Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Album Box Score

Months ago Spike and I had a long debate analyzing and criticizing the current landscape of album reviews. There are different approaches. The star method and the number method out of 10 or out of 100. There are others that review music but they generally fall into these categories. Accompanying the score, there is usually the paragraph or two that accompanies the review that usually lacks any bit of explanation as to why the album scored the way it did. We are left guessing as to why the Jonas Brothers scored equal to Dirty Projectors or why Rob Thomas' new album is apparently as good as the new Levon Helm. Sometimes we are left without this useless paragraph and sometimes we are left without any sort of score. Both are equally as frustrating as unhelpful.

Shifting gears to sports, there is always something to look at to see who had a better game, series, season, etc. Baseball is built upon the box score. Arguments are started and ultimately settled on the numbers. Boxing is settled on a scorecard and golf is determined by a measured count of the golfers' strokes. We see that a scorecard/box score is ultimately the most important record and key to settling debates. So why not apple the same theory to music? Why can't we have a detailed box score outlining why an album is good or bad, where its strengths and weaknesses are and ultimately how it compares to other albums.

So we proudly present to you the beginning of THE ALBUM BOX SCORE.

Allow me to explain the intricacies.

Like most sports box scores, there is no ceiling to the amount of points that can be accumulated.

Categories are selected based on the strengths and/or weaknesses of each artist. Its sort of like saying "These categories are what makes Bob Dylan Bob Dylan to me." So they change for each artist, but remain the same number (10) to make the box scores comparable.

The top songs are highlighted, and high numbers called out for ease in determining what the highlights are.

With that, we hope you enjoy. Like anything, it will be a work in progress. Feel free to send in requests.

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