The Wire's Scores

  • Music
For 2,084 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 51% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 43% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Room 25
Lowest review score: 10 Amazing Grace
Score distribution:
2084 music reviews
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For Schofield, the word scrambler symbolises both a sort of opiate and a happy place from childhood, so the music highlights this dichotomy by fusing danger and warmth into an irresistible oxymoron. A sensation of the world ending while we carry on dancing. [Apr 2020, p.51]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Whether the listener feels it succeeds will depend on their willingness to accept its surface passivity. ... Shall We Go On Sinning is most persuasive on the second side. [May 2020, p.60]
    • The Wire
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There’s a kind of manic, excessive inventiveness here, as if the song needs just one more bridge or a doubling of the refrain to sustain its ideas. Yet on closer inspection they are often internally samey. [May 2020, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Apart from a few works for chamber instruments, which have a similar pleasing air of fakeness to Michael Nyman’s faux baroque cues for Peter Greenaway, these sketches all have uncertain origins and textures. [May 2020, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Strike a rich vein of form. ... This record lacks a stated motif, but finds the musician digging into the American primitive style (which has often been at least in the orbit of his playing) more keenly than before. “Celerity”, “Enville” and “Vellum”, deft instrumentals all, sit ably in Fahey/Basho territory. [Apr 2020, p.50]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As Jackie Lynn, Fohr’s voice still occupies center stage, but it does so within synthesized set pieces crafted for her to inhabit. Like a hotel decked out with themed rooms, each song on Jacqueline has its own fine-tuned palette and nostalgia-tinged lighting scheme. [Apr 2020, p.49]
    • The Wire
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The too brief, purely instrumental “Sensational” is the best track, with suggestions of Weather Report’s jazz rock expansiveness. But the general impression is gimmicky and lightweight – effects without causes. [May 2020, p.66]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Filled with ghosts; confessions; jokes; an abundance of Jay-Z features and a prodigal son offering explanations for his disappearance and return. [May 2020, p.65]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    The production is flawless. ... But the obvious big tunes fall flat.
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It Is What It Is is a fitting ethos for an artist whose genre-twisting tendrils have extended themselves into the highest reaches of the pop canopy, simultaneously flexing their deep funk and jazz roots. [May 2020, p.62]
    • The Wire
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    For those who appreciated the rigour of old, the new album might offer a challenge due to its lyrical sentiments and a base literalism that might be ironic. [May 2020, p.60]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Such excursions don’t amount to the group reinventing their personal wheel, but at just over an hour, this album is about the length of an average Necks performance, and at least as exploratory. [May 2020, p.58]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s hard to believe this is the same band who bowed out with Ghost Stories. There they sounded uptight and reticent; here they are restless and free. The creative rebirth continues. Where to next? [May 2020, p.55]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s no stridency, special pleading or chewing of scenery, just gentle enactments. This is what folk music used to do before Volk became toxic. Malkmus represents his characters via traditional techniques. [May 2020, p.54]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Surprisingly, it works and doesn’t come apart, punctuating a conceptually striking, musically flawed, but altogether enjoyable record. [May 2020, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    What makes Knuckleball Express slightly different from previous Hex albums is that the songs seem slightly straighter, though it’s a matter of moments before the apple cart is upset and a whole packet of noodles is scattered over the mix. [May 2020, p.52]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The band’s template has barely changed over those years but that isn’t to suggest a lack of artistic growth. “How Deep It Goes”, the opening track from their tenth album Let It All In, is a prime example of their peculiar progression as it exudes the reassuring warmth of California songsmiths of yesteryear yet still somehow manages to wedge a wash of icy interplay between Huemann’s guitar and Matthew Pierce’s synths smack dab in the middle of the track. [May 2020, p.48]
    • The Wire
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Producer Gary Odlum builds an atmospheric, sunset glow version of the Tuareg sound that rolls and chugs with every conventional element in place, but has a widescreen stadium swagger few other groups have mastered. [Apr 2020]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Knowing the emotional background behind its recording makes it unbearably poignant but this crackly, lambently textured mix of treated piano, longwave static and vocals would move anyone who had a heart. Sublime art from horrible circumstances and Craig’s best work to date. [Apr 2020]
    • The Wire
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Rose Golden Doorways sits somewhere between grindcore and raga. Created in a consecrated place – a church in Stoke Newington lends volume and reverb – it moves relentlessly forward, a continuous 38 minutes that reaches an apogee with the alien blast of “Those Among Us”. [Apr. 2020, p.59]
    • The Wire
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If there’s a criticism, the album is a bit samey: virtuoso drum intro, declamatory trumpet, modest group support. The formula becomes ever more predictable with each return, but Allen and Masekela are irresistibly listenable almost irrespective of what they are playing and Rejoice is a very special opportunity to hear two masters who’ve orbited at a distance coming together. [Apr 2020, p.48]
    • The Wire
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s as stunning and vibrant a set of agitpop brilliance as Conn has ever produced. If he’s ever moved you, move to this. [Apr 2020, p.64]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This new set sees them nailing their sound to tighter structures a little, but there’s still that delicious ill-discipline at work throughout. [Apr 2020, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Each piece is sturdily constructed, but a loose leaf informality allows the 18 tracks to hang without necessarily hanging together. [Apr 2020, p.53]
    • The Wire
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The quartet’s albums represent a live sound that applies the means of a beat combo to frankly ecstatic ends via tuning while their mixtapes offer a more diverse and fragmentary accounting of collective interests. The twain finally meet on The Common Task. [Apr 2020, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gorgeous string arrangements, sax and synths give Birthmarks a palpable sense of encroaching mist. [Apr 2020]
    • The Wire
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    We Are Sent Here By History is a meditation on all of the war, death and resistance that has shaped the world we live in today. Whether or not we can use the lessons learned from that pain to create a future that is worth living is a question that remains unanswered. [Mar 2020, p.56]
    • The Wire
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Some might find the shit-fi recording (albeit aided by a keen producer’s ear), the relentless bleakness, or Del Rio’s blackened vocals to be dealbreakers. But it’s undeniable that Raspberry Bulbs are not only unencumbered by constraints of genre, they’ve forged a sound unique to themselves. [Mar 2020, p.54]
    • The Wire
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Denzel’s flows are as hungry as ever, at times managing to channel the untamed spirit of DMX (see “Diet”) while Kenny’s production is the ideal mix of weighty drums and potent bass. It’s an energetic listen and one that can hopefully act as some sort of cure for Old Heads Syndrome – the belief that no one is making real hiphop anymore. [Apr 2020, p.68]
    • The Wire
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It’s hard to tell if there’s irony in all the anachronism but the record’s nostalgic to the point of kitsch aesthetic feels out of touch. [Apr 2020, p.67]
    • The Wire