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Specific Scores
https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64064
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Author:  DethCubeK [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Specific Scores

Seriously, how do you guys come up with scores like 87% or 31%? Do most people keep a ranking of all their reviews and say: "This one's slightly better than that one so I'll give it one percent more." Or do you give every song a percentage and take the average? Because I can't really see how else one could come up with scores that specific.

Author:  Zoldaten_ov_Zatan [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Guess I'm the wrong guy to respond here, because I don't know how they do it. I specifically stuck to ratings ending in 0 and 5 for the simple reason of simplifying it and not worrying to much about the specific score rather than the general range, particularly in regards to comparisons to other scores I've given out. Way too much to trouble myself with figuring out.

My guess is that some people go "This one's slightly better than that one so I'll give it one percent more" others pick something arbitrary in the range of where they think it belongs, a very few have some mathmatical process by which they determine the score, and others have any number of other criteria.

Certainly don't expect any concencus here, but if anyone has interesting or clever methods by which you derive your scores, lets hear it!

Author:  SharpAndSlender [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

I typically just find the the general score ending in five or zero and then decide if it's a little better or worse than that.

Author:  iamntbatman [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

Damnit, that's exactly what I was going to write.

Author:  lord_ghengis [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

I used to do something like that, but it's a poor system as quality of albums change over time, and it's pretty hard to match different genres so I've stopped comparing. I still tend to have a quick look through my reviews to try and give an album a general area to give it a score, but as a whole it's pretty random within a 5-10% range. I do put a lot of thought into my 95%+ scores, but otherwise it isn't significant.

I used to do a mathematical process before I reviewed here, but that is a fucking terrible system, everything gets 40-80%. Plus it doesn't reflect an album as a whole, it breaks it apart and makes you focus on different elements, which isn't how an album should be looked at for a score.

Author:  Perplexed_Sjel [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've often found things like this strange. I rarely use odd numbers. Ratings like 3% or 99%, for example, make little sense. In fact, if I see a review with that kind of score, I'll probably just ignore the review entirely in favour of a reviewer that uses ratings like my own.

Author:  caspian [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

SharpAndSlender wrote:
I typically just find the the general score ending in five or zero and then decide if it's a little better or worse than that.


Pretty much this.

Author:  Twisted_Psychology [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Personally, I rate all the songs on an album by a scale of 1 to 10, add the ratings together, and divide them by the number of songs on the album.

If it's a 5 song EP with ratings like 9, 10, 8, 10, and 7, I'll then divide 44 by 5 and get 88%. Something like that usually

Author:  sushiman [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
I've often found things like this strange. I rarely use odd numbers. Ratings like 3% or 99%, for example, make little sense. In fact, if I see a review with that kind of score, I'll probably just ignore the review entirely in favour of a reviewer that uses ratings like my own.


Personally I am more interested in the written content of a review than the number pinned on it, so I would never do that. When it comes to scoring my own reviews, it's a mixture of arbitrariness, relativity to other albums, and an attempt on my part to make it look like lots of thought has gone into the process :D.

Author:  hells_unicorn [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

For the most part, my scores reflect the collective enjoyment I have for the entire album. There are little nuances between scores, but essentially it's all based around a 1-10 scoring with the .5 in between, which is how the Metal Observer webzine handles scoring.

I used to do the whole individual song scoring idea when I first started out in 2005, but the reviews tended to be tainted by it (I have 2 older Freedom Call reviews that still have the individual song scores and I hope to get them rewritten sometime real soon).

Author:  Empyreal [ Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

I just base my scores off of whatever number I deem appropriate to tack onto it. I get a general idea of how much I like it or how much of a piece of goat droppings it is and then just throw a number on. It's really not a big deal. The only scores I voraciously consider are those 0s and 100s...have to make sure I want to give them those scores.

Author:  BastardHead [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:23 am ]
Post subject: 

Empyreal wrote:
I just base my scores off of whatever number I deem appropriate to tack onto it. I get a general idea of how much I like it or how much of a piece of goat droppings it is and then just throw a number on. It's really not a big deal. The only scores I voraciously consider are those 0s and 100s...have to make sure I want to give them those scores.


That's about my process as well.

I used to do the track by track math thing, but then I decided not to be a retard all the time.

Author:  Byrgan [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:36 am ]
Post subject: 

I might use an "in between" rating when I can't decide, for instance, if I feel the album deserves a score in the range of 70% to 75%. If it is below a 50%, I rarely use anything other than increments of 5, since that might be getting too tedious for a negative review, and to me the scale is a reference point. Though I don't have any strict rules or mathematical formulas.

DethCubeK wrote:
Do most people keep a ranking of all their reviews and say: "This one's slightly better than that one so I'll give it one percent more."


I did at one point in the beginning do this method. However, I don't relate scores between bands, yes, sometimes between albums by the same band but not between separate bands. The reason being a 75%, for instance, given out multiple times might be given for many different reasons.

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
I've often found things like this strange. I rarely use odd numbers. Ratings like 3% or 99%, for example, make little sense. In fact, if I see a review with that kind of score, I'll probably just ignore the review entirely in favour of a reviewer that uses ratings like my own.


Your view on it is just as odd to me. A personal preference is a personal preference though, even if your opinion is to certain degrees stubborn, exclusive, limiting, and since it doesn't step on too many people's toes, not a huge deal. But then it does show how serious you take specific ratings over words. For example, there are two reviews for an album, one review is 97%, the other is 88%, and the 97% happens to hit on more points that you agree with. I'm not trying to trap you there, but more or less finding out if I catch your point, or just how rigid you are with it.

Author:  lord_ghengis [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:24 am ]
Post subject: 

BastardHead wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
I just base my scores off of whatever number I deem appropriate to tack onto it. I get a general idea of how much I like it or how much of a piece of goat droppings it is and then just throw a number on. It's really not a big deal. The only scores I voraciously consider are those 0s and 100s...have to make sure I want to give them those scores.


That's about my process as well.

I used to do the track by track math thing, but then I decided not to be a retard all the time.


Same thing here, which makes statements like this one absolutely horrifying:

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
I've often found things like this strange. I rarely use odd numbers. Ratings like 3% or 99%, for example, make little sense. In fact, if I see a review with that kind of score, I'll probably just ignore the review entirely in favour of a reviewer that uses ratings like my own.


Do many people do this, are there people who seriously ignore reviews because a score has a number they don't like in it?

Author:  sushiman [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:33 am ]
Post subject: 

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
I've often found things like this strange. I rarely use odd numbers. Ratings like 3% or 99%, for example, make little sense. In fact, if I see a review with that kind of score, I'll probably just ignore the review entirely in favour of a reviewer that uses ratings like my own.


Do many people do this, are there people who seriously ignore reviews because a score has a number they don't like in it?[/quote]

It's a little worrying that the person saying this, implying that he values the number above the actual content, is one of the most prolific reviewers on here.

Author:  failsafeman [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:36 am ]
Post subject: 

I just look at similar albums I've reviewed and decide if it's a little better or a little worse than that. It's intuitive really, often during the course of writing the review I'll adjust my score by single percents until it "feels right." Overall though I don't feel the score is important, beyond a ballpark figure. Is the difference between an 84% and an 85% significant enough to be noticed? Probably not.

Author:  saintinhell [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:01 am ]
Post subject: 

I use them because they are there to be used, that's all. If it was 1 to 5, I would have to use 1 to 5 only. I don't really think much about the rating I assign at all, I just pick a figure to give an indication of how bad/mediocre/decent/good/great/outstanding it is. If I didn't have to, I would gladly not rate an album because I want people to read the reviews, not complain about the ratings.

Author:  Darkes7_ [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:14 am ]
Post subject: 

failsafeman wrote:
I just look at similar albums I've reviewed and decide if it's a little better or a little worse than that. It's intuitive really, often during the course of writing the review I'll adjust my score by single percents until it "feels right." Overall though I don't feel the score is important, beyond a ballpark figure. Is the difference between an 84% and an 85% significant enough to be noticed? Probably not.

This exactly how I feel right now, at first I also wanted to stick to the "full 5%" ratings, but decided sometimes a bit subtler differences are needed. Especially if I want to give a rating close to some other albums I had reviewed I rate it in comparison to the others.

Author:  Perplexed_Sjel [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:02 am ]
Post subject: 

sushiman wrote:
Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
I've often found things like this strange. I rarely use odd numbers. Ratings like 3% or 99%, for example, make little sense. In fact, if I see a review with that kind of score, I'll probably just ignore the review entirely in favour of a reviewer that uses ratings like my own.


Do many people do this, are there people who seriously ignore reviews because a score has a number they don't like in it?

It's a little worrying that the person saying this, implying that he values the number above the actual content, is one of the most prolific reviewers on here.


From personal experience, reviews are generally better (meaning more concise and level headed) when the negatives aren't too low and the positives aren't too high.

Besides, I don't really read reviews. Probably quite odd as a reviewer myself, but I rarely read reviews. I tend to look through the profile of a reviewer I trust and who has similar tastes to me and pick out their most highly rated reviews. I don't have much time to sit and read through reviews of all the bands I find (which is a lot). I focus more of finding and reviewing myself, than reading.

Author:  Opus [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

lord_ghengis wrote:
... as quality of albums change over time, ...


How?

Author:  Zoldaten_ov_Zatan [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Opus wrote:
lord_ghengis wrote:
... as quality of albums change over time, ...


How?


Presumably he means how its quality changes to one's perception.

Author:  lord_ghengis [ Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Zoldaten_ov_Zatan wrote:
Opus wrote:
lord_ghengis wrote:
... as quality of albums change over time, ...


How?


Presumably he means how its quality changes to one's perception.


Yeah, thats what I meant. I'm not talking about huge differences, but sicne we are talking about percentages here, most of my socres would be off by 5% or so from what I think about now, the content of the review would be the same, but the scores could easily shift a little bit. Which is why basing scores for my new reviews off my old ones is not exactly precise.

Author:  harbringer [ Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:09 am ]
Post subject: 

I try to rate good or great albums by the school grading system, ie 90 = A, 80 = B, etc, I don't think I've ever given out a non 0 or 5 ending score except once I thought an album deserved a 33% because it seemed a third good and 2/3 shit. That works up until 50. After that, 40's and 30's are kinda tough because if I think an album sucks, it's hard to say it's a 4/10 suckage. I'd just give it a 10 or 20 depending on whether it's awful or godawful. I also don't think I've ever given a 0 even to the shittiest of albums because that's just harsh. Some points for effort ya know?

Before anyone looks up my reviews to find out I have none, I'm banned from the forum under my old MA name so don't bother looking at pitiful 0 point harbringer :P

Author:  LegendMaker [ Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

harbringer wrote:
I try to rate good or great albums by the school grading system, ie 90 = A, 80 = B, etc

If I may ask, could someone help me grasp this concept? Beyond specific scores like 83% or 37%, I have a hard time getting any information at all from review scores in general, because of the system itself. I'm not complaining about it or suggesting another one, and I'm aware that every reviewer is free to have his/her own standards for rating albums. But I've clearly noticed that a majority of people seem to use the British/American school grading system as a reference point when they give ratings or interpret them. So I'd like to at least get a good notion of it.

My problem is that a completely different system is used where I come from, and I honestly never really understood how this one works. In France, stuff like "A minus", "62%" or "I scored 1249 on my SAT" solely exists on TV, through American TV series and movies, and it's all pretty mysterious for us. Our grading system is unified and pretty different: we get a score out of 20 (in a few occasions out of 10 or 100 instead). If you score 10/20, you get your diploma. 12/20 is a pretty good score, 14/20 is really really good, and anything above 15/20 is the stuff of geniuses. So I'm pretty puzzled by how common ratings above 80% are, or when someone says "I gave it 67%" like it was harsh, and even more with the numerous reviewers who state that 50% means utter garbage. Clearly, translating the scores I'm used to doesn't work: 15/20 would equal 75%, which doesn't seem to be generally perceived as a great score here.

Author:  Byrgan [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:58 am ]
Post subject: 

LegendMaker wrote:
harbringer wrote:
I try to rate good or great albums by the school grading system, ie 90 = A, 80 = B, etc

If I may ask, could someone help me grasp this concept? Beyond specific scores like 83% or 37%, I have a hard time getting any information at all from review scores in general, because of the system itself. I'm not complaining about it or suggesting another one, and I'm aware that every reviewer is free to have his/her own standards for rating albums. But I've clearly noticed that a majority of people seem to use the British/American school grading system as a reference point when they give ratings or interpret them. So I'd like to at least get a good notion of it.

My problem is that a completely different system is used where I come from, and I honestly never really understood how this one works. In France, stuff like "A minus", "62%" or "I scored 1249 on my SAT" solely exists on TV, through American TV series and movies, and it's all pretty mysterious for us. Our grading system is unified and pretty different: we get a score out of 20 (in a few occasions out of 10 or 100 instead). If you score 10/20, you get your diploma. 12/20 is a pretty good score, 14/20 is really really good, and anything above 15/20 is the stuff of geniuses. So I'm pretty puzzled by how common ratings above 80% are, or when someone says "I gave it 67%" like it was harsh, and even more with the numerous reviewers who state that 50% means utter garbage. Clearly, translating the scores I'm used to doesn't work: 15/20 would equal 75%, which doesn't seem to be generally perceived as a great score here.


I don't know if some of this will be redundant, but here we go. Each state is slightly different in the US. Usually your grade is split up with 5 different ranges: A, B, C, D and F. Usually F being below 60% and all the way down the line to 0%. Like one area might have 90%-100% = A, 80%-89% = B, 70%-79% = C, then so on down with D and F. Some teachers have different ways of doing the + or - feature (92% might be A- for instance). F carries the widest range and if you get a 55% or a 10%, it is still considered an F and your parents would still blow a fuse due to the connotations with the letter. D could be just as bad since you can fail with it depending on the subject, and C is typically passing. The scale can be used for an assignment and also your final grade. Like you received a 75% or C on an assignment (some teachers lose the numbers and just put "C" and how many wrong/right) that usually means that you literally got 3/4 of the assignment correct. Though the same scale is used when giving out your overall grade for the entire semester, again like a 75% C. The overall grade is all of your course work combined and usually factored in with a final test, and the final test can have bearing on your final grade again. I remember getting between a 110% to a 120% in only one class ever due to certain circumstances; the teacher just stopped assigning me work. In that case it was still an A or A+ as my final grade on my report card. I took French in school but I honestly don't remember that much since I've seldom met a Frenchman/woman here. Am I remembering correctly, that kids attend school six days there for grade school?

I'm not sure why the percentage system was initiated here on Metal Archives. I personally find it confusing to people at first glance, because some individuals think it should mean mathematics or preciseness, or something along those lines, when it is just a reference point. The numbers on their own would be better in my opinion without the percentage sign at the end. But it has always been like that.

I don't use the American school system grades with my reviews and I take advantage of the whole grid. I can still review something I gave a 50% and say that it had its moments and isn't completely terrible. Though, if we're talking about still holding onto or owning that recording, I'd have to say it isn't worth it to me. I'm personally not a hoarder or big on skipping tracks on the stereo on some albums, and I think at some point it is only useful for the die hard collector or musical historian, or to ward someone away and recommend something else in its place.

Quote:
But I've clearly noticed that a majority of people seem to use the British/American school grading system as a reference point when they give ratings or interpret them.


I don't know if the "majority" would be accurate. But it is strange when you come across a review that gave the album an 85%, for instance, and then says "it's just okay" or something similar.

Author:  weakling_goat [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

caspian wrote:
SharpAndSlender wrote:
I typically just find the the general score ending in five or zero and then decide if it's a little better or worse than that.


Pretty much this.

I'd like to echo my agreement on this. Though if it were possible, I wouldn't add any sort of numerical rating to my reviews.

Author:  harbringer [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

LegendMaker wrote:
harbringer wrote:
I try to rate good or great albums by the school grading system, ie 90 = A, 80 = B, etc

If I may ask, could someone help me grasp this concept?


It's in percentages, so the best way to think about it is in percentages. The US system is a lot different from your own that you described. Here, a 90% on a test means you grasped 90% of the information that was taught. A 50% means you know half of what was taught - not good.
I think about albums the same way. If the score every album aspires to be is 100, then xyz album was about 90% there and 10% they could have improved upon to make it a masterpiece. A 50% means they did a half-ass job basically.

Author:  EntilZha [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

People using the school grade system simply prove that they have absolutely zero standards and thereby zero taste. Creating a perfect metal album is as easy as acing a school test? If that was the case then there must be tens of thousands of perfect metal albums since school tests are so fucking easy.

To me, creating a perfect metal album is like successfully landing and operating rovers on Mars, not some simple task like a high school math test. It's fucking damn near impossible, and a 70% success rate at operating rovers on Mars is already pretty damn good, despite the fact that the remaining 30% were a great waste of time and resources.

People using the school grade system think of metal as a simple craft like carpenting or whatever, reducing it to some low end job that any trailer trash can do with two weeks of training. All recognition of metal as art, and therefore all proper understanding and appreciation of metal is lost on these people.

Author:  harbringer [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

EntilZha wrote:
People using the school grade system simply prove that they have absolutely zero standards and thereby zero taste. Creating a perfect metal album is as easy as acing a school test? If that was the case then there must be tens of thousands of perfect metal albums since school tests are so fucking easy.

To me, creating a perfect metal album is like successfully landing and operating rovers on Mars, not some simple task like a high school math test. It's fucking damn near impossible, and a 70% success rate at operating rovers on Mars is already pretty damn good, despite the fact that the remaining 30% were a great waste of time and resources.

People using the school grade system think of metal as a simple craft like carpenting or whatever, reducing it to some low end job that any trailer trash can do with two weeks of training. All recognition of metal as art, and therefore all proper understanding and appreciation of metal is lost on these people.


You're such a revolutionary.

Author:  Lippyass Major [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Specific Scores

DethCubeK wrote:
"This one's slightly better than that one so I'll give it one percent more."


This is what I do, actually.

Author:  Empyreal [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:46 pm ]
Post subject: 

harbringer wrote:
EntilZha wrote:
People using the school grade system simply prove that they have absolutely zero standards and thereby zero taste. Creating a perfect metal album is as easy as acing a school test? If that was the case then there must be tens of thousands of perfect metal albums since school tests are so fucking easy.

To me, creating a perfect metal album is like successfully landing and operating rovers on Mars, not some simple task like a high school math test. It's fucking damn near impossible, and a 70% success rate at operating rovers on Mars is already pretty damn good, despite the fact that the remaining 30% were a great waste of time and resources.

People using the school grade system think of metal as a simple craft like carpenting or whatever, reducing it to some low end job that any trailer trash can do with two weeks of training. All recognition of metal as art, and therefore all proper understanding and appreciation of metal is lost on these people.


You're such a revolutionary.


What's with the sarcasm? That grading system IS stupid.

Author:  ThrashingMad [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Empyreal wrote:
What's with the sarcasm? That grading system IS stupid.


It really is. Why allot 60 damn points to one category and only ten to every other?

With school it makes sense of course, seeing as you're probably in trouble if you answer less than 6 out of every 10 questions right, but for everything else it really doesn't work.

Author:  LegendMaker [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

First of, it seems I was wrong when I said "British/American" system. Based on the information above, the US and British systems seem to be quite different from one another as well. As far as I know the pass mark for British tests is somewhere between 40% and 50%, and scores above 70% are extremely rare there. So I guess the British logic will have to remain a mystery to me for now (having lived in England, I'm quite used to that). But I'm beginning to grasp the American one, I think.

@Byrgan: Thanks for your reply! I must say some elements that I was previously unaware of puzzle me even more, like the absence of an E between D and F or the fact that it's possible to get above 100%, but your description was clear and informative (it's not your fault if the system is a bit weird).

Byrgan wrote:
Am I remembering correctly, that kids attend school six days there for grade school?
Not exactly. I'm going to use the average age of kids/students as reference, since the school names are also completely different here and some terms can be misleading ("college" means university in English, whereas "collège" in France is for kids aged between 11 and 14). 6-10 years old kids typically had school four and a half days a week, with no school on Wednesdays but school on Saturday mornings, although this has changed recently (slightly shorter holidays, but no more Saturday mornings, to allow parents to have full weekends with their kids). From 11yo to 18yo, it can vary a lot from school to school, but it's not unusual to have school for up to five days and a half a week.

@harbringer: Thanks to you as well! Your reply complemented Byrgan's nicely, and if I understood correctly, then I think the grading system isn't the only thing that differs greatly between France and the US in terms of education.

The whole purpose of school seems to be different, which makes each grading system consistent with what school is meant to achieve in each country. It also helps me sort of understand for the very first time why MCQ tests seem to be widely used in the US (again based on what I've seen on TV—correct me if I'm wrong), whereas it'd be unthinkable here. I'll elaborate a little bit. For most courses, the type of exams we have in France is typically dissertations, or at least open questions for which the student is asked to come up with a reasoning and elaborate, not just give the correct answer straight from the school books. At least from around the age of 15 on. A 20/20 in courses like History, Geography, French, Economy or Philosophy at the degree you get around age 18 does happen every now and then, but it typically means that the student blew the marking panel's minds. I did a little research and found out an official correspondance between French Baccalaureate honors and the Latin ones used in the US:

10>/20 (50%) = pass
12>/20 (60%) = cum laude
14>/20 (70%) = magna cum laude
16>/20 (80%) = summa cum laude

So it seems to me that what is evaluated by the score isn't the same thing. In the US 0%=Blank, 75%=Learned most lessons and 100%=Learned all lessons. In France 0%=Blank, 50%=Learned all lessons, and the range between 51% and 100% is used to evaluate how well the student understood the lessons learned, and how good they are at reasoning with it. This part seems to be out of the picture in the American system? :uh oh:

Which brings me to EntilZha's point. With the US school grading system in mind (of course, provided I now understand it correctly), I'm with you on that one. Since it's music that's being evaluated, there should ideally be no absolutes, and at the very least the range should be pretty wide. In my mind a 100% album would have to have been crafted by God, Satan, Thor, Zeus, Ctulluh, Whatever or all of the above. Even if the score was only based on the band rather than on the entire (sub)genre, the album would happen to consist of all of that band's greatest songs ever and nothing else, while still being consistent as a whole (not a best of).

All that being said, part of me thinks it'd be more useful for a review rating to be based solely on the best songs of the album. I might be a hoarder or collector or whatever the term might be, but to me an album that has even one masterpiece of a song on it is worth buying, therefore worth recommending (with a disclaimer inside the review). At the other end of the (non-shitty) spectrum, an album consistently okay but devoid of any highlight would be a much, much lower priority in my book. It seems that most reviewers would give the former a lower score than the latter, though. Sure that's more fair to the album "as a whole", but it also means that the score alone tells me nothing useful. The same score could either mean that all songs are just okay, or that some are garbage but others are worth killing for. I may or may not be an exception, but as a listener what I'm the most interested in knowing about any given album is whether or not there's any song(s) worth killing for on it. I don't mind getting my hands dirty digging for gold, but I won't bother for lesser metals.

Author:  Empyreal [ Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

ThrashingMad wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
What's with the sarcasm? That grading system IS stupid.


It really is. Why allot 60 damn points to one category and only ten to every other?

With school it makes sense of course, seeing as you're probably in trouble if you answer less than 6 out of every 10 questions right, but for everything else it really doesn't work.


Yeah. It also just seems like a really rigid, odd way to grade things when you could just grade it based on how much you like it. Grading albums As, Bs, Cs, etc...just seems so damn petty, in the context of how I grew up being fed that stuff on school papers I spent a half hour writing.

Author:  iamntbatman [ Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:05 am ]
Post subject: 

EntilZha wrote:
People using the school grade system simply prove that they have absolutely zero standards and thereby zero taste. Creating a perfect metal album is as easy as acing a school test? If that was the case then there must be tens of thousands of perfect metal albums since school tests are so fucking easy.

To me, creating a perfect metal album is like successfully landing and operating rovers on Mars, not some simple task like a high school math test. It's fucking damn near impossible, and a 70% success rate at operating rovers on Mars is already pretty damn good, despite the fact that the remaining 30% were a great waste of time and resources.

People using the school grade system think of metal as a simple craft like carpenting or whatever, reducing it to some low end job that any trailer trash can do with two weeks of training. All recognition of metal as art, and therefore all proper understanding and appreciation of metal is lost on these people.


While I agree that the "school" grading system is not the best choice for album reviews (mostly because it allows so much wiggle room to describe the various levels of failure while limiting how detailed you get with successful albums), your reasoning is pretty much some of the most retarded I've ever read. What difference does it make if crafting the perfect metal album is significantly more difficult than acing a test? Doesn't that depend on the test? And why are you comparing the two, anyway? It's just a bloody scale. It's not like people out there say an album is godly then rate it a 36% then say something like "a 36% batting average is pretty fucking godly, hence my score."

Author:  Byrgan [ Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:16 am ]
Post subject: 

LegendMaker wrote:
@Byrgan: ...like the absence of an E between D and F or the fact that it's possible to get above 100%, but your description was clear and informative (it's not your fault if the system is a bit weird).


I'm completely guessing here, but 'E' is usually associated with "effort" and 'F' with "failure." But who knows?

I don't want to confuse you with the above 100%, that only happened due to completing all assignments and also doing bonus work raised it higher than 100. I'm going to speculate that giving those grades would be something a teacher wouldn't want to give out often, as it might show that they aren't making it challenging enough.

Byrgan wrote:
Am I remembering correctly, that kids attend school six days there for grade school?
Quote:
Not exactly. I'm going to use the average age of kids/students as reference, since the school names are also completely different here and some terms can be misleading ("college" means university in English, whereas "collège" in France is for kids aged between 11 and 14). 6-10 years old kids typically had school four and a half days a week, with no school on Wednesdays but school on Saturday mornings, although this has changed recently (slightly shorter holidays, but no more Saturday mornings, to allow parents to have full weekends with their kids). From 11yo to 18yo, it can vary a lot from school to school, but it's not unusual to have school for up to five days and a half a week.


That's interesting. So it essentially gives the younger ones a break, sort of. And the older ones more time to study. The school times here have changed, but Wednesdays were shorter days, only by an hour though. I have another question. Is it mandatory for students to learn a language or languages in grade school in France? In the state I'm from you can learn two years (or more) to save you time when going for additional schooling in a college or university later, but don't have to take any. Latin, Spanish, German and French were the available options (here at least, other areas I can imagine are different).

Quote:
Which brings me to EntilZha's point. With the US school grading system in mind (of course, provided I now understand it correctly), I'm with you on that one. Since it's music that's being evaluated, there should ideally be no absolutes, and at the very least the range should be pretty wide. In my mind a 100% album would have to have been crafted by God, Satan, Thor, Zeus, Ctulluh, Whatever or all of the above. Even if the score was only based on the band rather than on the entire (sub)genre, the album would happen to consist of all of that band's greatest songs ever and nothing else, while still being consistent as a whole (not a best of).

All that being said, part of me thinks it'd be more useful for a review rating to be based solely on the best songs of the album. I might be a hoarder or collector or whatever the term might be, but to me an album that has even one masterpiece of a song on it is worth buying, therefore worth recommending (with a disclaimer inside the review). At the other end of the (non-shitty) spectrum, an album consistently okay but devoid of any highlight would be a much, much lower priority in my book. It seems that most reviewers would give the former a lower score than the latter, though. Sure that's more fair to the album "as a whole", but it also means that the score alone tells me nothing useful. The same score could either mean that all songs are just okay, or that some are garbage but others are worth killing for. I may or may not be an exception, but as a listener what I'm the most interested in knowing about any given album is whether or not there's any song(s) worth killing for on it. I don't mind getting my hands dirty digging for gold, but I won't bother for lesser metals.


In listening, there are times when I want to focus on a particular song on an album, often repeating it numerous times. I still do every now and then. However, I have other listening habits, where I've swayed towards having an experience or session with a recording as a whole to not overdo it or overexpose everything about particular songs' nooks and crannies; that's also a reason I've not reviewed certain items I listen to or why it's taken me so long to get around to do so, basically to make a recording I enjoy retain its essence in the long run. I might play it continuously while driving or listening to it on the stereo all the way through, and focusing on how it all unfolds as a whole. Sometimes when an album has 'avoidable' tracks come up, it can take me out of the experience. Actually there are cases where if the album jumps around too much and isn't able to 'harness' that diversity I might be more apt to pick something instead that has a particular atmosphere, singularity or similarity to it, though I'm speaking generally and not about every case. I know some people out there like compilations made up of individual songs from separate bands, but I've tried that and it isn't for me.

Empyreal wrote:
harbringer wrote:
EntilZha wrote:
People using the school grade system simply prove that they have absolutely zero standards and thereby zero taste. Creating a perfect metal album is as easy as acing a school test? If that was the case then there must be tens of thousands of perfect metal albums since school tests are so fucking easy.

To me, creating a perfect metal album is like successfully landing and operating rovers on Mars, not some simple task like a high school math test. It's fucking damn near impossible, and a 70% success rate at operating rovers on Mars is already pretty damn good, despite the fact that the remaining 30% were a great waste of time and resources.

People using the school grade system think of metal as a simple craft like carpenting or whatever, reducing it to some low end job that any trailer trash can do with two weeks of training. All recognition of metal as art, and therefore all proper understanding and appreciation of metal is lost on these people.


You're such a revolutionary.


What's with the sarcasm? That grading system IS stupid.


I agree the system has its flaws, though EntilZha drew a deep, don't-trespass-here line in the sand from his point of view to 'their' point of view. And basically set up not only his declamation but the other side of it as well.

There are times when some reviewers have sufficed. I remember the reviewer Drowned here admitting he used something of this scale, but balancing it out with what he wrote and first hand accounts made up for it. Though there are others like grimdoom who's perspective was diminished by how many praising scores he handed out. CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8 had a period where he was constantly giving out high end scores, though his writing covered quite a bit of area, and I'm sure the guy is just passionate in various areas.

Author:  saintinhell [ Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:24 am ]
Post subject: 

LegendMaker wrote:

All that being said, part of me thinks it'd be more useful for a review rating to be based solely on the best songs of the album. I might be a hoarder or collector or whatever the term might be, but to me an album that has even one masterpiece of a song on it is worth buying, therefore worth recommending (with a disclaimer inside the review). At the other end of the (non-shitty) spectrum, an album consistently okay but devoid of any highlight would be a much, much lower priority in my book. It seems that most reviewers would give the former a lower score than the latter, though. Sure that's more fair to the album "as a whole", but it also means that the score alone tells me nothing useful. The same score could either mean that all songs are just okay, or that some are garbage but others are worth killing for. I may or may not be an exception, but as a listener what I'm the most interested in knowing about any given album is whether or not there's any song(s) worth killing for on it. I don't mind getting my hands dirty digging for gold, but I won't bother for lesser metals.


Yes, I agree with this. A solid album with not a bad song is still just a solid album among many others. An otherwise mediocre album with one masterpiece is still more worthwhile than a solid album and the only way a review score can reflect that is it gives a lot of weight to great tracks. To an extent, it perhaps also depends on whether one listens to an album to be transported or just to chill out...obviously, one amazing trip will do for the former but for the latter, the album must be very consistent.

Author:  LegendMaker [ Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:31 am ]
Post subject: 

Byrgan wrote:
That's interesting. So it essentially gives the younger ones a break, sort of. And the older ones more time to study.
In a nutshell, yes. If you go to a university or a "great school" after you graduate at around 18yo, then the first couple of years are typically insanely intense: about 80% of students give up after or during the first year. It's sort of a Darwinian selection process: survival of the utmost motivated and brilliant. If you manage to reach the third year, you're cut a LOT of slack (only 20-25 hours a week on average, with practically no formal obligation to attend any), but by then you're typically expected to do a ridiculous amount of research and study on your own. If you play pool and go to parties instead of studying on your time off, you'd better be a natural born genius, because the exams are only getting tougher and the topics won't necessarily be directly related to what you've studied in class.

Byrgan wrote:
I have another question. Is it mandatory for students to learn a language or languages in grade school in France?
Until around 10-11yo, no language is mandatory although an initiation to English is becoming quite common and recommended. At 11yo, you have to pick a living language, with a basic choice between English, German and Spanish (some schools offer more languages). You're also advised to pick a dead language, either Latin or Ancient Greek, but it's optional. At 13yo, you have to pick an additional living language, with a noticeably broader choice given (Italian, Arabic and Portuguese aren't unusual these days). As you approach the Baccalaureate, unless you're going for a linguistics specialization, you can drop one language and study the other one more extensively instead if you prefer. Technically you can choose to never study English if you don't want to, but it's very rare.

@Byrgan and saintinhell: I'm aware that many people like to listen to whole albums in a row, I do to in fact (usually while I'm doing something else at the same time). But when you're just looking for consistent, solid albums with no horrible track to skip, isn't it less crucial to get a lot of detailed information on it in advance? I mean, if someone told me they loved the one AC/DC or Running Wild album they know and asked me for similar albums to listen to in the background, my reply would basically be "no biggie, buy any other albums by them, it'll do the job". If someone told me "Hell's Bells" or "Riding the Storm" specifically blew them away and they're looking for equally mind-blowing wonders, I'd have to give much more thought to the advice I'll give them. Does that make sense?

Author:  saintinhell [ Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:20 am ]
Post subject: 

LegendMaker wrote:
@Byrgan and saintinhell: I'm aware that many people like to listen to whole albums in a row, I do to in fact (usually while I'm doing something else at the same time). But when you're just looking for consistent, solid albums with no horrible track to skip, isn't it less crucial to get a lot of detailed information on it in advance? I mean, if someone told me they loved the one AC/DC or Running Wild album they know and asked me for similar albums to listen to in the background, my reply would basically be "no biggie, buy any other albums by them, it'll do the job". If someone told me "Hell's Bells" or "Riding the Storm" specifically blew them away and they're looking for equally mind-blowing wonders, I'd have to give much more thought to the advice I'll give them. Does that make sense?


Yes, I agree, in reviewing terms, it would be enough to say it's a solid album and as good a place to start with say AC DC as any other of their albums. Obviously, if people like something more specific, then the recommending process also becomes more complicated. Yeah, I also listen to albums through mainly when I am doing something else. When I am only listening to the music, I tend to get more involved with what's going on in the song and sometimes if I really get excited about something in there, I might repeat the song a few times and keep returning to that song when I listen again to the album.

Author:  EntilZha [ Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:33 am ]
Post subject: 

iamntbatman wrote:
EntilZha wrote:
People using the school grade system simply prove that they have absolutely zero standards and thereby zero taste. Creating a perfect metal album is as easy as acing a school test? If that was the case then there must be tens of thousands of perfect metal albums since school tests are so fucking easy.

To me, creating a perfect metal album is like successfully landing and operating rovers on Mars, not some simple task like a high school math test. It's fucking damn near impossible, and a 70% success rate at operating rovers on Mars is already pretty damn good, despite the fact that the remaining 30% were a great waste of time and resources.

People using the school grade system think of metal as a simple craft like carpenting or whatever, reducing it to some low end job that any trailer trash can do with two weeks of training. All recognition of metal as art, and therefore all proper understanding and appreciation of metal is lost on these people.


While I agree that the "school" grading system is not the best choice for album reviews (mostly because it allows so much wiggle room to describe the various levels of failure while limiting how detailed you get with successful albums), your reasoning is pretty much some of the most retarded I've ever read. What difference does it make if crafting the perfect metal album is significantly more difficult than acing a test? Doesn't that depend on the test? And why are you comparing the two, anyway? It's just a bloody scale. It's not like people out there say an album is godly then rate it a 36% then say something like "a 36% batting average is pretty fucking godly, hence my score."

It has not happened in this thread (yet), but in the many previous threads about the rating system numerous people have justified using the school grading system by comparing it to factory labour. As in "a guy is supposed to make ten chairs, but he only makes five, so that's a total failure by manufacturing standards, hence 50% is a failing score!"

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