Published Oct 15, 2012Exclaim! has never put a numbers rank on our reviews, but starting on Tuesday (October 16) that's going to change. Exclaim! is implementing a ratings system out of ten (whole numbers, no fractions) in order to give a clear, concise and easily translatable assessment of quality. This will apply to reviews across the board: not just records, but concerts, film and videogames as well.
While Exclaim! has resisted implementing such a system for our 20 years of existence, the world has not agreed with us. In a global media world, it's not just commonplace but the industry standard to utilize a numbered system of some kind.
Would we prefer that everyone read, interpret and absorb the hard work that our writers put into crafting their thoughtful interpretation of an artist's work? Sure. Is that realistic? Not really. And let's be honest, sometimes even a careful reading of a review doesn't necessarily reveal its secrets easily; coming away from a review not exactly knowing if the writer liked it or just liked writing about it has happened to all of us.
And while this change has been met with enthusiasm from most of our contributors, not everyone is in favour of it. Film writer Mathew Kumar says, "I'm against numbered reviews, as I think the text should stand for itself. But I'm used to unrepentantly screaming at the tide to stop as it soaks my robes."
We look forward to the debate — both on a ratings system in general and the specific grade any of our contributors gives to a piece of art — that this is sure to spawn.