Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scale for albums:

If you’ve read some of my reviews by now, you might be thinking, “Well if ya liked it so much, why did ya give it a 75% for? That’s like a C.” No, I don’t grade under the same standards as underpaid school teachers. If you’ll notice at the bottom of each review, I rate the albums based on what I feel are the six categories for truly finding out what it’s worth:

Lyrics: the quality, flow, rhythm
Meaning: does it say anything or try to get us to understand what we as the listeners should heed?
Music: overall quality of the production, programming, playing, and perfection of the performers
Significance: does it stand out in the band’s discography and does it have special accolades from other critics worth noting?
Length: a good album keeps its songs short enough to be liked and long enough to be enjoyed. I also try to figure out if some songs botch the pace in some areas, if it has good continuity
Overall Impression: my overall liking to the album, does it have an important place on my playlist?

I rank each of these categories out of ten. Based on a possible 60, I add up its points, and get its percentage. If I don’t entirely agree with the exact calculation, I’ll grade it on a curve or take some away. Below, I have listed what constitutes each 10 percent range as well as what is considered “Steaming Hot Crap,” “Lukewarm Stool,” or “Just Cold Crap” seeing as though I am the no-nonsense, no-compromise, no-crap critic.

(Steaming Hot Shit!)
100%-90%: Classic
An album that is exceptional in every way; not a flaw, fault, vice, distraction, or nuisance is present in the album, but only once or twice in a moment of a risky and bold move. Every track either ties into the concept as a whole or can be immensely enjoyed in its parts. By my standards, this range constitutes what the perfect album sounds like.

89-80%: Excellent
Exceptional in the given time and place of its release. It could be the representative for the culmination of a band’s discography or just an overall satisfying album with maybe a few hindrances. There will be hardly any filler tracks, if at all.

79-70%: Unique
An enjoyable album with maybe not-so-enjoyable aspects to it. There could be qualities are that are endearing and fun, but somehow not everything is legit. Otherwise, it does have redeemable qualities that tend to outshine the bad areas. Perhaps this is where most albums will fall, but that is not by any means a bad thing.

(Lukewarm Stool)
69-60%: Great
An average, blended, and mixed for radio play style that is good only for looking back on an era in pop culture when that was considered hip. It has good music, lyrics or flow, but it is ultimately weighed down by its own ambition. Not one you’ll be in a hurry to listen to again.

59-50%: Mediocre
A half-hearted, half-assed, haphazard attempt at creating something decent and likable. While their creativity might be in the right place at times, their overall product will just seem taut and tired.

49-40%: Meh
We’re starting to sink into more treacherous waters with this range. The record will just sound monotonous, trite, pompous, yet something about it will hook in unsuspecting ears and make you feel somewhat guilty for liking it.

(Cold Diarrhea)
39-30%: Suck
Disappointing material follows. From track one, it will already feel like it has given up. It will either be lazy, hostile, plastic, pathetic, or just pointless. Good luck finding something to like about this one.

29-20%: Hate
Reasons why used record stores have piles of clearance cds cast aside in rickety makeshift bins. Abandon hope, all ye who subjects him/herself to such decadent filth. Downright unbearable and unnecessary to anyone who comes into contact with an album like this.

19-10%: Detestable
This shit will linger, stench and fester for a painfully long time. No part of it will be endearing and make you believe that nobody cared about this thing while it was still in the womb. An abortion of a record, if you will.

9%-Goose Eggs: Unbearable
No reason for it to exist. And to talk about it further would bring more attention to it and that can’t happen. Don’t be surprised to see me write it off in a statement shorter than this description.  

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