How can such a popular review site have such terrible reviews?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
Why only 2.5 stars for A Night At The Opera by Blind Guardian? It's easily one of the best albums ever, certainly one of the best metal albums. I don't know a single person who takes your reviews seriously, and this is a great example why.
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Chris Ryan

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  • in a killing mood

Posted 7 years ago

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Andy DeNardi

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How can such a popular site write a review saying that a particular album is the artist's best, then give it only 3 stars? Then review another album, say it isn't as good, and give it 4.5 stars?

The ratings seem to be linked to the number of hits an album gets. What's more, I've see high marks when an album is released, only to have it adjusted downward two years later.
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Chrysta Cherrie

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Hi folks,
Thanks for the feedback. I've passed it along to our senior managing editor, who can offer more perspective.
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Responding first to Chris, then Andy:

Chris, thanks for the feedback -- I'll hand this over to one of our metal editors and get back with you quick. Still, please be prepared for them to not agree with your opinion -- even if it's widespread.

Andy, if you have specifics on inconsistent ratings vs. reviews, I'd love to know which they are. Speaking generally, any inconsistencies you see are mostly down to our large stable of freelancers. Although we have 15 writers onsite who do the lion's share of the reviewing (and thus stay pretty consistent), having a widespread group of writers can sometimes wreak havoc on our discographies, where personal opinions differ and don't reflect mass opinion (whatever that is).

Also, linking ratings to the number of hits an album gets has never been done here; simply put, we don't look at website metrics -- we leave that to the web guys, who are much better at that than us. (They've never shared the data with us, and we've never asked.) At some point, it might make sense to get a list of popular titles that lack coverage of any kind, but that's as far as we'd go.

Finally, any examples you have of ratings adjusted downward would be extremely helpful, since we don't keep a record of ratings changes that editors make. Any practice like this is completely antithetical to our mission of helping people find the best music out there, and I'd be very surprised (and discouraged) to find it happening.

John Bush
AMG Senior Managing Editor, Pop Music
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Andy DeNardi

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I'm addressing the questionable relationship between ratings and reviews in the "Why don't reviews and star-ratings sync-up?" thread. I'm not concerned how your reviews match up to popular opinion, you're the professionals and I trust you take many things into account.

Unfortunately, I don't keep track of which reviews move up and down either. But I've definitely seen it happen. If you were to compare the books and the web, the exact same review has a different number of stars.

In other cases, the same reviewer writes a new review from that in the book (Erlewine - Queen for example), and the ratings change. Somewhat more understandable, but both sets of reviews were written after the band's demise.
Everyone was well aware of the band's strengths and weaknesses. It looks like the ratings were boosted because the band didn't fade away as Stephen had expected.

I've also noticed a couple of highly rated new releases drop sometime down the road. I'd love to give you more details but frankly, the site had a lot of problems with inaccurate data and mis-filed albums before the redesign. Those haven't been fixed and that's what I mainly concern myself with when I provide feedback.
If anything, the problem has become worse since the redesign (what happened to the recording dates on compilations? They're all release dates now).

I'm thankful that this forum is available for feedback. It had originally been available on the old site (not just corrections), then the links disappeared until all we had left was the daily blog comments. Then those disappeared. Your fellow reviewers may be sincere about trying to improve the site, but you sold out the people who truly are interested in music in order to placate some teenyboppers.
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Michael Gilham

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This is a poor review suggesting that the writer has no real familiarity with either of the albums mentioned therein. Its inadequacy is cemented by the comparison to Spandau Ballet.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Railway Children "Recurrence" Review.