The Week in Comments: Our Reader Feedback Roundup with Exclaim!'s New Number-Rated Reviews, Departures, Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Published Oct 17, 2012As always, we here at Exclaim! are interested in what our readers have to say. So, we've gathered up some of the top comments from this past week on the Exclaim! website.
First off, Exclaim! announced that starting Tuesday (October 16) we would be introducing a new ratings system for our reviews, where they would be marked on a scale of one to 10. Exclaim! readers expressed some thought-provoking opinions as to whether or not this is a good idea.
Commenter Myke Attkinson said, "Bummer — one more rag dropping to the lowest common denominator. The idea that you can grade an artist's hard work with some pithy grade out of ten is totally disrespectful of even the worst records."
Commenter Empty Condo Buildings, meanwhile, said, "If an artist finds a number next to their review 'offensive,' they are, for a lack of a better word, soft. The ability of anyone to make a record on his or her laptop in combination with the 'everything is art' post-modern perspective has created an entire new demographic of mediocre musicians who all simply want to be in the next Chevrolet or Telus commercial. Number ratings are not 'disrespectful' — they are simply comparing a particular release to other releases in an effort to help give a more rounded picture of which records are worth buying and which are not."
On a different note, reader Toque said, "My only REAL issue with a number system is that normally in other fields with numerical rankings, the numbers aren't arbitrary. With reviews about the arts, no one REALLY knows what a 3/5 is; there is no actual scale for most of these reviews and little to no consistency between them."
It is clear that the introduction of this new reviews rating system has resulted in mixed feelings from our readers, but of course that was to be expected.
On a related note, our recent concert review for Winnipeg's Departures became one of the first subjects of the new rating system with a score of 8/10 and garnering a wealth of comments.
Elijah called the band "overrated young kids teetering on the edge of indie oblivion. Nice kids, though." Another commenter MG attacked the writer saying, "This article seems very biased. It's really too bad because the band would benefit from constructive criticism."
On the other hand, 13 defended the article with, "It doesn't seem fair to make the assumption that this article is biased and call it dishonest. Glad to see you guys are making good use of your lives." Others like CC offered feedback such as, "I think the biggest problem with the show was the mix. At least where I was standing the vocals were way too low the drums were way to loud and the guitars all kind of lost. The album is really great though."
Finally, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's new album Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! is the first album from the collective in 10 years. The album stream garnered positive reviews, including from reader dc, who said, "This release is simply amazing. 10 years is a long to wait and now that they have returned let's hope they stay and release more welcomed music to our ears. Fantastic!" Reader ASHIM simply stated, "GY!BE R BACK!!! with a BIG bANG! well worth the wait! supernova turning into black hole!"
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