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 Raw Power [Reissue]
Lowest review score: 0 Last of a Dyin' Breed
Score distribution:
1,091 music reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Keep an Eye on the Sky--which expands Big Star's three early-'70s albums with a bevy of demos, alternate takes, and a complete 1973 live set--shores up the band's legend for a new generation.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    They were unadulterated shredders, too, as Capitol's extensive reissues of Siamese Dream (1993) and its predecessor, Gish (1991), remind us in bountiful fashion.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Take this, the album's third legit release (which, by the way, sounds so balls you can practically hear the dank nugs), pop it in, turn out all the lights, face Mecca, and bow down.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fantasy is the sound of an artist who is so far from shunning the spotlight that the firepower of the wattage pointed at him is a full-on supernova.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The Stones mined its [sessions] results for years to come, creating little else of value otherwise and entering the nostalgia-act phase of their career, effectively making Some Girls the last gasp of credible new music by the self-proclaimed World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Nirvana launch into a 90-minute onslaught of fugly-beautiful grunge-guitar fury.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Paired with an artful book that spins the tale of these sides and their place in Woody's world by Guthrie historian Ed Cray and Rounder co-founder Bill Nowlin, these four CDs are a superb introduction to an artist whose influence extends to Dylan, Springsteen, and, indeed, nearly all American music that followed on his dusty heels.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Teeming with B-sides, live tracks, and demos, much of it previously unreleased, 21 is both exhaustive and indispensable.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Matador's two-disc Nicene Creedence Edition (nyuk nyuk) goes way beyond the original 12-song release, adding a whopping 31 additional cuts: outtakes, B-sides, compilation tracks, and live radio sessions, all of them top-notch.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ocean brings substance with style, rather than style demanding to be considered substance.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Stooges' third and final studio album before their recent reunion--remains a uniquely visceral listening experience, a confrontational slab of psychedelic punk made in the dead zone between psychedelia's demise and punk's birth.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It feels endless — in a good way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    The album itself--melodically inventive, melodramatic, and incredibly rocking--sounds about the same as it did when it was first reissued in the '90s.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Nearly a quarter-century in, Faith isn't timeless, but it fits into an '80s time capsule where horns, cheesy-sounding drum machines, and four-day-old stubble were the standard.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Here, he recruits a cast of producers ranging from the familiar (Dungeon Family compatriots Mr. DJ and Organized Noize) to the surprisingly appropriate (Scott Storch, Lil Jon) to craft a palette of dexterous futurist funk that seems to be a logical successor to the groundwork laid by 2003's Speakerboxxx.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Why anyone would want to be subjected to such gloom is a good question, except that Burial is a witch with the kind of drum programming that leaves no choice in the matter.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Her fourth album is arguably her funniest ... but also her leanest and most melodically daring.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 63 Critic Score
    Merriweather Post Pavilion further smoothes out their sound, and though it's full of cool, orchestrated beauty, it lacks the playfulness and spontaneity that endeared so many to this group.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    I Was Trying doesn't top "Is Dead," but it does keep Crime in Stereo on track toward the strange and unfamiliar. That might be the best compliment of all.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The fact that Greatest Story didn't drop on a major just attests to how perverted the industry is. That said, the delicious and anthemic Just Blaze beats, money cameos, and precise orchestration that spoiled deals afforded render this the last great major-label rap album of all time - even though it's on an indie.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bad as Me, his first album of new material in seven years, is a tour de force of wise ol' swagger and new-century blues.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Although it’s not a major departure, Dear Science, does have a more open, brighter sound than "Return to Cookie Mountain."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Experimental without sacrificing anything in terms of hooks or melody, passionate yet never overbearing, and clever without giving in to the urge to indulge, it places TV on the Radio on a plane with no peers.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Black Thought comes as brutish as ever, and their now-standard cast of collaborators (P.O.R.N. and Dice Raw) sound more at ease over these lanky beats than they did on more combustible previous efforts.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    With the help of Moreno, Harland, and bassist Matt Penman, Parks turns the sound of contemporary pop into real jazz--his own.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Lonerism is a life raft for the abyss of song-induced self-reflection it inspires.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Here, as on Red Album, they keep finding new ways to make old Black Sabbath tricks seem fresh.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    From the opening "Variation 1" to the acoustic closer, "Sous le ciel de Paris," Ribot's phrasing is slow and contemplative, so each elegantly chiseled note stands as a beatific example of his virtuosity.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Its stories of survivors and struggling lovers have a wistfulness that spills from the lyrics into the tone of David Hidalgo’s vocal performances and the warm guitar lines, which draw on blues, classic rock, and traditional Mexican musical flourishes.
    • 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.