How do "highlights" work for genres?

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  • Updated 9 months ago
Years ago, I used this site to expand my musical horizons.  I'd randomly pick a genre, take a look at the listed examples of the first set of representative songs in that genre, then explore additional ones listed afterwards.  I'm pretty sure they used to be ranked in tiers (1st, 2nd, and 3rd, from what I remember).

I've come back to the site to try it again, and the "Highlights" don't seem to work the way I remember.  For example, I'm trying the "French Rock" genre right now.  Are the 10 or so songs on the main page the "best" examples (what used to be the 1st tier)?  Then, when I go to the song list for additional examples, the list of songs seems to change every time I visit the page (the list changed 3 times yesterday).  Is this list constantly being updated, and if so, how does that work?  Are the songs just randomly picked from every song in that genre?  

Thanks!
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bacchuspup

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Posted 9 months ago

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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Over the past several years, we went through several iterations to try and keep the highlights lists accurate and also keep them up-to-date when new music comes out.  This project has had some successes (almost all genres and styles should have song highlights lists, even if the style is less popular or not as thoroughly researched by our editors) but there are some drawbacks (if the style doesn't have a lot of information on our end, the lists feel kind of random).

We've been making an effort to go back through the older lists (the Tier 1 song highlights that you mentioned) to include those back in and create a hybrid of editorially-selected songs that are the best-of-the-best (or most representative) and incorporating newer songs or lesser-known songs later in the lists (for deeper investigation).

We just went through and worked on the French Rock lists to try to solidify them a bit better. Most of the more well-known genres and styles have already been locked in using the method above, but some less popular styles have not gotten the attention they need...it is a work in progress. I hope this explanation helps.
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bacchuspup

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So you're saying that the reason the song lists changed so dramatically over the course of a few hours is the extraordinary coincidence that the day I decided to check back into this site after years, and randomly picked "French Rock" to start, was during the same period of time that y'all were working on that list?  I mean, that makes sense, but wow, I can definitely add that to random occurrences in my life.  I appreciate the info, and to know I wasn't just losing my mind.  

(Incidentally, while the list was in flux, I was checking out the music by "M," whose songs, by the end of the day, had disappeared from the list.  It's good that I caught it when I did, because I dug it, and never would've found that guy without the list)

So, just to clarify - the 10 or so songs on the home page are the editorial best of the best, both in quality and representation, and if you click to see more songs, it'll get to deeper track.  Got it.  Again, thanks for the clarification!
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Glad you're finding cool music on the site.

We've been working on refining this Genre Highlights project for several years and are continually tweaking it. Since you brought up French Rock, we took a look at it that day and made some refinements based on your feedback.
the 10 or so songs on the home page are the editorial best of the best, both in quality and representation, and if you click to see more songs, it'll get to deeper track. 
This is largely true, however there are times where the full list after you click through may be 100% hand selected and not algorhythmically chosen, there may be other times where the entire list may not have been reviewed yet and the results may be coming from the auto-populating algorithm.

Overall we're trying to provide a good introduction and overview to around 1,200 genres, styles, moods and themes for Artists, Albums and Songs (or Classical Performances). The selection methods may be different behind the scenes but hopefully other users like you are able to explore and discover some cool music.

FYI: It looks like -M- is one of the artists highlighted in our Artist list for French Rock:
https://www.allmusic.com/style/french-rock-ma0000011853/artists