Sunday, February 17, 2008

New ratings

Lately, I've really struggled with the numeric rating in my reviews. Because one album may be great based on technical prowess and another based on innovation and another based on soul, it's hard to determine how to put all of these together into one rating. So, I'm going to try something new. I will now give ratings in four categories and then an overall rating. The categories will be:

Satriani - This category is based solely on technical ability and no one illustrates technical ability and absolutely nothing else better than Joe Satriani.

Zappa - This category is for innovation. In order to score high here, an artist must be successfully pushing musical or performance limits. Unlike Zappa, this won't always correlate to technical skill, but I felt he was the best choice for pure innovation.

*** It is important to note that the Zappa scale is different from the other three. For instance, a 1 on the Aretha scale would be "no soul." On the Zappa scale, a 1 would be a lot of innovation, but the innovation would be entirely bad. No innovation at all would be a 5. So, in a sense, it starts at 5 and goes in a negative or positive direction while the others start at 1 and only increase.

Dylan - This one is just about the songwriting. An artist could score high here and do a terrible job of performing their own great song. Dylan couldn't sing, but when he was on, he sure could write.

Aretha - Who better to represent soul than the Queen of Soul herself. However, don't be confused by the terminology, because this doesn't refer to Soul Music, but the soul of the music or its truth (even if that truth is just about good times).

The overall rating will not just be an average of these four categories, but it will be based on them. I'm not going to disclose the formula, because it may need to be tweaked as I go. Besides, anyone who loves rock and roll should know which is most important.

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8 Comments:

Blogger taotechuck said...

Duh. The Satriani is the most important.

I've been thinking about this, and I think you need one more scale in there: Beatles. An artist like Kimya Dawson would do pretty terribly on two of your three scales, but she doesn't suck. Someone like Josh Ritter would also suffer, because his strength is his words.

Technical proficiency (in the way I think you mean it) and innovation don't capture the ability to simply write a kickass song. That, my friend, is where The Beatles come in.

You could actually replace Zappa with the Beatles. They were just as innovative as he was, but they did it in a way that invited everyone in.

Just my two cents.

6:17 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

That's a good point. I think I'll add an "intangibles" factor to my formula.

7:32 AM  
Blogger The Mad Hatter said...

I kind of agree with Chuck. But Zappa wasn't just innovative; he had immense technical abilities, just ask Steve Vai -- or rather, those who auditioned for him and couldn't make it. So the Beatles are definitely more suited as they have very little technical ability and only a smidgen of soul. :)

3:43 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I try to steer clear of giving ratings except for the sites who require me to do so. I just feel like I should try and bring across my thoughts with the words in the review. I think if I gave a rating then I might begin to slack on trying to describe the album.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I dunno, I'm going for the HR rating... radical, out-of-control and almost too much to handle

8:29 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Ha,I like your rating system!

12:08 PM  
Blogger The RIpple Effect said...

Definitely a cool and interesting rating system. While it would be beyond me to suggest a change, I do think in my own hands, something is missing. I need a song to groove, to move me, to make me want to open my ears. Perhaps your intangible category catches that one.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous LIF said...

God, how unnecessarily complicated, particularly the inverse methodology of the Zappa scale. Goodbye!

3:18 PM  

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