Ratings are based on my personal take on a release and a more favourable grade for one artist’s record over another doesn’t mean I prefer that artist.
If I give, say, a heavy metal record an (A) and a few weeks later give a folk record a (B+), I may actually prefer the folk record if I had to decide between the two. The ratings are also based on a particular sound or artist ideology which may appeal to me more than others.
In an artist’s discography, whichever album gets the highest grade may not necessarily be their “best” work but may be my “favourite” at the time of listening. The same goes for the “worst” and “least favourite”, naturally.
Take note, a release may attract (or repel) me initially but with further listening the affection may dwindle (or enhance), thus altering the grade, but you already knew that.
(A+) is a musical magnum opus; a masterpiece that offers a musical and/or emotional experience in its near entirety.
(A) is a record that offers a musical and/or emotional experience in its near entirety.
(A-) is a record that offers an experience throughout, be it pleasurable or some sort of listenable quality. Most of the time it’s both.
(B+) is a record that is very proficient and has some [and sometimes a lot of] worthwhile tracks.
(B) is a record that is usually very proficient and one the diehards will bask in. Me, not so much.
(B-) is a record that is proficient and has some decent tracks. More often than not I could take or leave it.
(C+) is a record that is proficient but is heavily devoid of overall appeal, be that in production, instrumentation, and/or the underlying concept.
(C) is a record of relative competency in the artist’s particular field but possesses a lot of aural butchery and/or a very disappointing concept.
(C-) is a record that will adversely obliterate the soul but isn’t quite worthy of ignominy, on first listen, anyway.
(D+) is reserved for the destroyers of art and is nearly always a horrid piece of shit.
(D) is why, at some stage, we have to move to Mars.
(D-) is a record that has finally annihilated humanity.
(E) is a record that will have Richard Dawkins even questioning evolution.
(F) is a musical magnum opus; a masterpiece that offers a musical and/or emotional experience in its near entirety.