Village Voice (Consumer Guide)'s Scores

  • Music
For 223 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 73% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 27% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 82
Highest review score: 100 I Phantom
Lowest review score: 16 A Day Without Rain
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 223
223 music reviews
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Disable your prejudgment button and you'll hear a work of art whose immense entertainment value in no way compromises its intimations of a pathology that's both personal and political, created by one of those charming rogues you encounter so much more often on the page...
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music on this feisty, funny rap album isn't new--just irresistible.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A singer's record.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Not only does he create a unique role model, that role model is dangerous--his arguments against education are as market-targeted as other rappers' arguments for thug life.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    But though the blues and gospel and more gospel testify not just for song but for body and spirit, they wouldn't shout anywhere near as loud and clear without the mastermind's ministrations--his grooves, his pacing, his textures, his harmonies, sometimes his tunes...
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His lesser songs would be dookie gold on an ordinary undie-rap album.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sleater-Kinney... go for defiant uplift and seem energized by the challenge.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even the "jazz" and "punk" cuts are good for a few laughs -- total losers are rare indeed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Funny, catchy, clever, and irreverent past his allotted time.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's more bounce-to-the-ounce and less molasses in the jams, more delight and less braggadocio in the raps.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The overall effect is less grand than that of Endtroducing six years ago, popper and rocker and r&ber. But an overall effect there is, grounded in Shadow's trademark-tremendous bass 'n' drum.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Its avant parts are more listenable--nay, beautiful--than anything on Washing Machine if not A Thousand Leaves.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It fleshes out its cohesive narrative and cogent ideas with beats that respect the spare antipop ethos without abjuring such wayward rhythm elements as femme chorus, bass-drum-whoop jam, and $20 synth loop.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The clarity, economy, and devastating detail of the man's rapping and rhyming are a benison, turning the spare beats he favors into an ascetic aesthetic.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If Nirvana and Robert Johnson are rock's essence for you, so's To Bring You My Love. But if you believe the Beatles and George Clinton had more to say in the end, this could be the first PJ album you adore as well as admire.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The album moves the way you always hope jungle will, like a cross between a tiger and a snake, yet it's also a kind of mix record, with five showcases for Reprazent's serviceable MC Dynamite, who's as useful as the inevitable Method Man in the crucial matter of providing rap sounds. Size has his own Chaka, too. Her name is Onallee, and she takes the record out.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His comic timing and mixture of slangs--not to mention his musical conception... are all so much more fully developed that he's actually made a record that's fun to play in the background.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their best album in a decade.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Smile's post-adolescent utopia isn't disfigured by Brian's thickened, soured 62-year-old voice. It's ennobled--the material limitations of its sunny artifice and pretentious tomfoolery acknowledged and joyfully engaged.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Imperfect, definitely. But only because perfection is on the table.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Mood music, maybe. How to be conscious and happy at the same time.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    These are pop songs in the sense that they deliver their payloads in 90 seconds. But they're also confessional, dark, downtempo--and, OK, a little gauche sometimes, which just makes them seem realer.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Robert's songs more tuneful in their maturity, Grant's more atmospheric, they punch 'em all up to make a stronger impression than on their comeback album.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The stories are as vivid, brutal, and thought-out as any noir.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Although the album is definitely loud, it's also raw, with no hint of the symphonic, yet at the same time it's a melodic highlight of an honorably tuneful catalog.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Something much bigger than last year's Girls Can Tell, the breakthrough album skeptics like me took for a fluke peak.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their beats beat Stetsasonic's.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    She scores over and over on 14-tracks-in-72-minutes that miss maybe twice and only seem long-winded when she gives the flautist some.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    On
    Pop isn't an ambition for these smart people with other things to do, it's a discipline--the tunes strong, the beats solid, the vocals lightly yearning and pungently sweet.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Crucially, his knack for simple punk tunes remains unchanged; also crucially, these do fine at moderate tempos, and one even gives off a whiff of Brecht-Weill. There are worse ways to come down off a multiplatinum high-lots of them.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The melodies don't falter, and Wonder's unexpectedly and perhaps unfortunately influential vocal attack is as mellifluous as ever.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Her chin-up ditties don't connect every time, but her abandonment of home recording will win new listeners anyway.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It's vital beginning to end--vital even when it's misguided.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He's at his best in the fictional-mythic mode that prevails here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This unusually songful set is well up among their late good ones, its dissonances a lingua franca deployed less atmospherically than has been their recent practice.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Reduced to a tuneful 18-song essence that watches too much television, their mildness seems diverting and their Englishness definitive.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Like the empathy of so many young men, especially artists, his is more self-involved than saints like us prefer. But at least he expresses empathy--to memorable melodies that very nearly bear up under the repetitions his rarely witless or superfluous lyrics require.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It's the rare guitar geek who acts like strings and horns are where he's always belonged rather than where he hopes he'll fit in.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Their second album isn't quite as good as their first album because its hooks are slightly less inescapable.... But the difference is slight, and other differences are positive.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The drums get busy at times, but never fear--this sounds more like Rounds than it does like anything else. Just a little funkier.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The Brit accents on the pseudo-triumphalist, vaguely Jeezy-sounding four-cameo opener are grime enough for me--most gripping grime I know, in fact, and pretty damn fine Jeezy-sounding pseudo-triumphalism to boot.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    They turn in their best album since 1996 even though some schmuck from the Charlatans ruins track two.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    No "Ms. Jackson," no "Rosa Parks," no "Bombs Over Baghdad," no "The Whole World" either. Just commercial ebullience, creative confidence, and wretched excess, blessed excess, impressive excess.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    In a time when so many bands don't know why they exist but keep on vanning anyway, his honest tale is touching and instructive.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Once his political songs fell flat because he wasn't scared or angry enough. Now when he's a shit you wonder why you should care--which is kind of hip-hop, don't you think?--but Bush has him so scared and angry he makes up for it, with a dedicated posse of El Lay studio vets getting in their licks.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It could be argued that music this masterful waives all claim to the sound of surprise--until you pay attention.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This is the stuff of one-shot art-punk.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Since all the lines make sense, and almost all the stanzas almost make sense, you keep waiting for the songs to make sense. And waiting, and waiting, through calm, memorable arrangements that are never in a hurry.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Here the defining flow is sonic--a shadowy, guitar-drenched tone poem of the streets.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Lyrics swirl around sensibly and the formidable tunesmithing never goes down the drain.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Everyone who says this isn't a sentimental record is right. But it admits sentiment, hold the hygiene, and suggests that he knows more about love dying than he did when he was immortal.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This being anthropology, pretty much, a sampler is the ideal introduction.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    For once he makes sure he's understood--a matter in which melodies that might otherwise seem overfamiliar are of great service.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The Hives explode where a hundred other punk bands are proud to rock.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The Strokes' privileged formalism is annoying, so too their delight in romantic dysfunction. But they're smarter than the playa haters who aren't smart enough to target these blatant shortcomings.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Exactly the unpredictable effort you'd expect, it utilizes a new bunch of Portland buddies to render the old noises into background music as it explores such themes as Yul Brynner's makeover and piracy on the coast of Montenegro.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    At 78 minutes this is too long, and especially given his history, "The Lost Children" is offensive. But the first three tracks are the Rodney Jerkins of the year, "2000 Watts" is the Teddy Riley of the past five years, and even the prunables offer small surprises.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He thinks he belongs up there in front of that expert new band, singing or shouting whatever banality, profundity, or turn of phrase he's written down, and his level of enthusiasm combined with his level of craft will convince anyone who still likes, you know, songs.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Their tunes have always seemed too facile, but seven years divided by three albums doesn't equal glib, especially with those years deepening their lyricism rather than their cynicism.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Even more than, speak of the devil, Garth Brooks, she's a creature of the recording industry and the smorgasbord-of-the-air it's laid out everywhere. Are the emotions she displays so pithily as synthetic in the end as her harmonica-with-strings or steel/slide guitar? Does that make them less real?
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Though he's the kind of rhymer who scans "another good record with bad distribution" all too swimmingly, the hip-hop don't stop.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Three thin voices rap-sing-chant over the same bare-bones electro that sophisticates equate with two-headed dildos and black leatherette. But here, it intensifies the toughness, naïveté, moralism, sentimentality, ambition, ebullience, and sex drive all high school girls know but few have the sass to project and none have forged into art, especially with a Brooklyn accent.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    They've found it in their talent to put black music's long tradition of tune and structure into practice.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Although Lidell's voice lacks muscle and butter, he knows how to launch a falsetto, and the beats on "A Little Bit More" and "The City" should not be played within earshot of anyone wearing a pacemaker.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Its double-CD sprawl is ambitious not hubristic, imposing not indigestible.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The selection here is at once so obvious and so inappropriate it feels redemptive.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Liliput is the analogy even if Nikki Colk has never heard of them either. Kaito are noisier, faster, girlier; Colk mispronounces her English not as a Marlene Marder homage but so people will think she's from Sweden. But the two share a rare, rambunctious sense that noise is fun and life is livable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Without resorting to anything so obvious as a hook she manages to maintain continuity and interest over an hour-plus of poetry-with-funk.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    With American Idol rampant, it's nice to have this emotional hipster sticking her celebrity cred in the stupid world's face.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    More trip- than hip-hop in that its irresistibility is atmospheric -- a sound that pits industrial textures against quiet piano samples/parts.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    In short, they "rock." Finally.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Foolhardy though it was to saddle such an uncrucial record with a title that dares the young and the restless to bitch about how it doesn't change the world, the rest of us are free to enjoy how confidently it develops a groove.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The lyrics are intelligent of course, clever and moral and street-conscious and just gnomic enough, but their art is in their beats and flow and tunes too.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Skeletal, fragmented, stumblebum, Kim and Kelley retain their knack for righting themselves with a tuneburst just when you thought they'd never do the limbo again.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    In a bad time for young guitar bands, including many barely forgettable ones lumped under the trade name "emo," these ambitious yowlers are reason for hope.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He sings roughly but warmly, and makes up as many hooks as he samples...
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This is mannerist DOR more accomplished and less sentimental than its sources.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Class warfare meets gangsta-rock.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The loveliest album of Pernice's pretty career.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This album radiates positive energy, and in today's alt, that's a precious thing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The first four tracks... [are] as powerful as any he's written.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Clever and droll but also hypnotic and mysterious.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    His adolescent gulps and yowls are street-Brit with a Jamaican liquidity, as lean, eccentric, and arresting as the beats.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    And that's how the album goes--too fond of drama, but aware of its small place in the big world, and usually beautiful.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This gentle, suave, insistent smoothie parlayed his direct lyrics and tricky beats into a strong straight r&b album in a year when contenders Raphael Saadig and Me'shell NdegéOcello got tangled up in form.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The best of these seven songs is a Stones cover, only not by as much as you first think, and the second-best is the opener ["Astronaut"], ditto.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Both guys are so irrepressibly playful that they get serious at their peril--they're better off as a nonstop musical goof.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The old sound is hard in new ways.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    All the ugly gangsta lies are here, especially as regards the brutalization of women and the business of death. But they're incidental to the mood of the piece, which is friendly, relaxed, good-humored, and in the groove.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Weathered now, their herky-jerk stands up smartly to interjections from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The music is so minimal that you won't return that often. But when you do, you'll remember she loves you.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    There's no more accomplished crew in alt-rap, and though that can make their messages seem slick sometimes, on ['The Craft'] their booming beats, lucid raps, and articulate rhymes are technically miraculous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Production notwithstanding, the major-label move is the lyric sheet, which situates their circular minor-key riffs in a congruent worldview: eternal recurrence as infinite regress as cosmic bummer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    What sticks out right off is a drive that can't be taught or approximated.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    No catchier collection of jingles has come to my attention since Steve Miller made his mint off jet airliners.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    At her best--which must not come easy, or they'd release more and more consistent albums--Rennie Sparks is a great American realist.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    All shallow, all pure as a result--pure escape, pure delight, and, as the cavalcade of gospel postures at the end makes clear, pure spiritual yearning.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    "Unsound" is their most clearly irresistible ever, and the aural nimbi that surround or trail after the others never obscure Van Dyk's lines of thought.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Although Mike Elizondo adds momentum, Jon Brion's colors still predominate, and the melodic and structural contours are all Apple's.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Gibbard's delicate voice matches the subtle electro arrangements far more precisely than it does the folky guitars of his real group.