The Frequency.fm Quick Review is a relatively new beast, and it’s an approach we are embracing. A Quick Review scores an album using a ten (10) point scale, and the final score represents an average of seven evaluation areas: Songwriting, Originality, Lyrics, Performance, Production, Album Flow, and Songs. The Song score is derived by scoring each individual song and calculating the average score.
We want the resulting score of an album to represent the philosophy we have espoused in our Your Baby’s Ugly post: an honest, fair, and kind review. We do recognize, however, that a score for 6.7 for an album we generally like is going to confuse some folks – especially considering that some review sources will hesitate to assign an album anything less than 3.5 out of 5 stars.
For the sake of setting appropriate expectations about our scale for album scores, we share the following guide. As we continue to post Quick Reviews, you’ll notice that scores on the extreme ends of the scale are infrequent. It’s the nature of statistics. I’m sure there’s a college course on it somewhere.
On another note, if the album has some serious thematic issues, questionable content, or misleading doctrine, we reserve the right to lower the score beyond the mathematical calculation.
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0.0 – 1.9: A shockingly bad album. We can’t imagine a scenario where an album would ever fall into this range. Frankly, at the point we recognize that an album is this awful, we will likely just choose not to review it. And perhaps curse the individual that sent it our direction to begin with.
2.0 – 3.9: The album is a mess, but there is evidence of the artist’s intended direction – maybe a standout song or a unique turn of phrase that grabs your attention. Whether through poor execution, bad production, or unfortunate artistic choices, the resulting album is just not very good.
4.0 – 5.9: An uneven or overall mediocre effort. The artist has clearly done some things right, but unfortunately, the bad (or unexceptional) out-weighs the good and isn’t quite good enough to recommend it as a whole. There are some tracks that are worthy of a download. Diehard fans will appreciate it, though it isn’t likely to win over anybody new.
6.0 – 6.9: A solid piece of work that warrants your attention. Is it going to make the top ten releases of the year? Probably not, but you’ll find good production, well-considered album flow, and at least a handful of memorable songs.
7.0 – 7.9: A very good album, one that we’re comfortable recommending. It holds up after repeat plays and perhaps even gets better. Within its genre, it is a standout and probably among the best releases in a given year.
8.0 – 8.9: This is an excellent release and an easy recommendation. Songs are memorable including at least a couple that are strikingly good. Clearly one of the best albums we’ve heard this year. Pitch perfect production, great songwriting, and some stylistic elements that set it apart from other releases in the genre.
9.0 – 9.9: This might very well be one of our favorite albums ever – an instant classic. It’s nearly perfect on every level and demonstrates an appeal regardless of any designation of genre. This is a record everyone should hear. In fact, if you don’t pick up this record after our recommendation, we will be sorely disappointed in you.
10: Seriously, there is no such thing as a 10. Not only is it mathematically improbable, but it would be irresponsible for us to suggest that any work (other than one divinely-created) is perfect.