#1
I've never understood lists rating the best guitarists/albums/singers etc. off all time. It's completely illogical, how could they possibly come to a solid conclusion? Music is 100% subjective and open to opinion, so what makes one album better than another? It makes even less sense when people start comparing bands of different genres...

I read a few reviews from http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/ and they give ratings correct to decimal places, rating music as if they were just measuring height or weight. I don't see how any two people could agree on the same rating for any one song because of musical preferences/taste.

Basically I think the only person who can rate music for you is you. If I had to listen to music reviews I wouldn't have bought half the albums that I absolutely love, I think that because of this music reviews are ultimately harmful.

Whatchoo guys think?
#2
i feel it stupid, but i think the way they do it (sometimes) is votes with lots of other people

but none the less its quiet pathetic

reviews are alright when the explain quality and what not, but comparing one to another i cant take
#4
Quote by XianXiuHong
When given LOGICALLY and not in an unprofessional view, you can get a SOMEWHAT good idea of what the album will be like, but best way is to check it out yourself.


I'm saying that there can't be a logical way. You may be able to mention characteristics of a certain album, like more distortion, more harmonies used etc. but there is no way at all of rating musical quality...it's too subjective.
#6
If there's a large amount of reviews you can get a good idea whether to buy an album or not. If 100 people say it sucks and 5 say it's the best thing ever. I'd assume i
I'm one of those 100 instead of those 5. Of course, you might be one of those 5 and missing out.
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#7
It's about looking for bias and checking the sources. There have been some terrible reviews on UG for example from certain individuals, but some great ones too.
#8
Quote by JamesDouglas
I'm saying that there can't be a logical way. You may be able to mention characteristics of a certain album, like more distortion, more harmonies used etc. but there is no way at all of rating musical quality...it's too subjective.



True to an extent, if they describe the dynamics used and the phrasing and compare it to something you have heard before, you will get a better idea, it would be retarded however if they just went on a rant about how great it is without pointing out any of its musical qualities.
#9
User reviews are strange beasts.

No one wants to admit anything they have bought is sub-par. Maybe it's the same with music reviews for some people.
#10
Quote by XianXiuHong
True to an extent, if they describe the dynamics used and the phrasing and compare it to something you have heard before, you will get a better idea, it would be retarded however if they just went on a rant about how great it is without pointing out any of its musical qualities.


Say the review states that the phrasing of this particular song it done more effectively than another song, that's purely the reviewers opinion and virtually impossible to justify/prove.
#12
Quote by JamesDouglas
Say the review states that the phrasing of this particular song it done more effectively than another song, that's purely the reviewers opinion and virtually impossible to justify/prove.



Yes, but what I meant is that the reviewer compares it to the likeness of another song.
#13
Reviews are good if they're factual and aren't full of opinions. I agree about the ratings and comparatives between bands, although comparing (let's say this is an album review) a latest album from an artist with a previous one of the same artist can be useful as long as it remains to point out evolutions and similarities. However, the easiest way to find out if you'll like the album or not is to play it.

Oh and I'd like to add that listening to 30 second samples of tracks (like there are on some websites) are about as good as a bad review. How can you judge a song on a snippet!
#14
This is all true, to be honest reviewing the quality of an album from a musical/technical/lyrical point of view is relatively easy to be honest, you can look at everything. But you can't judge on feeling, or just style, because someone will disagree with you. Hendrix, were he around now would be judged far more harshly than he ever was, but it doesn't stop his playing having feeling that you can hear on the record, whereas Dream Theater's last effort was technically brilliant, but a tad soulless for my ears.
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#15
Only you really know what you like and a brief listen to an album is never a good way to develop an opinion, i can name a few albums i havent liked on the first listen but after a while they have become some of my favourite albums.

Critics what do they know
#16
Quote by strawforest007
Reviews are good if they're factual and aren't full of opinions. I agree about the ratings and comparatives between bands, although comparing (let's say this is an album review) a latest album from an artist with a previous one of the same artist can be useful as long as it remains to point out evolutions and similarities. However, the easiest way to find out if you'll like the album or not is to play it.

Oh and I'd like to add that listening to 30 second samples of tracks (like there are on some websites) are about as good as a bad review. How can you judge a song on a snippet!




Amazon is the king of short snippet samples

Quote by metaladdict123
Only you really know what you like and a brief listen to an album is never a good way to develop an opinion, i can name a few albums i havent liked on the first listen but after a while they have become some of my favourite albums.

Critics what do they know


I also think that you can really judge a band by their live performances.
Last edited by JamesDouglas at Jul 9, 2008,
#17
yeh music reviews are okish
they can help if you want to buy something sometimes their right sometimes their wrong
but it all comes down to your own taste
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#20
Quote by JamesDouglas
I've never understood lists rating the best guitarists/albums/singers etc. off all time. It's completely illogical, how could they possibly come to a solid conclusion? Music is 100% subjective and open to opinion, so what makes one album better than another? It makes even less sense when people start comparing bands of different genres...

I read a few reviews from http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/ and they give ratings correct to decimal places, rating music as if they were just measuring height or weight. I don't see how any two people could agree on the same rating for any one song because of musical preferences/taste.

Basically I think the only person who can rate music for you is you. If I had to listen to music reviews I wouldn't have bought half the albums that I absolutely love, I think that because of this music reviews are ultimately harmful.
Whatchoo guys think?


Firstly, it's one decimal place.
Secondly, they get different reviewers to cover different genres.

Anyway.
Pitchfork has helped me find tons of good bands, I think that's the point really. The very fact that I've found good bands through them means their doing more for music than alot of people/companies/whatever are.

The rating is what it is to the reviewer, you need to lighten the **** up and take it as just someone giving their opinion on an album and not a "tried and tested measurement of quality of music". You will notice that if you have roughly the same taste as some of the reviewers, you will find new bands you like. Also, if you actually understand the wordings of some of the reviewers, they do provide an accurate description of the album.

Yes. They do have really bull**** reviews that serve more as a medium to insult the band than anything. Lists where Justin Timberlake is at the top. And reviews where they overrate the band to hell for whatever reason. But who cares really?

I know I don't give a damn. They let me in on good music that I would never have ever found on my own, that's all that matters.
#21
I think raiting it to decimal places isnt good. But reviews are good. I know music is subjective, but I mean, alot of people share similar loves and hates. I guess sometimes I like to know what others think about something before I go purchase it. Yes because someone likes something, doesnt mean I will, and just because somebody hates something, doesnt mean i wont like it. They should never be a be all and end all, but they can be a good indecation
#22
Oh wow, what an asshole. He didn't even review the music, bitched about getting an artist he obviously had a personal bias against, and then insulted fans.

http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/23440-frank-zappa-mystery-disc
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#23
it's all Biased opinion.
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#24
While we're at it, why not just call every review system ever into question?
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#25
Did Pitchfork take the piss out of your favorite record, TS?

Review sites such as Pitchfork are there to inform a group of people who trust the reviewers about what they find to be the most enjoyable new music. Pitchfork, in particular appeals to indie fans, so an indie fan would more often than not agree with a reviewer and find the critic's analysis helpful in deciding whether or not the record is worth his time. Just because they don't like a record that you do doesn't mean they're arrogant, egotistical pricks (although pitchfork reviewers are more often than not, if not for that reason). What I'm saying is reviewers serve a purpose to the music community and if you don't agree with it, shut the fuck up and form your own opinion, don't sit around bitching cause they don't like your favorite record.
#26
Quote by NGD1313
Did Pitchfork take the piss out of your favorite record, TS?

Review sites such as Pitchfork are there to inform a group of people who trust the reviewers about what they find to be the most enjoyable new music. Pitchfork, in particular appeals to indie fans, so an indie fan would more often than not agree with a reviewer and find the critic's analysis helpful in deciding whether or not the record is worth his time. Just because they don't like a record that you do doesn't mean they're arrogant, egotistical pricks (although pitchfork reviewers are more often than not, if not for that reason). What I'm saying is reviewers serve a purpose to the music community and if you don't agree with it, shut the fuck up and form your own opinion, don't sit around bitching cause they don't like your favorite record.


A person who relies on reviewers for his opinion is telling me I should form my own...

The mere fact that a reviewer and I share different opinions demonstrates the futility of the reviews.

And no, pitchfork did not take the piss out of my favourite record.
#27
I can't find any lists >_>
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#29
Plus, music reviews are useful. Taste in food is somewhat subjective (I hate Chinese food), yet if I'm reading terrible things about the food at a new Mexican restaurant, I probably won't take a chance and spend my good-earned money on that. Music is the same way.
#30
Quote by The Madcap
Pretty much everybody knows music is subjective. However I still enjoy hearing others opinions.


The purpose of this thread wasn't to reveal the fact that music was subjective

Rather to say that because of this, music reviews are fallacious.
#31
Quote by JamesDouglas
The purpose of this thread wasn't to reveal the fact that music was subjective

Rather to say that because of this, music reviews are fallacious.
How are they fallacious?
#33
It's stupid to take them too seriously

they are usually interesting to read and can give you a little insight on what you are going to buy but to judge music by what a review says is ridiculous.
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#34
Quote by The Madcap
How are they fallacious?


It's about this time that I'll whip out the dictionary so I can compare the nature of reviews to the definition of fallacious:

1. Deceptive; misleading: fallacious testimony.

That's self-explanatory. Music reviews can indeed be and are sometimes misleading.

2. Containing a fallacy; logically unsound.

As I said in the OP, because reviews, in particular pitchfork reviews, try to measure musical quality when such a thing because of music's subjective nature isn't possible, they are illogical.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fallacious
Last edited by JamesDouglas at Jul 9, 2008,
#36
Generally I agree with pitchfork, but I don't actually agree with their rating system.
I believe rating systems for art should be kept kind of general to be honest, 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 scales are more than enough. Pitchfork grading to a decimal point seems kind of pointless to me because whats the difference in a 7.4 and a 7.6?

That being said I don't think reviews should be read into too much really because it is all subjective. I tend to use reviews as a way to find what is considered the bands best album if i'm just getting into them, and then I check out their other stuff.

Also as for the actual reviews on pitchfork, they seem to be written mostly by people who just like to write rather than review. Several reviews i've read had almost no mention of any aspects of the album until the 3rd or 4th paragraph.

Also idk if it's been mentioned but David Cross did a hilarious list on pitchfork, great for a laugh.
#37
If I had listened to Pitchfork, I would have never bought a Muse CD, therefore, they wouldn't be my favorite band.

I prefer making up my own opinions.
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