony’s over the hill.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    With a slapdash track list that intersperses previously unreleased cuts with lightly retooled versions of tunes from Left Eye's import-only solo debut, Eye Legacy still feels like an after-the-fact throw-away, one that makes you wonder just what its creators were attempting to say about their dearly departed friend.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    The music simply crawls by in a maddeningly static mid-tempo blur, going about its melancholy business on the way to nowhere.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    B.S. includes far more filler than it needed to.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    The blithe, lyrical approach is misplaced in the context of Morello’s domineering, effects-laden guitar sound.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Agebjorn seems utterly uninterested in taking Shapiro to a new place--not even a different dance floor--and though you can't blame him for drawing out a good time, it feels as if we'd been here forever.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Bazan has, it's reported, fallen out with God and off the wagon, and those tumbles get painful airtime on his solid first solo LP, Curse Your Branches.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Somehow, though, they forgot the crucial dollop of excitement or charisma, so we're left with an earful of directionless heartbreak and failure.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Lack of body heat and dynamics aside, the ideas on Warm Heart of Africa are pretty strong, perhaps awaiting ironically fairer treatments in the hands of future remixers.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Throughout, you can feel the tension between RJ's desire to make something real, in spite of his limitations as a performer, and his discomfort with his true strengths in sample-based pastiche. In the end, it's a colossal waste of talent and time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Very few of their melodies go anywhere memorable, and when they do, they never go anywhere else. ("Courage" plays like one long mid-tempo drone.)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Long on tweedly solos, rambling structures, and songs about being trapped in space and time, Prior to the Fire--love the title, dudes, despite my disappointment--is sure to satisfy hardcore stoner-metal devotees with no fear of the occasional eight-minute track length. Everybody else should seek out "Hello Master."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    More often, however, CooRosie appear uninterested in the listener's experience--and that can make Grey Oceans a bit of a slog. The cost of their commitment is you.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Brandon Flowers has gone on record saying he brought the songs on Flamingo to his fellow bandmates for the next Killers album and was given the brush-off.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    WYWH is a darker, thinner, more digitized affair whose only compelling moments come courtesy of a new-found sex appeal of the disco variety.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Suuns' debut LP is pieced together from a few decent ideas and a lot of bad ones.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Beady Eye's eagerly awaited debut represents Liam Gallagher's uninspiring foray into the spotlight without Noel, his battle-weary brother and Oasis's chief songwriter.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    The Luyas do supply some exquisite instrumental ingredients--a French horn sent through pedals, an obscure zither-like contraption called the Moodswinger, and various electronic effects--but they have a tough time making anything memorable out of them. Timidity eventually renders their work tedious.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    The pointlessness is grating. XI Versions' final three songs do show signs of life--Animal Collective, Walls, and Pantha himself manage to work up a buzz--but they can't compensate for time killers by Lawrence, Carsten, and Efdemin that make inoffensiveness offensive.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Argos's unrepentant superstar imitations aside, Brilliant! Tragic! holds some well-written standouts.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Galactic Melt is entertaining in a novelty sort of way, but the vintage (or vintage-sounding) equipment produces such over-the-top sonics that it sinks the record, unless you're super starved for some already-been-done nostalgia.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Sounds hollow and uninspired.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    As a post-Occupy album, it's less ripped-from-the-headlines and more cribbed-from-older-and-better-ideas.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Lifeless and boring.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    With tracks like "LUV XXX," "Beautiful," and "Lover Alot," everyone's favorite dude-looks-like-a-grandma just can't let go of that screechy horndog rock.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Call it what you want, just be prepared to call it something other than music.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Throughout, a messy æsthetic attempts to cover up pop sympathies--or simply proves that dissonance and sweetness needn't be kept in their separate corners.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    With a clearer eye to the cultures whose stereotypes they’re furthering, the Bells could have made a provocative connection between the European forms they’re comfortable with and any number of traditional Middle Eastern and Indian instruments and forms they’re interested in but not serious about.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    It might be one of the year's worst albums, an underwritten, overarranged mess of factory-floor guitar fuzz, go-nowhere vocal melodies, limp electronic beats, and lyrical clunkers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    This may work as a singles record, but it lacks the depth to hold much interest.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Davis-Jeffers sounds bored throughout The Flexible Entertainer, and her languid, half-rapped vocals are entirely affectless.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The collection itself is haphazard; what's worse is that the individual tracks build and remain suspended in mid air by very thin and awkward threads, rarely growing into full-fledged arrangements.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    The songs, a handful of covers and about a dozen originals, aren't terrible, but the ukulele gets really old, really quick.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Though Daybreak generally fulfils that longing for the simpler days of 2001's Stay What You Are, it's ultimately hard to understand why it's taken almost three years to make such a simplistic record.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Insipid lyrics, absolutely zero feel, and derivative riffs that make Godsmack seem ingenious add up to everything that gives metal a bad name.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    For the most part, singer-songwriter Craig Pfunder doesn't justify the presence of vocals and lyrics.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 12 Critic Score
    All Things Bright and Beautiful, 12 sterilized laptop clunkers that are indeed bright but far from beautiful. There's no maturity in sight.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    If Esben and the Witch don't quell their sonic histrionics, they may not get a second curtain call.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    On Dyin' Breed, they stoop to some depressing new lows.