Stylusmagazine.com now grading like school reports

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Good move? Make a difference?

Deveon Halfcent, Wednesday, 5 January 2005 14:07 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't mind the Entertainment Weekly method. I don't know why they felt the need to change, though. SPIN did the same thing a couple years ago. Is it to further distinguish themselves from Pfork?

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 14:25 (fourteen years ago) link

http://www.mattscdsingles.com/acatalog/12645.jpg

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 14:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Doesn't make a difference.

nastyroute, Wednesday, 5 January 2005 15:44 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm going to have to wait this out, since I haven't heard a couple of the albums rated on the new system and am in disagreement with the Weatherall Fabric CD review. It could work out, but I'm pretty sure this is just going to result in a lot of B- ratings.

mike h. (mike h.), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:07 (fourteen years ago) link

I was vaguelly opposed to it, but I wanted shot of ratings altogether.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:08 (fourteen years ago) link

me with sick except remove the word vaguely but I'm a relatively new writer who misses deadlines so ignore me

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:12 (fourteen years ago) link

It's an improvement.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Deadlines? I'm a sod and only write when I want these days. Which is less and less often.

Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Even though ratings seem like a crutch, I'm in favor of them. Without ratings, it's easy to avoid taking a stand on whether the album works or not.

Chris Dahlen (Chris Dahlen), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:26 (fourteen years ago) link

And as cheap as it may seem, the reader has nothing to hold onto.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 16:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Plus, it does make a difference. The Pitchfork comparison was kind of unavoidable -- particularly given that they have a fairly unique bell curve to their numerical ratings (ie. a 6 isn't an D but prob. closer to a C+ or B- of some sort). Given the closeness of content (and staff, even), it makes sense to go in a different direction.

Of course, letter grades aren't unique — EW aside, Xgau has kind of written the book on them. But it's actually a pretty interesting standard. I mean, giving a C to a Radioheard record or something would be a pretty big slam.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Chris your review of Travistan would have been a lot better without your taking a stand on whether the albums works or not.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:05 (fourteen years ago) link

The text of reviews tells people whether or not they're curious to hear what you're describing. If you're only writing a paragraph than a rating makes a little sense (IF you spend the paragraph describing the album rather than the grade), but for longer pieces grades are superfluous.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:07 (fourteen years ago) link

Unless, of course, you do the "too long, didn't read" technique of reading reviews where if it is more than two paragraphs you scan the first and last sentence and look at the number/letter next to the review.

mike h. (mike h.), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:10 (fourteen years ago) link

Chris your review of Travistan would have been a lot better without your taking a stand on whether the albums works or not.

Awwww gimme a hug!

What I'm thinking about are the reviews in The Wire, which are great at description but sometimes avoid evaluation. I'll read one and think: "Okay, this is an album of repetitive staticky noise - but how does it compare to the others?"

Chris Dahlen (Chris Dahlen), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:11 (fourteen years ago) link

well the problem there is that albums of repetitive staticky noise are usually pretty equal in value. And if they're not a paragraph about what makes one superior is infinitely more valuable than someone attaching a number to it.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Unless, of course, you do the "too long, didn't read" technique of reading reviews where if it is more than two paragraphs you scan the first and last sentence and look at the number/letter next to the review.

I do this with most longer reviews, but merely out of curiousity - it doesn't really influence whether or not I check the album out. If you like the writer you'd read the work and if you don't like the writer than what the fuck do you care what they'd rate it?

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:22 (fourteen years ago) link

ratings on longer reviews only benefit people who don't really care why you think what you do. I'm surprised any writer would want to encourage that.

miccio (miccio), Wednesday, 5 January 2005 17:24 (fourteen years ago) link

What I'm thinking about are the reviews in The Wire, which are great at description but sometimes avoid evaluation. I'll read one and think: "Okay, this is an album of repetitive staticky noise - but how does it compare to the others?"

i don't get this, but have you read the reviews in Ugly Things? everything's totally bonkers according to stax and his reviewers, but in both publications the writers tend to use tone and adjectives to describe their feelings about a record instead of a number, letter, or inanimate object that can be interpreted as a value judgement.

blackmail.is.my.life (blackmail.is.my.life), Saturday, 8 January 2005 23:41 (fourteen years ago) link

I am a terrible guy to have around and regardless of how drunk i am now, my inability to control rating systems will result in numberous Bs.

I APOLOGIZE STYLUS

Rollie Pemberton (Rollie Pemberton), Sunday, 9 January 2005 11:23 (fourteen years ago) link

To be honest, I just like assigning numbers/grades bcuz I'm a nerd and it is fun to try and quantify something entirely unquantifiable (like my love/hatred for a record).

deej., Sunday, 9 January 2005 22:47 (fourteen years ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.