How the Ratings Work
My album ratings are according to a (very) subjective “band-career continuum” system. Let’s say that I think Master of Puppets is Metallica’s best record, and that Metallica is a very important and influential band. Puppets is therefore a 10/10, the perfect album for that band, and good by anyone’s standards. If …And Justice For All is very good, groundbreaking, not quite as fun as Puppets but still a masterpiece, that makes it a 9. I try to take genre into consideration as well; you can’t slam a punk record because it doesn’t sound like Rhys Fulber was on the knobs.
Bear in mind that there are a lot of great bands out there that just don’t have a ten in them ahemOverkillcough. Maybe they prefer quantity to quality, or change singers or labels too quickly, or they just haven’t summoned the magnum opus yet. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it just means they’re gonna have some eights and some threes. Conversely, the really big names have farther to fall from their pedestals, which is why coughProngcough may never get the same 1 that I’ve assigned to Load.
Emotions count for something as well; we all know how frustrating it can be when some mediocre or lazy work derails a band’s upward trajectory. I treat those instances more harshly than I would a noble failure.