OTHER RECORD REVIEW SITES
Don't take my word for it - there are lots of us out in cyberspace with opinions about records. For some comparison shopping (never buy an opinion retail!), here are a few of the more popular. Let me know if I'm missing anyone!
If you're curious to see what other people are saying about Steve and Abe's Record Reviews, I'm indulging in some gratuitous self-promotion on this page.
Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews
These guys were the pioneers of independent web-reviewing, and have the largest such site, covering thousands of records. However, most of the reviews are only two or three sentences long, and you'll find yourself wanting more information, particularly because when they bother, these guys can provide a lot of insight into what makes a record sound good (particularly production-wise.)
This site is no longer active, but George Starostin kindly archived it on his own site. Biased against art-rock, but open about it. Lots of coverage of acts from the last two decades (i.e. stuff you won't see on this page.) If you find yourself agreeing with my opinions, I think you'll find Brian to your taste as well (of course, as a Master of Arts in English, he's a much better writer.)
CosmicBen's Record Reviews
Despite the name, not cosmic at all (except for the background color). Angst-ridden and self-doubting, but sensible about the relationship between good music and good times. Ben may be the next John Cheever if we provide the right kind of encouragement.
Mark's Record Reviews
Mark Prindle has two great things going for him: he's very thorough (almost every band he reviews is covered for its entire career) and he's comprehensive, covering all sorts of terrible music that I don't touch (hardcore punk especially) as well as more palatable stuff. What's more, he's very generous with his ratings, but can be relied on to separate the wheat from the chaff within his reviews; a generally reliable guide to the best and worst a particular artist has to offer. Be warned, though: curse words appear with alarming frequency.
Reviews of Classic Rock and Pop Albums
Don't surf over here expecting a few quick bon mots. George Starosin goes into great depth in every review, and he has a well-thought out philosophy of music that he consistently applies in his ratings.
Too Much Time on My Hands
Martin Teller has an unfortunate tendency to objectify female singers (in a crude way), but his laser-like focus on listenability (he never suffers experimentation at the expense of melody) is a reliable guide for pop lovers.
John McFerrin's Reviews of Music
Only about a dozen bands are covered, but in depth with a writing style that's objective and commandingly descriptive. John has well-formulated opinions that are a refreshing break from the "party line", especially considering he's tackling many of the big names bands that get reviewed all the time.
The Disclaimer Music Review Archive
By far the most modern website, it regularly reviews new releases from bands that are actually still together. A must-read for anyone tired of the old fogies above.
Music Junkies Anonymous
You never know what you'll get, as various authors contribute reviews. It is good to see more than one opinion of each album. Nick Karn, the man behind the scenes, is undergoing a thorough and admirable update of his old reviews.
Rock is Dead - Long Live Rock
Marco is a aspiring journalist who shows a lot of potential: he seems to be able to find the motivating factor in a band's work and is able to judge their records by how well that factor is accomodated.
Music Box Reviews
Full discographical information accompanies each review, and there's a handy synopsis if you just want to know the album's place in rock history.
Adrian's Album Reviews
Adrian is the English Lester Bangs: his reviews depend mostly on how the music effects him emotionally, and he never met an auxillary verb construction he couldn't leave out of a sentence.
Sam Ulward's Reviews
A consortium of three guys, none named Sam, maintains this site with detailed, often song-by-song, album analysis.
Cole Bozman has a wicked sense of humor, and his site a largely a barbecue for the sacred cows of rock. You'll find a grin on every page.
Capn Marvel's Rock Record Review Bonanza
Capn Marvel also covers the entire careers of his chosen artists, and he's got a good take on describing the way music sounds (our most impressionistic reviewer).
Jack Feeny's CD Archive
Jack Feeny covers a wide variety of music (all on the heavier side, but remarkable in its scope) and never spares the feelings of his subjects. I enjoy his work on current English bands, which you won't find anywhere else.
Obscurity: The Mixed-Up Files of Mr. J. Hendrix
This site is not actually run by Jimi Hendrix (who sadly, passed away three decades ago), but it does feature actual reviews of records that weren't obscure when they were released but have somehow failed to make it into the general canon of rock and roll history. Fascinating looks at groups like the Nice and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Ben Kramerís Review Site
Ben's just getting started, but it looks like he'll take on the big names first, so you're bound to run into a review you'll disagree with, just because you're bound to have an opinion on the Beatles, Doors, Who, Pink Floyd, etc.
The Daily Vault
Despite the name, it's only updated once in a while, but there are literally hundreds of gleefully snarky reviews, ranging from the 60's to current releases.
Scott's Rock and Soul Album Reviews
Impressive writing from a professional writer (he works for the excellent collector's magazine, Goldmine) who decided to share his thoughts on some of his favorite albums.
Less comprehensive than the name would imply, this nevertheless has a strong collection of obscure (to American ears) pop reviews as well as a heaping helping of moral fiber.
Guy's Music Review Site and other nonsense
Weighing in from Belgium (true home of "freedom fries"), Guy offers reviews that are well-versed in the history of the artists under discussion, and make appropriate comparisons to similar artists. One of the most thoroughly informative amateur sites available.
Complaints, criticisms, or bribery reviews: Contact me!