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Type of site
|Created by||Jeremy Ferwerda|
Sputnikmusic is a music community website offering music criticism and music news alongside features commonly associated with wiki-style websites. The format of the website is unusual in that it includes both professional and amateur content, distinguishing it from professionally written music websites such as Pitchfork Media and Tiny Mix Tapes, as well as collecting and presenting a wiki-style metadata database in a manner comparable to Rate Your Music and Discogs.
Music journalism is media criticism and reporting about music topics, including popular music, classical music and traditional music. Journalists began writing about music in the eighteenth century, providing commentary on what is now regarded as classical music. In the 1960s, music journalism began more prominently covering popular music like rock and pop after the breakthrough of The Beatles. With the rise of the internet in the 2000s, music criticism developed an increasingly large online presence with music bloggers, aspiring music critics, and established critics supplementing print media online. Music journalism today includes reviews of songs, albums and live concerts, profiles of recording artists, and reporting of artist news and music events.
A wiki is a website on which users collaboratively modify content and structure directly from the web browser. In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language and often edited with the help of a rich-text editor.
Tiny Mix Tapes is an online music and film webzine that focuses primarily on new music and related news. In addition to its reviews, it is noted for its subversive, political, and sometimes surreal news, as well as its mixtape generator.
Over time, the site came to be established as a credible source; it is now among the sources that Metacritic uses to compile "Critic Scores" and is used as a news source by other websites.As a general rule, the staff writers tended to focus on new releases; however, any user was welcome to submit a review of any album that has been officially released. All genres of music were covered by the site, with dedicated subsections for metal, punk, indie, rock, hip-hop, and pop; an 'Other' section also caters to electronica, jazz, reggae, trip-hop, classical music, and soundtracks.
Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of media products: films, TV shows, music albums, video games, and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999. The site provides an excerpt from each review and hyperlinks to its source. A color of green, yellow or red summarizes the critics' recommendations. It has been described as the video game industry's "premier" review aggregator.
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
The musical focus of the site's staff had often been on non-mainstream artists, with the likes of Burial, Kidcrash, Cynic, Kayo Dot, Off Minor, and The Tallest Man on Earth performing strongly in the staff-voted Best of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010 features.
William Emmanuel Bevan, known by his recording alias Burial, is a British electronic musician from South London. Initially remaining anonymous, Burial became the first artist signed to Kode9's electronic label Hyperdub in 2005. He released his self-titled debut album, which drew inspiration from UK rave music and pirate radio culture, to acclaim in 2006; it was named the album of the year by The Wire. Burial's second album, Untrue, was released to further critical acclaim in 2007.
Cynic is an American band whose work has incorporated elements of progressive rock, alternative rock, and extreme metal. Founded in Miami, Florida. Founding members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert publicly revealed their homosexuality in May 2014, a move that was broadly supported by the heavy metal community. Their first album, Focus, released on September 14, 1993, is widely regarded as a landmark release of the progressive metal genre. Cynic disbanded in 1994, but reunited in 2006, and released their second album on November 17, 2008. Traced in Air was released through French label Season of Mist, followed up by an EP titled Re-Traced on May 18, 2010 and an EP titled Carbon-Based Anatomy on November 11, 2011. Their third studio album, Kindly Bent to Free Us, was released on February 14, 2014. In December 2017, after two years of an uncertain future, Reinert confirmed his split from Cynic, leaving Masvidal as the only remaining original member left.
Kayo Dot is an American avant-garde music group. Formed in 2003 by Toby Driver after the break-up of maudlin of the Well, they released their debut album Choirs of the Eye on John Zorn's Tzadik Records that same year. Since then, Kayo Dot's lineup has drastically changed over the years. Toby Driver is the only founding member of the band still remaining, save for frequent lyrical contributions from former motW member Jason Byron. Up until 2011, the lineup was constantly shifting, and Kayo Dot's sound consistently changed over the years, featuring a wide variety of instrumentation including guitar, drums, bass, violin, saxophone, vibraphone, synthesizers, clarinets and flutes. Underground metal audiences warmly received the group upon its early existence, with the 2003 album Choirs of the Eye and the 2006 album Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue both becoming underground hits in the progressive metal scene.
Sputnikmusic was originally launched by Jeremy Ferwerda as an offshoot from the Mxtabs network, which also included MusicianForums; the reviews that existed on the website on launch day had been imported from the latter's CD Reviews subforum. At this point, the site was simply a source of amateur content; it is also worth noting that due to its association with MXTabs, the site's focus was noticeably skewed toward guitar-based music, notably metal and rock, at this time.
MXTabs.net was a music tablature website created in 1999, offering free guitar, bass, and drum tablature created by users of the site, in addition to music reviews and instrument lessons. Although the site shut down in June 2006 in response to claims made by the MPA about the supposed illegality of music tabs, it has since been bought by MusicNotes and now offers free, legal tablature. The site was in public-alpha stage for some time as not all features had been added and tabs were available only to countries where a licence was in place. The site came out of public alpha stage and was launched on 1 July 2008. The site is now defunct and the domain name redirects to Songsterr, which has no relation to MXTabs.
In June 2006, following claims made by the MPA about the supposed illegality of music tabs,MXTabs was closed, later to be acquired by MusicNotes. At this time, Sputnikmusic became its own separate entity, with MusicianForums renamed as the SputnikMusic Forums. It was at this point that the focus of Sputnik began to shift toward providing professional content, with a news page added, and a stratification system implemented for reviewers. As part of this shift, several features have also sporadically been provided by the site's staff writers, including live reviews, interviews, exclusive MP3 streams, and year-end features.
The Music Publishers Association of the United States (MPA) is a non-profit music publishing organization based in New York City. Founded in 1895, the MPA is the oldest music trade organization in the United States which addresses itself to issues pertaining to print publishing with an emphasis on copyright education and advocacy.
MP3 is a coding format for digital audio. Originally defined as the third audio format of the MPEG-1 standard, it was retained and further extended—defining additional bit-rates and support for more audio channels—as the third audio format of the subsequent MPEG-2 standard. A third version, known as MPEG 2.5—extended to better support lower bit rates—is commonly implemented, but is not a recognized standard.
Sputnikmusic has four classes of reviewer identifiers to demarcate whether content should be considered professional or not.
Emeritus, in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, president, prime minister, rabbi, or other person.
Sputnikmusic operates a simple 5-point rating system, starting at 1, that allows .1 intervals for staff writers and .5 intervals for all other users. As a guide to new reviewers, each of these values are assigned a word, ranging from 'Awful' (1.0) to 'Classic' (5.0).
As well as showing the score a reviewer has given to the album, a review page allows the scores given by other individual reviewers, and the average rating given by all users. A bar chart shows how many votes each rating has once it has received at least two and a review.
|Year||Artist||Album||Top 5 Albums||Ref.|
|2010||The Tallest Man on Earth||The Wild Hunt|
|2011||Bon Iver||Bon Iver, Bon Iver|
|2013||Julia Holter||Loud City Song|
|2014||Flying Lotus||You're Dead!|
|2015||Kendrick Lamar||To Pimp a Butterfly|
|2017||The National||Sleep Well Beast|
|2018||Kacey Musgraves||Golden Hour|
A review is an evaluation of a publication, service, or company such as a movie, video game, musical composition, book ; a piece of hardware like a car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, play, musical theater show, dance show, or art exhibition. In addition to a critical evaluation, the review's author may assign the work a rating to indicate its relative merit. More loosely, an author may review current events, trends, or items in the news. A compilation of reviews may itself be called a review. The New York Review of Books, for instance, is a collection of essays on literature, culture, and current affairs. National Review, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr., is an influential conservative magazine, and Monthly Review is a long-running socialist periodical.
GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information on video games. The site was launched on May 1, 1996, created by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which purchased CNET Networks in 2008, is the current owner of GameSpot.
Pitchfork is an American online magazine launched in 1995 by Ryan Schreiber, based in Chicago, Illinois, and owned by Condé Nast. Being developed during Schreiber's tenure in a record store at the time, the magazine developed a reputation for its extensive focus on independent music, but has since expanded to a variety of coverage on both indie and popular music.
Rate Your Music is an online collaborative metadata database of musical and non-musical releases and films which can be catalogued, rated and reviewed by users.
Ultimate Guitar, also known as Ultimate-Guitar.com or simply UG, is the largest guitarist community website including guitar and bass guitar tablature, chord sheets, reviews of music and equipment, interviews with notable musicians, online written and video lessons, and forums. It was started on October 9, 1998, by Eugeny Naidenov, a student of the economic faculty of Kaliningrad State University, Russia.
Digital Photography Review, also known as DPReview, is a website about digital cameras and digital photography, established in November 1998. The website provides comprehensive reviews of digital cameras, lenses and accessories, buying guides, user reviews, and active forums for individual cameras, as well as general photography forums. The website also has a large database with information about individual digital cameras, lenses, printers and imaging applications. Originally based in London, Digital Photography Review and most of its team relocated to Seattle, Washington, in 2010. It is currently owned by Amazon.
RateItAll is a consumer-review website that also incorporates social networking. Consumers review diverse products and services, share information, and get paid modestly for their reviews. Its reviews include a five-star ranking system for those items being rated. It is one of the largest consumer-review internet based services, offering free access to over 8 million reviews posted on its website to date.
The PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) was an Australian-based video game news and reviews website that focused on the videogame industry and culture in PAL territories, particularly Australia and the UK. It was launched in 2003 by a group of PAL forum members on the IGN message boards who were disenfranchised by the American site's move to subscription based boards. In August 2003, The Sydney Morning Herald said the upstart website's "dedication to console gaming in PAL markets is admirable."
Twilight of the Thunder God is the seventh studio album by the Swedish melodic death metal band Amon Amarth. Twilight of the Thunder God was released in September 2008. It is based on Thor's slaying of the serpent Jörmungandr.
Metal Storm is a webzine specializing in various forms of heavy metal music. It is based in Tallinn, Estonia but caters to an international audience, symbolically recognized by the acquisition of an EU domain in 2008. As of June 2013, the website hosts 7,812 band profiles, 7,800 reviews, 553 interviews and 16,753 news items.
AbsolutePunk was a website, online community, and alternative music news source founded by Jason Tate. The website mainly focused on artists who are relatively unknown to mainstream audiences, but it was known to feature artists who have eventually achieved crossover success, including Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, New Found Glory, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, The Gaslight Anthem, Anberlin, Thrice, All Time Low, Jack's Mannequin, Yellowcard, Paramore, Relient K, and A Day to Remember. The primary musical genres of focus were emo and pop punk, but other genres were included.
Journal for Plague Lovers is the ninth studio album by Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers, released in May 2009 by record label Columbia. Recorded between October 2008 and February 2009 and produced by Steve Albini and Dave Eringa, it features exclusively posthumous-published lyrics by Richey Edwards, who disappeared on 1 February 1995 and was presumed deceased in 2008. It is the only Manic Street Preachers album in which the lyrics for every song were written solely by Edwards.
Option Paralysis is the fourth studio album by American mathcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan, released on March 23, 2010. After having fulfilled their contract with Relapse Records, the band released the album through Party Smasher Inc., their own new imprint in collaboration with French record label Season of Mist. It marks The Dillinger Escape Plan's first release to feature Billy Rymer on drums, since Gil Sharone left the band in September 2008 due to the frequent touring schedule and to focus on his brother's band Stolen Babies.
AnyDecentMusic? is a website that collates album reviews from magazines, websites, and newspaper. It includes music albums, covering rock, pop, electronic, dance, folk, country, roots and urban. Reviews are sourced from more than 50 websites, magazines and newspapers, largely from the US and UK, but also from Canada, Ireland and Australia.
Melodic is an international daily Internet publication devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. Its focus is on independent music. However, the range of musical genres covered extends to rock, pop, folk, jazz, heavy metal, electronic, and experimental music.
On the Impossible Past is the third studio album by the American punk rock band The Menzingers. It was released by Epitaph Records on 20 February 2012. The album was met with widespread acclaim by music critics, with the aggregating website Metacritic calculating an average score of 93 out of 100.
The Seer is the twelfth studio album by American experimental rock band Swans and was released on August 28, 2012 by Gira's own record label Young God Records. Producer and frontman Michael Gira funded the recording of the album with the sales of We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head.
Golden Hour is the fourth studio album by American country music singer and songwriter Kacey Musgraves, released on March 30, 2018, through MCA Nashville. Musgraves co-wrote all 13 tracks and co-produced the album with Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200.