Scoring is conducted on a ten point scale, with half-points permitted, for a total of 19 distinct scores. A “10” does not equate to perfection (does that concept make sense in this context?), nor does it indicate cultural significance (necessarily). Instead, it’s the (rare) mark of an album that provides deeper enjoyment with repeated listening. At the other end, a “1” is a sincere congratulations to the artist for getting the album to market. There is no rigorous protocol distinguishing neighboring scores, but half-points serve as a buffer for occasions when deciding between two whole numbers becomes agonizing.
Such granularity may be overwhelming. To ease troubled minds, each score belongs to one of three distinct categories, indicated by color. (Either the score itself or its background may be colored, depending on the page.) Green albums are worth at least one complete listen, and would likely make a fine addition to your collection. Yellow albums are much the same, provided the listener in question has a predilection for the artist or genre; others will consume them with apathy. Red albums are assuredly not worth your time, barring sincere devotion to the artist.
Many reviews will highlight notable tracks, perfect for the occasional playlist or the frugal digital music buyer. Look for them in brackets.
While browsing reviews, there are several details to bear in mind. First, any album (or EP) from any decade is fair game. Rock – in all its weird and wonderful forms – is heavily represented, but no album will ever be dismissed outright because of its genre. Readers will inevitably take issue with how a particular record is scored, but they should rest assured that judgements supplied by the author are neither contrived nor delivered with haste. Each album receives as thorough a vetting as it deserves: the stronger its pull at first blush, the more it is played before reviewing, to ensure its initial charm was not a facade for mediocrity. Such rigor correctly implies that readers should not expect new reviews to follow a schedule.
Indeed, opinions are like bodily orifices, but since the internet is a podium within everyone’s reach, there’s no shame in sharing our views. This site should encourage readers to broaden their musical tastes, rather than spit venom over honest disagreement.