This is Notes On Notes, the official music review blog of Chris Kopcow,  music journalist. Thank you for reading. I hope you are okay.

Ratings Explanation:

1 – Truly awful. Truth is, this is given rather rarely and is only reserved for those infamous albums that break new lows. Usually can be played for laughs like bad movies.

2 – Bad.  A few good songs can find their way on these albums, but overall it’s not a real worthwhile listen for anyone besides die-hard fans of an artist.

3 – Fair. An album fairly split between good and bad, or an album that is consistently mediocre. Worth listening to if a fan of the artist or the genre, but for someone looking to start with this album, you are better off looking elsewhere.

4 – Great. A very good album, inherently strong throughout, with few weak spots.

5 – Classic. By its very definition, there can be no such thing as a perfect album. But if you were going to pick something that was close, any of these would do. These are all classics in whatever genre the album happens to fall under, and this award isn’t given out too often for obvious reasons.*

Half-Point Increments are also given. For example, a 3.5 rating would designate a “good” album because it falls in between “fair” and “great.”

*5s are never given upon initial review—how can you see if something stands the test of time when it originally comes out? 4.5 is the highest rating a newly released album can be awarded. 5s are only given upon reappraisal of albums at least 5-8 years old or so.

Any questions, comments, suggestions, whatever? Email me at ckopcow@gmail.com

  1. You write well. And thanks for introducing me to the likes of Cloud Nothings. Good luck with pursuing your music journalism aspirations!

  2. I love what you do on this site, and have found motivation to keep up work on my own after reading through some of your articles. I am currently a college student, wishing to study Journalism at uni where I can move onto becoming a music journalist. Thank you for a great read!! Sam,

  3. Hey Chris, I’m not sure about your views on awards. My own are very guarded. I do believe that it’s important to show one’s appreciation for another whose work evokes respect and admiration. But at the same time it should be merited and not gratuitous. I’ve been following your posts for a while and I’d like you to know that I thoroughly enjoy these. I have taken the liberty of nominating you for a ‘Sunshine Award’. There are NO strings attached and it’s perfectly fine for you to ignore it. There’s absolutely no need to take cognizance of the rules – it can get quite meaningless if it’s done as an obligation. If you’d like to get to know a bit about it, you could check this http://dyingnote.com/2012/06/04/sunshine-in-my-life/ .

    Thanks for the work you do on your blog. You bring much joy.

  4. Great blog. Love your choices!

    Mark Blasini

  5. Just stopping by to say your blog name is so clever! I used to blog about music as well and I kinda wish that this was the name I came up with then.

    Your new follower,

  6. Well hi.
    I just found your blog and I love how you write, so I just thought I’d say hello 🙂 I’m also a student/aspiring music journalist, but I definitely think you’ve got the upper hand here, pal.
    Keep up the fab work.

    – Charlotte.

  7. Thanks for blogging, and hopefully someday I will make it onto the blog by being reviewed someday 🙂 With on EP under my belt, I’ve go a ways to go.

    Thanks for writing and keep at it!

  8. Hi Chris,

    Have just come across your blog and really like your writing style. You’ve also written about a massive range of artists which is great. Keep it up! Will be following. 🙂


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