Why are less and less albums rated 4.5 since 2010?

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Hello Allmusic - is it the opinion of the Allmusic editors that popular music is generally declining in quality? Or have Allmusic's standards for rating albums 4.5 risen? Or are there less staff available to review albums?

It is just that I have noticed, using your 'Advanced Search' function, that there were 190 'main albums' in the 'Alternative/Indie Rock' genre that were rated 4.5 in the year 2000. In the year 2001 there were 213, in the year 2002 there were 225 and so on...

By stark contrast, in the year 2010, there are only 40 'main albums' in the 'Alternative/Indie Rock' genre rated 4.5. In the year 2011 there were only 46. In the year 2012 there were only 33.

So, between the years 2000-2002 and the years 2010-2012, that is a very significant decrease of around 80%.

So is this change because there are less editors to cover as much music as before, or because Allmusic has changed their standards in awarding 4.5 ratings to be stricter than ever, or do they just believe that popular music is decreasing drastically in quality?
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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of Andy DeNardi

Andy DeNardi

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AllMusic gives albums a lower rating to start with, then bumps it up after everyone else decides that it's good album.  It keeps them from looking foolish for saying that Lana Del Rey is a future superstar and Justin Timberlake is no good without his boy band.  99.9 percent of performers are quickly forgotten but they keep track of which artists get the most hits, and those are looked at and moved up or down every four or five years