The Wire's Scores

  • Music
For 991 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 46% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Kid A
Lowest review score: 10 Amazing Grace
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 991
991 music reviews
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Marks a radical departure in its scope and overall sound.... Unwound have reinvented their music as Progressive hardcore, framing abstract conceits in rock solid structures. This brave, ambitious record retains its edge in a blur of invention. [#206, p.76]
    • The Wire
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A thousand times more exciting in every way than most everything in the air at the moment.... Timbaland's production is frontier staking stuff... [#208, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The sonic scribbles of Kid A are far more stimulating than their regular grind.... Along with Primal Scream's Exterminator, Kid A is a vital work. Anyone remotely interested in contemporary music should listen to it at least once. [#201, p.59]
    • The Wire
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music has an originality that sounds remarkable even now. [#248, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Instead of disappearing amid the back stories and deep cuts, the hefty additional content and context only acts as so many glittering foils for the enduring, singular force of their crowning achievement, the album itself. [Apr 2014, p.70]
    • The Wire
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is an archive of surprises. And one of the surprises of the year. [#220, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Frankly, the guy defies you not to be impressed by what he's got. [#234, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Jurado's spare, edgy songs are miniature masterpieces of mood and character. [#229, p.68]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A taut, brutal collection which is as strong as anything they've released in their previous incarnations. [June 2003, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's surely his finest recorded hour to date. [#230, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Possibly their best.... Brave, bleak yet compassionate. [#225, p.77]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    5
    Contrasting epic, experimental freakouts with concise chamber music, 5 is a diverse album, full of gems bleeding with icy brilliance. [#235, p.69]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A splendid piece of work; compelling even when shorn of its conceptual and procedural backdrop, and infinitely more invigorating when considered as one with its making. [#205, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Stands as a monument to punk rock action at its most intelligent. [#236, p.60]
    • The Wire
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blues Dream is both a compendious evocation and synthesis of a range of genres that never sounds merely eclectic... It's one of Frisell's most ambitious productions to date. [#207, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's simultaneously the group's most successful integration of the various strands they've chased over the years and their most ambitious and expansive work to date. [#241, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There is no fake authenticity in this musical exploration, and Herren's musical palette is impressively wide ranging. [#241, p.63]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's exhilarating and rare to hear such bruised raw performances as these. [#242, p.71]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you value surehandedness, richness, immaculate timing and the occasional tilted eyebrow then there's a lot to enjoy on Tortoise's most assured set to date. [#204, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sonic Youth have made a joyful return to their No Wave hardcore rock roots with a vibrating set of muscular songs which glide effortlessly from Gooey power pop to full on guitarmageddon meltdown, skulled out psychedelia and beyond. [#220, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Isn't so much a leftfield perversion of HipHop as it is a restoration of the genre to its avant garde roots. [#231, p.67]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Displays more intellectual rigour, subtle discipline and attention to detail than many of their younger contemporaries can ever dream of attaining. [#235, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Approaches the psychedelic grandeur of Spiritualized or Mercury Rev at their finest while still offering a wealth of carefully placed sonic detail. [#229, p.71]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Given her capacity to align reinvention with a developing maturity, the 13 lucky songs of Stories deliver a complex text. It is certainly less frenetic, as if Harvey is finding new ways to exert her presence. In addition, its thoughtful spaces and pauses suggest room for doubt and manoeuvre. [#202, p.49]
    • The Wire
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For Bjork, this release marks a development in her craft.... SelmaSongs is a little big brave collection of songs that makes me feel better whenever I listen to it. [#201, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the end, Vespertine commits its magic by daring to go places more obvious and more human than one would have ever expected. [#210, p.52]
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Juggles multiple ideas of modernism with unusual grace and success. [#234, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The album glows white-hot with fury and energy, familiar yet fresh. [#243, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the year's best releases, remix or not. [#241, p.71]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A highlty nuanced album which is at once razor sharp, and rich in new openings and possibilities. [#206, p.60]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Both totally entertaining and instantly accessible to both avant rap devotees and curious passers-by. [#246, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Granted, Flow's torrent of words is Thirlwell's familiar angsty blurt of near operatic proportions, but closer attention reveals his skill as an arranger, producer and rhythm sampler is now verging on the monumental. [#208, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This could have been camp on a Himalayan scale. Its strength is that it's anything but. [#255, p.51]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Their most beautifully conceived and ambitiously extended work to date. [#252, p.59]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Imagine cLOUDDEAD jamming with Wilco, with David Lynch producing, and you're only halfway there. [#257, p.70]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even when the songs aren't motivated by anger or frustration, they have a drive and a momentum that's breathtaking. [#256, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A complex and challenging listen. [#257, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Buck's refusal to recognise musical boundaries and his instinctive ability to pick out elements that work together--sometimes surprisingly so--have given us a genre-bending album of high artistic vision, spit and grit. [#258, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a remarkably rich and complex achievement. [#267, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Most of these songs will startle you at some point. [#268, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A superb album, in which Wyatt gathers all of his strengths, with the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ethical are brought together as only he can. [Nov 2007, p.64]
    • The Wire
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Burial has transcended his dubstep origins, belonging to a Gothic tradition that takes in Massive Attack and even 4AD at their most grandiosely despondent. [Jan 2008, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Throw in an evocative, anthemically chanted lyrical snapshot, some cryptic tales and a blues rock cover and almost every successful Fall trick familiar from the last two decades is also deployed. All of which amounts to a vital late period masterpice. [June 2008, p.47]
    • The Wire
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Steinski's work with DeFranco aka Double Dee, is the most dazzling--precisely because it avoids the pitfalls of run of the mill culture jamming and guerrilla media tactics--Steinski's solo tracks certainly have their own pleasures, even if they are more straightforwardly textural than his collabotation with Double Dee. [June 2008, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Wooden Wand's contemporary contributions to songwriting tradition have produced some great work, but on Death Seat he has excelled himself. [Nov 2010, p.64]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is crystalline and intoxicating: an album to return to repeatedly for inspiration. [Feb 2011, p.48]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If it was possible to see the debut Carbeth as a local gem of modest proportions, it's hard to receive The Constant Pageant as anything other than a finished masterpiece, with four or five songs that have longevity written in and the rest of them as musically sharp as they're lyrically alert. [May 2011, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At this moment, Bad As Me might be his best ever. [Nov 2011, p.68]
    • The Wire
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    These performances have been rightly cherished by collectors for decades. [Oct 2011, p.54]
    • The Wire
    • 99 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    After four decades, the album's concentrated blend of brutalism and intricacy, fluidity and fracture, sound as uncompromising as ever. [Nov 2011, p.69]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is his second essential album of 2012. [Sep 2012, p.70]
    • The Wire
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite its complexity, the album is full of ravishing, soulful production and vocals--as catchy and emotionally stirring as it is subversively and intellectually thrilling. [Dec 2012, p.75]
    • The Wire
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The posthumous tracks that have emerged are among the best of Hendrix's late work. [Apr 2013, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    EBM equals R Plus Seven. [Sep 2013, p.49]
    • The Wire
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is a spellbinding album by a singular guitarist who combines the dexterity of Paco De Lucia with the hypnotic death-drawl of Bukka White. [Oct 2013, p.51]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Would their punk model work for a Stravinsky cover, with its unique challenges? The answer given by this recording is a resounding yes. [May 2014, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A highly engaging and very endearing album. [#223, p.59]
    • The Wire
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An engaging, unpredictable album of Tortoise-like vibraphones, guitars, minimalist repetitions, wry syncopations, occasional duff notes and subtly daubed electronics. [#228, p.69]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Double Figure is as good as anything they have done. [#207, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is Pole at his most expansive and communicative. [#233, p.69]
    • The Wire
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is a kind of exuberance you thought went out of fashion with The B-52s. [#211, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All the sharp, cold ridges of the usual electronic sound palette are sheared off and smoothed down on this beguilingly gentle release. [#228, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's an appealing openness and lack of guile to much of Sign. [#215, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At the heart of Rain On Lens, [Callahan] comes clean for the first time: Smog is subjective, not omnipotent. Hardly a psyche stripped bare, but at least it's a start. [#211, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    25 years down the line, Wire are still pulling off coups as daring and deadly as This Heat's debut. [#224, p.73]
    • The Wire
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fog
    This isn't really the future of HipHop, but as a fleeting reverie on its conflicted present, it makes for a fantastic detour. [#217, p.55]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A slippery, shape-shifting quality is one of the great strengths of Amon Tobin's sixth album. Plainly put, Out From Out Where is impossible to pin down. [#226, p.67]
    • The Wire
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A fastidiously crafted and appealingly damp hour of digital earthsong. [#229, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Optometry is a success in terms of both sound and vision. [#221, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Callaghan has served up an album that, interestingly for his fractured vocals and streaming lyrics, is unusually coherent. [#230, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A feast of buried treasure, a flickerframe parade which continually offers up magical fragments of sound, revelatory and transitory in equal measure. [#230, p.46]
    • The Wire
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those expecting further dubwize excursions from this duo may be disappointed by their venture into the lounge rather than the yard. Unfair, really, as Thievery Corporation have embodied eclecticism from their beginnings, and the bass booms as sweetly as on any of their previous efforts. [#200, p.83]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    They're both adept at the refined art of turning nothing new into something memorable. [#207, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I Phantom could prove to be one of the most consistently rewarding HipHop records to land in 2002. [#223, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unremittingly bleak but absolutely compelling. [#204, p.68]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Breezy, disorientated, unhurried, its content seeks an instant surface rapport through a bold display of clips and cuts. [#245, p.69]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A defining album that should lift her out of the 'sounds like' territory. [#248, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As Four Tet, Hebden has devised a musical identity that is distinctly different from his work with Fridge, but both projects share a passion for defying boundaries. [#231, p.60]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Musically and lyrically, A Ghost Is Born is translucent, weightless, supernatural, capable of drifting back and forth across rock'n'roll's state lines at will. [#246, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As Town And Country's move into mellow artists maturity, C'mon is an oasis of sensitive calm from our loutish world. [#217, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Unlike a lot of electronica, the music never lapses into mere tastefulness. [#235, p.75]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Coomes and Weiss' compact set up maintans an awkward dynamic balancing natural elegance with barbed experiment to sustain the music's flux of design and accident. [#235, p.64]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If Lightning Bolt works best live, Wonderful Rainbow loses nothing of the duo's spontaneous wallop. [#230, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Superficially, Lovage is a continuation of the Handsome Boy Modeling School aesthetic that collides HipHop, rock and electronica into an ironic hipster epic. [#213, p. 59]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More choppy and scattered than its predecessor but equally compelling. [#241, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Evokes the same stark, road weary melancholy as Ry Cooder's score for Paris, Texas, but with a far more extensive sonic toolbox. [#240, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In isolation, no individual song is particularly memorable but together they add up to a musical vision you just can't ignore. [#215, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While rock fans may be disappointed by Yo La Tengo's fleeting venture into playful jazz, the group continue to produce music that's full of gesture and emotional intensity. [#231, p.73]
    • The Wire
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What's striking is that he's less wacky than he's ever been, instead pursuing a rougher, more complex sound. [#208, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A very nice slab of pan-generic, lof-fi, yearn-pop. [#231, p.59]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A record that urges you to lean closer to the speakers in order to fully hear everything that is being played and sung. [#216, p.63]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More substantial, positive and dynamic. [#225, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Band Red suggests they have reached meltdown and anybody encountering their post-punk roar would be advised to stand well back. [#243, p.74]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Kadanes have created a collection of songs of which they can be proud. [#246, p.62]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A rewarding new departure. [#242, p.72]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A quietly masterful concoction. [#236, p.62]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There's at once a sense that Venice is weightier and more purposeful than its predecessor. [#243, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    May be the year's most surprising pure pop pleasure--precisely because it's nothing like you'd expect a pop album to be. [#224, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It may lack subtlety but it sounds incredibly vital. [#229, p.68]
    • The Wire
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Low's original stark minimalism has gradually given way to a broader sonic range, without sacrificing their strangely accessible otherness. [#204, p.68]
    • The Wire