How We Score
All releases are reviewed and graded according to a scale ranging from 1 to 10 where ½ grades are allowed. Reviews are graded from the following description of each number:
9½-10 - Flawless: Either this album has hit the reviewers taste spot on, or it is so unspeakably awesome that he has been left with no choice but to grade it the perfect score regardless. It is exceptionally rare for any record to receive a rating this high, so rest assured if you see one, it is an amazing album, a contender for a top 5 spot in the last ten years.
8½-9 - Fantastic: Albums that receive this grade not only consistenly feature great content, they are also a display of something spectacular that raises them above contemporary releases within their genre. Usually, these are albums that you'll find occupying the top spots in any given year's best of lists, and records you'll still remember five years down the line.
8 - Great: This grade is awarded for solid albums that might not be among the very best in a given year, but they are still dominated by strong content and tend to stand out as highlights in their own genre. They also tend to be those albums you'll listen to a couple of years from now and have a "oh, yeah" moment when you re-discover why you thought they were so good back then.
7 - Good: Merited for records that showcase promise but don't fulfill it throughout. Those that feature quality musicianship and good songs, but may lack variety, originality or consistency before being able to play in the major leagues. Likely to have a couple of really strong songs surrounded by anonymous tracks.
4-6 - Average: Albums given between four and six are either slightly above, slightly below or dead on mediocre. Typically a 6 has a couple of alright songs but is too unoriginal or poorly finished off to rate higher, while a 4 is an album that is technically and musically okay but boring to listen to. In other words, a generic record in its genre.
2-3 - Poor: These are usually records where a band fail miserably at what they are trying to pull off. There are redeeming factors present, but overall, something annoying is consistently devastating these albums, like horrible vocals or production, and we would think twice about recommending them even to fans of the band in question.
1 - Miserable: Anything rated with this grade, we regret to have wasted our time on, and we only write about it in order to warn you not to waste yours. The music may be played with embarrasingly poor skill, it may be soulless mass produced mainstream monstrosity, or it may for some other reason be a complete insult to your good taste. If an album receives a one, it is an atrocity to music that it was ever even released.