The great renumbering

Filed under: music,useless @ 00:41

Everything has changed. 2+2=5 is now 4. One is three, and so is 12-51.

You guessed it, all of the songs to which I’ve given a ‘my rating’ in iTunes have been incremented up a notch (BAM!).

When I started rating songs, the ones I really loved I’d give only four out of five stars. I mean… five stars. That’s a big commitment. I just didn’t think I was at a place in my life where I could be starting a five star relationship with a song. What if I had to demote it later? From four to three isn’t so harsh, but five to four? Man, that’d be heart wrenching for the both of us. And could I get out of the relationship what I needed? Put into it what it deserved? My life’s been pretty unstable of late. Would it be fair to ask a song to be a part of that?

Too, I didn’t want to think I was settling. What if there were a better song out there? Could I really give a song I was only pretty sure I liked a full five stars knowing that any day a deep, mind shaking, lung grabbing, hot new track might bump into me from around the corner and rock my world enough to lay claim on me forever? ‘Nothing’s perfect’ necessarily implies there’s always room for something better at the top. I couldn’t ignore the possibility of finding that something better. So four stars it was.

No longer. You’re looking at a new man (supposing you happen to be looking at me while you read this: a tricky feat – and a little creepy). Gone are the days of devaluing a song simply because there might be something better. I finally realized that every one of the excuses I was giving those songs all boiled down to me blowing smoke up their (respective) asses. Now I play straight. You’re a five star song? You get five stars. You’re a four star song? I’m not going to tease you into thinking you might be worth five; I’ll give you four, I’ll mean it, and we’ll both just have to deal with it.

And just because I’ve now recently given out a few, don’t think five stars is easy. I’ve still got high standards. You’ve got to be able to compete with the likes of Debra. Or her sister. I think her name is Frontin’ On Debra (DJ Reset Mash-Up).


    Adam 07.08.2005 @ 04:17

    Yeah, I gotta disagree with your analysis. I think you have to rate based on what you know at a given point, rather than the potential of what might be “out there”. For example, let’s apply this to something else, like painters. Would you give Picasso, Dali, Monet, van Gogh, etc. all fours, just because there might be some guy (or girl) out there who does better work in his (or her) basement without ever letting anyone else see those works?

    Or how about rating girls? Surely at some point you’ve been sitting around with a bunch of guys, ranking different girls’ attractiveness. Would you say, “Gwen Stefani? Eh, she’s a four out of five. I mean, she’s great and all, but maybe there’s someone out there who would make her look ugly!”

    Of course, maybe I’m wrong and I’m comparing apples to red bouncy balls (you know, the kind you play dodgeball with?). Personally, I take the approach of only purchasing really good music. Most of my songs are rated as 5’s, although there are some fours and, dare I say it, the occasional three. Those threes really have to work to slip through the cracks and into my collection.

    gv 07.08.2005 @ 09:39

    I enjoy listening to a 1 or 2 now and then. That way I can appreciate how MDA’s music is even worse.

    jjk 07.08.2005 @ 15:54

    “Personally, I take the approach of only purchasing really good music.”

    Damn it! That’s what I’ve been doing wrong all these years. My strategy of purchasing crappy music just hasn’t panned out for me.

    Adam 07.08.2005 @ 16:54

    Yeah yeah, Jeff. What I mean is this: I tend to spend a bit of time researching the music that I buy. I go to Allmusic.com and read the review. I listen to samples. If I know someone that has the album, I’ll ask their opinion. Then, once I’m as certain as I can be that it’ll be a worthwhile purchase, I’ll buy the album.

    There’s only one music group that I’ll buy an album from without going through this process: Medeski, Martin, & Wood. So far, out of the 11 MMW albums that I have, all 11 are at least “very good”, and most (~9) are “amazing, excellent, and totally kick-ass”. Not even Led Zeppelin, my second favorite group, has that kind of track record with me.

    Also, what’s the deal here? I was expecting my Gwen Stefani reference to get some commentary. You guys are letting me down!

    L'el 07.08.2005 @ 17:50

    Reminds me of how occasionally in junior high or high school you’d come across a teacher who would refuse to give grades of 100 “because no one is perfect”. Well, true enough, but a rather pompous way of making such a point, when all the other teachers/schools are treating the grade scale as a simple tool for standardized evaluation rather than as a platform for offering philosophical critiques of the human condition…

    It also highlights the problem of psychological scaling and the need to find a way for controling for variations in rating habits between individuals (ie, one person’s “4” being another person’s “5”– so what is Hollaback Girl “really”?)

    MDA 07.17.2005 @ 17:24

    L’el, didn’t see you question till now. It seems “Hollaback Girl” is a ‘3’ in my list.

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