Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Music Reviews

I have become increasingly annoyed with Rolling Stone's website and their music reviews. They seem to have fallen into that trap of believing that they know more about music than everyone else. Admittedly, they know a lot, but sometimes lately they seem to be dismissing a lot of fringe/alt music as not worth listening to because it's fringe or alt. Now, if you want to say that an album isn't popular because it's fringe, that's one thing. But so say that the music is bad because it's not mainstream is just stupid. Sadly, this seems to be what RS has been doing with increasingly regularity recently.

Because of this, I went in search of a new source of music reviews. I came across Metacritic.com, which has actually been around for nearly 10 years. How I've never heard about it before is beyond me, but there it is. Anyway, one of the things I like the most about Metacritic is the fact that it's actually a compiler site. They collect reviews from a bunch of different places and put them together in a single place. This, of course, includes RS, but they also pull reviews from Billboard, The Onion, Village Voice, and many others. From these collected reviews, they give a "critics score" (from 0 to 100). Best of all, they actually explain how they go about calculating this "metascore" so you can be informed about their reasoning/logic. And of course they open things up to public review as well. This is a little more simplistic (or, rather, standard) as the "user" score is a strict average of user assigned scores (0-10).

So far I've only checked out Metacritic's music section, but they also have reviews for films, DVDs, television, books, and games. So if you're looking for reviews on something, think about checking them out. At the very least, it'll give you a quick glance at what people are saying!

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