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 9.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 82
Highest review score: 100 Pick A Bigger Weapon
Lowest review score: 16 A Day Without Rain
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 223
223 music reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Mouthy, destructive, confused, sexed-up but no sex object, Jemima Pearl is the pearl.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This is the stuff of one-shot art-punk.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    OK, more news event than musical milestone. But a really great news event.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Working on the humane assumption that all screamo records can't be equally horrible, the reviewerati have singled out this big-ticket effort... Unburdened by theory, however, I find that its distinction boils down to slightly subtler tunecraft and dynamic range.
    • 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
    • 75 Critic Score
    We shall overkill, he means.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    His lesser songs would be dookie gold on an ordinary undie-rap album.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    No other Brazilian composer defies cultural boundaries so eloquently.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The stories are as vivid, brutal, and thought-out as any noir.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Many details are too U.K.-specific for Yank-yob gratification. But aesthetes will come to enjoy Taylor's nuanced adenoids and his bandmates' thought-through arrangements.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This being anthropology, pretty much, a sampler is the ideal introduction.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Though the singer-with-backup music relies on formula that won't set anyone's life straight, her melodic chops--sweet as a writer, supple as a singer--put the songs across.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    29
    These meanderings are the kind of indulgence that ends label deals.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    [Bell Orchestre] varies its cunningly sequenced, gratifyingly brief instrumental tracks with such old-fashioned amenities as textured melodies, pleasing dynamic shifts, and passages that, if they don't actually r-o-c-k, at least bound down the road in an excited manner.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    If anything, it's more a dance record, leaving those of us with a sentimental weakness for distinct parts a little lost.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    David Berman joins a pickup band that includes his close personal friend Stephen Malkmus to explore realms of vocal inexpressiveness undreamt by Stephin Merritt or the Handsome Family.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Pond's songs are the alt-rock equivalent of what used to be called New Yorker short stories: subtly realized domestic epiphanies often involving tame nature imagery.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    They've gotten unmistakably louder and unmistakably gayer--or perhaps I mean, hate the term, more metrosexual.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Some observers classify these ditties "country-punk," while other crankily insist they're "anti-folk," proving mainly that nobody knows what to make of simple little guitar-band songs on a scene where everyone's busy refining his or her artistic vision.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    What gave Shawn Christensen and his botched tonsillectomy the idea of joining the exalted ranks of Robert Smith and Simon Le Bon?
    • 73 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Despite its lack of an anthem to replace "Start Me Up," it certainly beats Tattoo You or anything else going back to Exile except Some Girls.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Like most schmoograssers they're committed to virtuosity for its own sake, and like most young musos they've been too focused on technique to learn much about how music interacts with life.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Where once these Norwegians were extolled for their subtle melodicism, here their schlock candidly attacks the jugular.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    It's vital beginning to end--vital even when it's misguided.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This album radiates positive energy, and in today's alt, that's a precious thing.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    What sticks out right off is a drive that can't be taught or approximated.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The loveliest album of Pernice's pretty career.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Lest you doubted it, this is grotesque.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    X&Y
    Precise, bland, and banal, their sensitivity emotionless and their musicality never surprising, they're the definition of a pleasant bore--easy to tune out, impossible to care for.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    White's commercial success has nothing to do with de Stijl or da blooze--just a strong, emotive voice delivering simple yet distinctive songs, which are fairly numerous here.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Consistently enjoyable, predictably inconsequential.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Though I can imagine putting this on at year's end and remembering every song with a kind of surprised admiration, I can't imagine doing it any sooner--or any later either.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    The attitude is tougher and the material thinner, but you have to love it for not falling flat on its heightened expectations.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This literature with power chords addresses not only the crucial matter of vanishing bohemias as cultural myth but also the crucial matter of re-emerging spiritualities as cultural fact.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    For all his overreliance on dramatic drawls, Southwestern locales, and mother love, Springsteen has stories to tell.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    But though this may be pretension, it's also delight, strange and humorous verbally and aurally.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    There's an early-Stones feel here it would be perverse to deny: 12 songs in 36 minutes, each with an indelible identiriff and its own seductive rhythmic shape.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    He shows off discreetly, underplaying his vocal chops and musical command, even his familiarity with scientific arcana--nay, his intelligence itself.... But discretion exacts a price in identity, clarity, and meaning.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Not only is his willingness to express emotion commoner than indie denizens imagine, his failure to undercut that emotion with irony or humor is a spiritual weakness.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 42 Critic Score
    This no-talent is masscult rock at its most brazen.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Its double-CD sprawl is ambitious not hubristic, imposing not indigestible.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    This is too classical, too romantic, and too I-yam-what-I-yam all at once.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Funny, catchy, clever, and irreverent past his allotted time.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    What carries the album is, I swear, the skits.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Leonard Cohen has had No Voice since he began recording at 33. But he has more No Voice today, at 70, than he did on Ten New Songs, at 67.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    I don't get this.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    There's that Ramones sense that songs should be short like life, and that XTC sense that songs should be complicated like life.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Here the defining flow is sonic--a shadowy, guitar-drenched tone poem of the streets.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Beyond some rich-and-famous irony, not a single suburban detail soils an hour of good intentions. And you know the music overreaches too.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Morrison's predictably intelligent solo debut puts personality where the Dismemberment Plan's synergy used to be.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Grae can rhyme, and if she had a male larynx and a production budget, her hype men, chipmunk soul, minor-key piano hooks, and "I wanna rock a fella so bad" might stand underground on its head.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    There's no economics, no race, hardly any compassion. Joe name-checks America as if his hometown of Berkeley was in the middle of it, then name-checks Jesus as if he's never met anyone who's attended church. And to lend his maunderings rock grandeur, he ties them together with devices that sunk under their own weight back when the Who invented them.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 33 Critic Score
    His productivity isn't exuberance, it's greed; his PG rating isn't scruples, it's cowardice.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Class warfare meets gangsta-rock.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The music on this feisty, funny rap album isn't new--just irresistible.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    Granted his major-label production budget in the sky, Tim DeLaughter hones his tunes and dispels woozy comparisons to the Flaming Lips.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 67 Critic Score
    It's hard to imagine any of the suckers who fell for the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot hype striving to identify with, say, "Muzzle of Bees." Not impossible. Just hard.
    • 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.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    This makes engrossing listening if the effort suits you, but it's useless as background music.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    i
    When the songs are not just clever but lively--most spectacularly on the unrelenting "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend"--Stephin Merritt's demo-ready monotone could pass for a singing voice.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Boring strummed singer-songwritering with not terribly interesting electronica.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    No, she hasn't regained her sense of humor, but aren't you fast losing yours?
    • 83 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Weathered now, their herky-jerk stands up smartly to interjections from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    Inferior to not just Nirvana but Oasis.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A glorious phantasmagoria of flow.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 58 Critic Score
    His voice devoid of Newman-Waits grit, his eclecticism even and controlled where theirs bristles with jokes, oddity, and gusto, how does he expect to connect with anyone but other likable progressives, and rather detached and inscrutable ones at that?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    All told, pretty dull--unless you're so desperate that you'll sing hosanna for every piece of intelligent-honest-original that comes down the circuit.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Half God's gift to hip-hop, half man of the people, he never quite puts all his good tracks together or across.