Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
About album reviews

Master Seven reviews are the wide-ranging analyses of Tom Beninate. Tom’s extensive knowledge in music is brought into play as he presents honest judgments in comparing music composed during the last 400 years. Although he assigns a relatively heavy weight to songwriting and arranging, careful consideration is given to the piece as compared to time-tested music. The hierarchy of the work within its genre and the date of publication come into play as well. Good lyrics play an important role in certain musical forms. In most other forms lyrical quality is less important. Therefore, with these reviews lyrics are slightly downplayed, whereas creativity and uniqueness are rated higher.

Seasoned artists who have previously written great songs will get lower ratings when their current release is not up to par. Conversely, newer artists with great potential who exhibit an understanding of creative songwriting will get their rating nudged up.

In order to be fair to today's artists, the actual ratings system only compares those who released material within the past twenty years or so. Afterall, how can you possibly compare Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to (for example) Daft Punk's Random Access Memories? Obviously, on a scale of one (being the lowest) to five (being the highest), The Fifth Symphony would get a "five". So, the only way to acknowledge the very worthy Daft Punk record is to also give it a "five", yet disclose that it is not being compared to Beethoven's work. In other words, the standards of excellence demonstrated within the past 400 years are used to critique these releases, while the ratings are only designed to compare recently released music.

For 2019, the rating system was adjusted in order to focus in on better than average releases. Hence, any previous ratings from "one" to "three" are now grouped into the average rating of "three". Ratings from "three-and-a-half" to "five" remain the same as described above. Moving forward, albums with a rating of four or higher will be commented on. All other releases will simply be rated.
About the rating system
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