ALBUM APART offers brief and visual track by track album reviews. This is done by using a classification system inspired by music psychology that transcends genres. Color, icons, and quick descriptions exhibit the most dominant characteristics of each song. Together, they give a quick assessment of all of the songs on a given album.
The wow tracks demonstrate excellence in one way or another so they’re rated the highest which results in a better album score.
The top pick is considered to be the very best track on the album.
The rating system was designed with built-in constraints to establish a standard in how every record is reviewed. An album score consists of the album makeup (1 point), wow track makeup (4.5 points) and song makeup (4.5 points).
If every song was stunning on an album but they didn’t gel together in some way, it’s fair to say it wouldn’t be a perfect 10. Because of this, ALBUM APART dedicates 1 point of the overall score to address the record as a whole. This single point is reserved for evaluating how cohesive an album is.
Wow Track Makeup
The highest rated songs are wow tracks and they’re capable of adding up to 4.5 points in the overall rating. These are songs of particular signifance; the kind of ‘sticky’ tunes that we always revisit and never skip. They have something to say and that something is effectively conveyed. There’s a balance or completeness to them, as if there’s nothing to add or take away. They are what elevate an album to greatness. They fundamentally ‘wow’ us, whether we say it out loud or not.
The song makeup section serves as a 4.5 point baseline assigned to every album and it recognizes the potential value a given work has to whoever is listening to it, beyond the reviewer. Ultimately, this baseline is here for a few reasons:
1. It fights against the preferences and biases we all have (to some degree) for the music we’re inclined toward or otherwise.
2. It realizes that reviews are snapshot evaluations in a moment in time that don’t account for music that we grow out of or grow into. We don’t know our future selves.
3. There’s something to appreciate, like, learn, and/or respect in all kinds of music! The 4.5 points for the song makeup is an acknowledgment of all these things.
Here’s how each record score appears: