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 10 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 82
Highest review score: 100 Play
Lowest review score: 16 A Day Without Rain
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 223
223 music reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Imperfect, definitely. But only because perfection is on the table.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their best album in a decade.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Even the "jazz" and "punk" cuts are good for a few laughs -- total losers are rare indeed.
    • 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
    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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A singer's record.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 100 Critic Score
    Their beats beat Stetsasonic's.
    • 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.
    • 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...
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music on this feisty, funny rap album isn't new--just irresistible.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Funny, catchy, clever, and irreverent past his allotted time.
    • 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.
    • 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...
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Sleater-Kinney... go for defiant uplift and seem energized by the challenge.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Mood music, maybe. How to be conscious and happy at the same time.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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
    The stories are as vivid, brutal, and thought-out as any noir.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His lesser songs would be dookie gold on an ordinary undie-rap album.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Lyrics swirl around sensibly and the formidable tunesmithing never goes down the drain.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    In short, they "rock." Finally.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    But for all its rapped W-Unity, this is RZA's record.... Far from straining, he's gone sensei, achieving a craft in which the hand leads the mind.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    They woke up one day, glanced around a marketplace where art wasn't mega anymore, and figured that since they'd been calling themselves pop for half of their two-decade run, maybe they'd better sit down and write some catchy songs. So they did.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Charming, civilized, childish, Kieran Hebden imagines an aural space in which electronic malfunction is cute rather than annoying or ominous.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    For any Upper West Side showbiz kid, musical comedy is mother's milk, more "natural" than the rude attack of rock or the polite confessional of folk ... With crucial help from Jon Brion, she's got the Richard Rodgers/Kurt Weill part down, and will surely tackle the Dorothy Fields/Lorenz Hart part later.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    They exist only to rock your world. If you don't let them, you're the stupid one.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He's at his best in the fictional-mythic mode that prevails here.
    • 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?
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Their warmest album ever.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    He sings roughly but warmly, and makes up as many hooks as he samples...
    • 77 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    These aren't indelible tunes like "At Home He's a Tourist" or "Suspect Device." But months later they're still getting not just stronger but rawer, which isn't how this game usually works.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    No catchier collection of jingles has come to my attention since Steve Miller made his mint off jet airliners.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Clever and droll but also hypnotic and mysterious.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Not counting Stephin Merritt, no other under-40 approaches McKay's gift for cabaret.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Even when the forced pronunciations turn gauche, she remains a good egg who's not afraid to put herself on the line.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The selection here is at once so obvious and so inappropriate it feels redemptive.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A band record, a groove record, a riff record; something lowdown, dirty, smoky.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The voice asserts itself as the record sinks in, however, and not only does each song stand out, but the production variegates a sonic grandeur grounded in the rock verities.
    • 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
    The Hives explode where a hundred other punk bands are proud to rock.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Obviously it's not perky enough, funky enough either, but their best (and third) album in 15 years (and probably last ever) sounds an awful lot like what kids today call pop.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The brightest actual pop album of 2003.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Here's one new rock record whose optimistic abandon is specifically conceived as a response to deprivation and attack.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Here, their structures adamantly circular and their tunes less catchy but more durable, they make dandy mystagogues on an album that begins inarticulate and attains the nirvana of total nonverbality.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The first four tracks... [are] as powerful as any he's written.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    An album as invigorating in its contempt for rock professionalism as Neil Young's Tonight's the Night.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Throughout they succeed in rendering Southern gothic as social realism.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Here the defining flow is sonic--a shadowy, guitar-drenched tone poem of the streets.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This is mannerist DOR more accomplished and less sentimental than its sources.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Often seems fragile, offhand, tentative, even enervated. But this isn't a weakness--it only makes their sound more their own.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    There's plenty of detail, and feeling too--not just anger, tenderness.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Weathered now, their herky-jerk stands up smartly to interjections from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A glorious phantasmagoria of flow.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Its double-CD sprawl is ambitious not hubristic, imposing not indigestible.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Class warfare meets gangsta-rock.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Rarely do the settings distinguish themselves.... But a distinct voice delivering noticeable verbal content is a setting too--that's why you notice the content.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The old sound is hard in new ways.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    They turn in their best album since 1996 even though some schmuck from the Charlatans ruins track two.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The collection doesn't cohere the way it should, and I still say seek out Talkin' Honky Blues. But wherever you start, he's a major rhymer, performer, storyteller, humanist visionary, and student of the DJ arts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    But though this may be pretension, it's also delight, strange and humorous verbally and aurally.