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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Call it what you want, just be prepared to call it something other than music.
    • 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.
    • 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.)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    There’s plenty in the way of ambition on Widow City, but little substance to back it up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Suuns' debut LP is pieced together from a few decent ideas and a lot of bad ones.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Sounds hollow and uninspired.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Argos's unrepentant superstar imitations aside, Brilliant! Tragic! holds some well-written standouts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    Davis-Jeffers sounds bored throughout The Flexible Entertainer, and her languid, half-rapped vocals are entirely affectless.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    If Esben and the Witch don't quell their sonic histrionics, they may not get a second curtain call.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Critic Score
    This may work as a singles record, but it lacks the depth to hold much interest.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 37 Critic Score
    Lifeless and boring.
    • 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.