January 15, 2007

the bell curve scale for music reviews

Cribbed from an email discussion some of my friends and I were having regarding the new Clipse album1 - my rating scale for albums:

  1. no redeeming qualities whatsoever
  2. so bad, that it might even be good2
  3. terrible, actively badmouth the album every time music is discussed
  4. disdainful, bag on the band at the bar
  5. not worth the trouble to rip the CD
  6. perfectly average
  7. I might buy this in the bargain bin
  8. pretty catchy, recommend to your friends
  9. really good, evangelize to strangers
  10. pop culture phenomenon
  11. will go down as a legendary work of art

On the basis of this scale, it should be nearly impossible for any album to get a 0 or a 10. Perfection can never be achieved, in either direction. Albums that come close to a 10, at least for me, include Donny Hathaway's "Everything Is Everything" and The Beatles' "Abbey Road." The majority of all albums should clock in between 4 and 6, and the majority of albums you actually own should clock in somewhere between 6 and 8.

1 I can't give the Clipse album much more than a 6. Probably more like a 5.5.

2 The KTRU circle of quality/DJ Trainwreck3 phenomenon

3 There's no reason you should know who DJ Trainwreck is.

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