Monday, December 17, 2007


Metacritic Surprise

Some controversy over at Metacritic as "Untrue," by Burial, tops the list of the 30 Best Reviewed Albums of the Year. The album, by what Metacritic describes as a "London-based anonymous dubstep artist," is No. 1 with its average score of 91 (out of 100). Readers note that the statistical sample (13 reviews) may have been a little too small for a reliable measure. Also tilting the result: scores of 100 given by The Guardian, Tiny Mix Tapes and, with the next highest scores rating "only" 90, as bestowed by five critics, including the Observer Music Monthly, Drowned in Sound and PopMatters. My take is that scores of 100 are suspect: My highest numerical grade for any album, book or movie would peak at around 98; a score of 100, to me, should be a place holder for unattainable perfection.
Metacritic users rank the album as only a 7.8 out of other words, they give it a 78, based on 110 user votes. Over at eMusic, the listener comments are completely polarized, with one member writing, "This is by far the worst thing I've ever bought on emusic that was also receiving rave reviews from its advocates," while another declared it "just fantastic...album of the year." I'm intrigued enough to use some of my December emusic credits to buy a few tracks; if I do, I will report back.

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