Boston Globe's Scores

For 2,087 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 66% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Masseduction
Lowest review score: 10 Lulu
Score distribution:
2087 music reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s an ideal album for this decisively odd moment, its homemade feel (much of it was recorded in her house, with percussion partially supplied by objects around her home) and sense of awe giving it a defiant energy. ... A thrill ride.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    The ghosts of more well-known recordings hover over “American Standard,” and they’re enough of a distraction to make one think that a better tribute to these compositions might have been a Taylor-curated playlist of the versions that originally captured his imagination all those years ago.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    More than any of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s past classics, “Colorado” recalls Young’s last album, 2017’s “The Visitor.” Like that record, “Colorado” is a politically charged, uneven release that at its best comes close enough to recapturing Young’s past glories to satisfy his diehard fans. And if you don’t like it? Well, there’ll probably be another one next year.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    nyone who comes to “Ode to Joy” expecting Beethovenian rapture and millions embracing will likely be perplexed by this enigmatic 11-song collection. The album is mostly slow and muted. ... You have to listen hard for the joy, but in the end it’s there — the kind of joy of that’s hard-won and never fully shakes off the difficult and broken world from which it emerges.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lack of distinctiveness pervades “Beneath the Eyrie,” both on a song-by-song basis and taken as a whole.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An 80-minute prog-metal fever dream that proves the band is back and better than ever.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The result is a dreamy record that makes good use of its stylistic freedom. It effectively subs the chaos of loving and growing for the more one-dimensional foils of Swift’s past, squashing any fears brought on by the first pair of singles that she’d tell this as a one-sided story.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Now with her debut album, Immunity, Clairo has found her sound, one more elaborate and fitting for the lyrical prowess that made “Pretty Girl” such a hit. The album hits a gorgeous peak with the fifth song, “Bags.”
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With graceful lyricism and intense instrumental juxtaposition, Levy manages to surprise listeners only two tracks in. ... It’s a showcase of Levy allowing herself to feel and explore as many emotions as she can, no matter how they manifest.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In rethinking them together, this just might be the band’s most unified piece of work. The ability to harness such rich diversity in sound is what makes this band stand out.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it chafes against pop-musical expectations and outright defies them at times, “Madame X” does embrace that planet-altering ideal lyrically as well as musically, making it Madonna’s most compelling album in years.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    “Western Stars” finds Springsteen in character study mode with finely detailed storytelling about broken (sometimes literally) men on a quest to find meaning, renewal, or maybe just a bit of love. At their core and stripped of their orchestral flourishes and diverse musical dynamic, most of the songs here would not be out of place on his dark, acoustic efforts, “Nebraska,” “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” or “Devils and Dust.”
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Throughout this album, co-produced by Kempner and Gabe Wax, the emotions the frontwoman describes are commonplace but rarely so well articulated, with such matter-of-fact gravitas. ... Some songs, especially shorter tracks such as “Company” and “Sneakers,” feel like they should have been expanded and developed more.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s an entertaining assortment of Jones unrestrained.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    blast it loud and blast it proud. This is a summer album. It’s as colorful and sweet-tart as a cone melting in the sun, rolled in crunchies and glitter.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whatever the distance between image and actuality, Springsteen always told the truth to us about the things that mattered. In Springsteen on Broadway, that truthfulness adds up to an honest self-portrait.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The 1975’s frequently dazzling exploration of life in the iOS era, frontman Matty Healy turns the mic over to--who else?--Siri. Narrating a strangely touching fable about a man in love with the Internet, the bot contributes one of a great many moments on the album.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Her approach on this follow-up is more measured and introspective, her lyrical concerns more complicated. ... An album most appealing in its straightforward sincerity.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [Posthumous albums] run the risk of being hobbled packs of demos and half-finished ideas. But with the right guidance, they can also be effective final chapters of a career. This 10-track collection of rarities, arranged by Bradley’s friends at soul-revivalist labels Dunham/Daptone Records, proves to be the latter, with the love and passion Bradley exuded in life fully preserved and present.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Inevitably, there’s some repetition--no fewer than 12 different attempts at “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” for example. What’s exhilarating is the chance to eavesdrop on the evolution of the songs as Dylan grasps, bit by bit, for the emotional center of each one.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    More than just another tapestry of gorgeous guitar-scapes to get lost in, it’s the fullest portrait yet of the human behind that Cheshire Cat grin.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There is no successor to “Zula” on C’est La Vie, but that doesn’t make it a lesser album. The album is bookended with two expansive instrumentals; Fleet-Foxy harmonies and gently cycling guitar propel “Black Moon : Silver Waves,” and closer “Black Waves : Silver Moon” lifts high on rolling percussion and Houck’s keening falsetto. The rest of the songs occupy the flexible, fertile territory of not quite country, folk, or rock.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a refreshing, empowering record that embraces finding identity in a lack thereof.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Shorter seems uninterested in cashing in on his well-earned legacy; he has instead crafted the most ambitious release of his career. Of course, ambition and excellence don’t always track exactly, and that’s the case with some of the music on Emanon, particularly the suite.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Weed Garden is both a wonderful bonus in relation to "Beast Epic" and an enchanting collection that deserves to be valued for its own plentiful merits.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even without backstories, the songs speak for themselves. Michael plays keyboards and wields his clarion tenor like a flaming sword. Tanya’s voice is sinuous and muscular, with a raw edge that was wrapped in layers of reverb on her earlier work but now packs an invigorating punch as she tears through high notes.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With 14 tracks clocking in at around 30 minutes, the album is a remarkably fast listen given the amount of detail packed into each song. Mitski is generally successful at wrapping big ideas into impactful vignettes, although there are some points that move so fast they feel inconsequential.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With both her words and music, Shires isn’t holding herself back on To the Sunset, and though the left turns might take some getting used to for old fans, her growing conviction in herself as a songwriter and frontwoman is enough reason to stick around.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Full of feel-good, sonically textured Americana jams about peace and love, Nash’s latest batch of songs make for a satisfying, if somewhat one-note, late addition to your summer vibes playlist.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The wisdom she imparts across the songs that follow is profound in its simplicity, but it still needs to be heard: McKenna’s omniscient narrators are simultaneously understanding toward their subjects and interrogating toward themselves, a generosity of spirit that, when paired with Cobb’s thoughtful, subtle arrangements, is a quiet yet welcome tonic to the current landscape.