Robert Christgau's grades for PSB albums

Robert Christgau is one of America's best-known rock/pop music critics. In his career of 30+ years he has reviewed more than 11,000 albums for New York's Village Voice and is known for the pithy brevity of his reviews (which are rarely more than five or six sentences in length) and the concluding letter grades he assigns to each album.

Truth be told, Christgau has pretty high regard for the Pet Shop Boys. ("What a cerebral band," he once wrote of them, and he has described their oeuvre as "exquisite album[s] of tunefully theoretical pop disco.") Seldom has he given an album of theirs a negative review. You can read his complete reviews of the Boys' albums on his website and in certain of his books, but I simply wanted to list his concluding letter grades here. (His own descriptions of the meanings of his letter grades are provided below.)

Please: A-
Disco: B
Actually: A-
Introspective: A-
Behaviour: **
Discography: A
Very: A
Disco 2:
Alternative: **
Bilingual: A-
Nightlife: A-
Release: B+
Fundamental: **
Yes: ***
Elysium: A-
Electric: **
Super: **

A: "A great record [that offers] enduring pleasure and surprise. You should own it.… Not every listener will feel what it's trying to do, but anyone with ears will agree that it's doing it."

A-: "A very good record.… Anyone open to its aesthetic will enjoy more than half its tracks."

B+: "A good record.… Remarkable one way or another, yet also flirts with the humdrum or the half-assed."

B: "An admirable effort that aficionados of the style or artist will probably find quite listenable."

***: "Honorable Mention … an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure." (A record with this rating would seem to be roughly equivalent to a B+ on Christgau's grading scale.)

**: "Honorable Mention … a likable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well enjoy." (A record with this rating is roughly equivalent to a B on Christgau's grading scale.)

: "A bad record whose details rarely merit further thought. At the upper level it may merely be overrated, disappointing, or dull. Down below it may be contemptible."