RPM’s Album Ratings

As far as I’m concerned, rating music is a bit silly at the best of times. And yet, I still attach ratings to my music reviews. It’s just one more datum to help other listeners get a sense of what they’re in for, and not the most important by any means. But if I’m going to rate things, it might be helpful for my listeners to know what each rating means. So:

  1. JUST THE WORST: completely unlistenable
  2. AWFUL: maybe a couple of redeeming qualities, but most of the record is positively bad
  3. BAD: one or two decent songs, but definitely not recommended
  4. NOT VERY GOOD: a handful of decent songs. Nothing unlistenable, but decidedly below average
  5. PASSABLE: not a struggle to get through, but nothing to hold my interest long-term
  6. DECENT: some fine songs, but unlikely to listen to full album again
  7. SOLID: likely to listen to individual tracks again, if not full album
  8. GOOD: Likely to listen to full album again – several good-to-excellent tracks, few missteps
  9. EXCELLENT: truly remarkable – multiple great tracks and minimal filler
  10. JUST THE BEST: a full-blown classic – ranks alongside my favorite albums of all time (e.g., Abbey Road, Born to Run, Bryter Layter, Blood on the Tracks)
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