February 12th, 2010


SF Panorama music reviews

SF Panorama music reviews, originally uploaded by jcruelty.

The latest McSweeneys is a huge Sunday-edition-style newspaper.
The design of their music reviews is interesting. For each album, they provide a graph that indicates how much the reviewer enjoyed each track. It's interesting to look at these graphs and investigate pet theories like "3rd song is always killer" or "albums tend to have 2-3 hits and a lot of crap."

No scale is provided, so you can't compare across graphs. The track rankings are only relative to each other. But that's fine with me. The idea of assigning absolute numerical ratings to albums (a la Pitchfork's "1.3" or "7.4") is absurd. Yet I do enjoy seeing such ratings. There's some part of the (mostly male) psyche that craves quantifiable rankings/ordered lists for everything, even when dealing with purely subjective aesthetic judgements. What I like about these graphs is that they give you that satisfaction, but only in the context of a single album. So none of this "Bob Dylan gets 3.7, RZA gets 4.1" nonsense.

By the way Bob Dylan gets 2.1 and RZA gets 8.4. No contest.