The Minor Second are:
Matt Treiber (on left, website design and engineering)
and Trevor Evans-Young (on right, head writer and songsmith).
It Is Not About the Money
I have always said I don’t pick my favorite bands, they pick me. The same is true for Albums or, to some extent, Movies. What I mean by that of course is that I try to not let things like genre or sound effect cloud my judgement of what really matters: the entertainment value of a song. Entertainment, you see, is not always a bad word. IF something loses your interest as a form of media or fails to compel you to engage in it, that negatively effects the perception of the person doing the effort. It’s not about the money: something can sound great or look great but be coasting on nothing but image and style. It is about the substance, and that is why the albums I think are best are the albums that contain the most engaging songs, all the way though. All things in life should be this simple.
How I rate albums is by a STAR rating, because I think a letter system is too vague and a number system is too confusing. Percentages, like 0% to 100% are probably the best way to rate anything, but I fear that giving an album say a 79% or 85% would imply something I don’t mean it to, i.e. we have all been brainwashed in an educational system that craves a kind of perfection that most things lack no matter how hard you try. A 70% could be looked at as a “C minus” grade in school, but actually a 70% good to great ratio on an album would be PRETTY GOOD and ABOVE AVERAGE. Even as people reading this, it would be hard for anyone to give a 100% rating to that many albums, no matter how much you love them. I have only given 7 albums in the entire history of rock music a 100% for a grade (ask me if you want to find out). Music is not meant to be perfect, and any rating can change with age or perception (nothing is forever) so I do think that for my website, a star rating system is best. Here is what the star system would mean:
Recommended Listing – albums I will review in detail
5 Star Plus (marked with a + sign) – these will pop up occasionally on the site, but are going to be very rare. The Best of the best, the equivalent to a 10/10, “A+”, or 96% or higher using any kind of rating system. Again, RARE!
5 Star – A masterpiece, as good as a rock musician could ever hope to be. The great outweighs the good even. Highly recommend, even if you have never heard of it or it’s not usually your type of genre. That said, completely representative of the genre it is in (best of heavy metal, punk, tencho, folk, country, rap, etc.) or completely unclassifiable in regards to genre.
4 ½ Star – A great album, a minor masterpiece of sorts. There are no real complaints here (though it may have minor missteps) this is the kind of album one could only hope to achieve after years of hard work. Highly Recommend and holds up to multiple listens.
4 Star – A Good album, worth owning a cherishing. Probably half great songs, some good songs, and may have some bad or fair songs and stumble here or there. It is still a pleasant and thrilling listen at times, especially if you are a fan of the band (though maybe not the best representation of the artist). Highly Recommended!
3 ½ Star – A pretty good album, most of the songs are worth a listen and some may be even great.
3 Star – A Fair album, recommended for die hard fans or completest only. Perhaps an acquired taste that not many people outside of a certain fan base may understand.
Not Recommended – Albums I will rate and pick good songs off of, but not review fully.
2 ½ Star – An album that falls just below worth talking about, it may have some good songs but does not hold together. Mediocre.
2 Star – An album that does not work as a whole and does not have enough good songs to be worth purchasing. This album should represent what is great about this artist.
1 ½ Star – Though this is far from a good album, there may some kind of accidental greatness or humor value to this record.
1 Star – The lowest of the low, it is best to stay away from this record. Little to no value artistic or entertainment value wise.
Songs are pretty easy to rate honestly, I use a grading system of 1-2-3-4 with for being “great” and 1 being “bad”. Then I average them all together and see what rating to give it. But each person is different, but if you are new to thinking about Albums numerically try these questions: do you like the album as a whole? Can you make it to the end of it? What is it’s re-listening value? How often do you find yourself reaching for the next song. Don’t make it complicated, make it simple.