The Wire's Scores

  • Music
For 2,628 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 SMiLE
Lowest review score: 10 Amazing Grace
Score distribution:
2628 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Gendron’s penchant for vintage phrasing gives the record a mid-20th century folk revival vibe that even the guest squalls of guitarist Bill Nace and saxophonist Zoh Amba cannot dispel. Gendron’s singing alternates between French and English; the pitch of her voice is low, but its place in the mix is high, held aloft by her unhurried guitar picking. [Jun 2024, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rampen feels more expansive than much recent output – it’s certainly longer, but its panoramic character is neither purely durational nor new for the band. Their affinity for a kind of psych folk balladry has been clear since at least as early as their covers of Lee Hazlewood’s “Sand” (1985) and Bonnie Dobson’s “Morning Dew” (1987). Rampen calls both to mind, but the work it’s most consistent with is 1996’s Ende Neu, an album of latent possibilities in the pit of a creative block. [Jun 2024, p.48]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Orchestras must be the greatest album from a jazz composer since the glory days of Gil Evans. [Jun 2024, p.64]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “Casino High” has all the makings of a future garage summer banger. It’s skippy and infectiously danceable, employing vocal samples in a thoughtful way. The first of three collaborations on the album, “Real Hot N Naughty” (featuring actor and performer Felix Mufti) is a love letter to queer dancefloors. Flirting between trance and less chaotic hard house, it injects a tongue in cheek dose of fun into proceedings. [Jun 2024, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though still harbouring a sense of fun, there’s a maturity felt throughout Dennis. [Jun 2024, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Indebted to various traditions of US rock, from resonant folk and blues to elegant indie pop, its understated songs are looser and more varied here than in her music with bands like Helium and Ex Hex, as if serving a different, affirming purpose. [Jun 2024, p.61]
    • The Wire
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Finlay Clark and David Kennedy ride a similar wave to improv duos like 75 Dollar Bill or Orcutt/Corsano, recalling their own thrilling work on 2020’s Fast Edit. The sliced mayhem of that set is missing here: instead, the group seem to have spent the years working on stitching themselves ever more tightly together. [Jun 2024, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Despite their brevity, each track articulates a complete piece; they’re eventful miniatures, not sketches. But while they are sufficiently eventful to engage, the lack of someone to play off of deprives this music of the sense of an emotional stake that arises from White’s decisions to challenge or facilitate someone else. [Jun 2024, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Funeral For Justice comes a step closer to channelling an authentic Mdou Moctar live experience. The title track wastes no time to demonstrate the unfettered power on tap, bursting from silence into a series of electrifying riffs and fervent claps, never letting up. [Jun 2024, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Timeless and considered, Lives Outgrown is a complete, but still complicated, portrait of the intersection of grief and life. [Jun 2024, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though some of the genre mixing does feel abrupt rather than fully integrated – for all its charms, “Asha The First” is a bit overstuffed – the album largely works, unified by Washington’s unwavering vision and exploratory spirit. [May 2024, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “Working The Ditch” and “Smiler” sound like they could come from the same sessions as Melvins’ 1993 major label debut Houdini. But there are atypical twists in “She’s Got Weird Arms”, whose new wave-ish verses are broken up by cascades of bug-eyed dissonance and “Allergic To Food”, which reminds this listener of “Forkboy” by Al Jourgensen and Jello Biafra’s side-project Lard with the tempo lowered to mid. [May 2024, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The acoustic guitar led instrumental “Underwater City” being an exemplary diversion into acid folk. Elsewhere “Re-generate” and “The Black Sea” are a couple of highly enjoyable (albeit slight) space jams, and exit track “Stargazers” regrettably bails out just when it starts to take off. [May 2024, p.60]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Something In The Room She Moves feels impossible to completely pin down. [May 2024, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lines like “History repeating itself” and “She never lost hope/When life was so hard” feel a bit generalised – the sentiment might have benefitted from a more nuanced or poetic approach. Overall however the decision to give the heroic and celebratory a wide berth is a sound one, making way for something much darker and more unsettling – a reminder that doing the right thing in times of widespread fear and conflict is seldom easy. [May 2024, p.49]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Akoma is unpredictable without any recourse to smartarsedness, Jlin keeping everything sounding fresh and spontaneous, as though both she and the listener are on a journey of innovation and discovery. [Mar 2024, p.48]
    • The Wire
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Its ten tracks are heady, contemplative, spacious with a sense of impending loss. [Mar 2024, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Walls Have Ears is a postcard from Sonic Youth in their salad days, with newly recruited drummer Steve Shelley cementing a core line-up that would endure until disbandment 26 years later. [Apr 2024, p.75]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    “Dreamfear” sticks to the artist’s more conventional penchant for collage-style dance music. .... “Boy Sent From Above” is less convincing, clumsily layering Auto-Tuned vocals over the kind of schmaltzy synth one might hear in pop outfits like Yazoo. [Mar 2024, p.54]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite the sonic shifts – from grinding electronic roars to manipulated vocal samples and field recordings to shimmering harp to desolate piano – it remains unified, because of Ayewa. [Mar 2024, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hard edged synths and massive, crunchy beats lend righteous swagger to Gordon’s bleary guitar squalls and jetlagged sprechstimme. [Mar 2024, p.46]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The sounds can seem a bit insubstantial when compared to his earlier work, like 2018’s Soil, where serpent angled to suffocate the listener in raw emotion. But he eventually finds a nice groove that yields rewards. [Mar 2024, p.59]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s gorgeous stuff, but whether the future she imagines is entropic or hopeful, it’s hard to say. [Mar 2024, p.57]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I dig a conceptual framework but to be honest my enjoyment of Rooting For Love has little to do with earthbound concerns and everything to do with sheer escapist pleasure in form and grain. [Mar 2024, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All the ingredients required are present: sonic invention, surprise, risk taking, fun and adventure. [Mar 2024, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The music is gentle but ominous, and it’s hard to be sure which impression they want to linger. “Read The Room” and “Teleharmonic” are more conventional rock songs; the former in particular could have come off any 21st century Radiohead album. [Mar 2024, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although this record is Rhys’s most polished to date, he does squeeze in moments of strangeness – subtle and paired down, bubbling beneath lush production and melodic arrangements. [Mar 2024, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An air of devotion does indeed hover over this music, filtering through the stately intonation of Anima Brass and the a cappella singing of The Macadam Ensemble, as well as the quiet concentration of Malone’s own playing. Yet it emanates not from the rarefied air of religious sentiment, but from the composer’s passionate dedication to sound itself, and her respect for its potential capacity to realise, as the title of the concluding piece puts it, “The Unification Of Inner & Outer Life”. [Mar 2024, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This is an overgrown jungle of music; ideas bury one another, making it all the more striking when a pure, clean line manages to weave its way through the tangle and rise, like a flower turning to face the sun. [Mar 2024., p.46]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [“Vapours”] is brilliantly executed and, in places, genuinely frightening. Yawning drones and hissing percussive swells open the gates to chaos in “Of Shadow And Substance”, an epic 21 minute churn of layered tape loops, cello and bass strings, harp and percussion. .... The piece is more haunted and atmospherically dense than its predecessor, however both pieces share a remarkable sense of immediacy.
    • The Wire