Hey. We score albums. Do these scores meaning anything? Cosmically speaking, no, probably not. Internally? Yeah, kinda. Anyways, let’s lay out what scores “mean.”
10: A masterpiece. Nothing is perfect, but 10s are astounding works that will always be in AOTY contention. Some years will go without a single 10.
9: A classic. Instantly canonized within our silly little world, these are also likely in AOTY contention and will almost definitely be in the year’s top 10.
8: A great album. We love this, it’ll make an EOY list. Few if any notable faults, maybe just missing that little extra spark to push it into those upper echelons. Everything 8+ is “Pollenate Me!”: our equivalent of “Best New Music” or whatever.
7: A very good album. We still really like this, but albums that score a 7 will have either some lack of ambition or notable missteps. The pros still heavily outweigh the cons and they might sneak in on an EOY list.
6: A good album. We like this. We’re recommending you give it a listen.
5: A mixed bag. We’re either incredibly torn or incredibly indifferent. We’ll try to make which it is clear in our reviews.
4: A bad album. We’re not likely to go out of our way to cover much we think is bad here, so scores 4 and below will be rare. If you see one though, that’s what 4 means. We don’t like it. We don’t loathe it. But it does not get a merit sticker.
3: A very bad album. At this point, we’re warning you.
2: An awful album. Please don’t.
1: A reprehensible album. You have to cause some degree of actual, tangible pain to get this score.
0: An album with no merit whatsoever. I’ve heard less than five of these my entire life and none of them deserve anyone’s words. You will not see this score.
Lil Sprouts (Tracks)
Lil Sprouts do not receive a numeric score, but may be labeled “Pollenate Me!” When we do this, we’re calling it a “Best New Track.”