on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2021 18 Nov

The rating thing

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off


Giving stars, rating, ranking, a topic with different points of view, in case of music, too. The thing with evaluations.

Now, philosophically speaking, yes, nothing less, moving through the space of aesthetics and phenomenology and post-structuralism with easy baggage: the subject makes a chart, a top 20-list, kind of. Remember the ancient times of Gregorius and me exchanging our deep felt love letters for our albums of the year, oh, dear.

Now, here‘s the simple solution to the dichotomy of ranking and not ranking, i.e. saying thank you all in equal measure vs. ranking in numbers. There are reasons within the perceiving subject that make him and her love one album a bit more than another, a tiny bit more. This simply is the richness of individual experience, and has nothing to do with playing Mr. Merciless (most of the part).

So, yes, for some, occasionally unspeakable reasons (the sum of sensations, no „Stunde der wahren Empfindung“ required), I do prefer my number 1 being number 1 and not being number 2. So this way I regard rating as a kind of thank you acknowledging that, in spite of the probably tremendous and not measurable qualities of the chosen musics, I can make these choices with sincerity and affection.

I always found it interesting when people preferred the early Beatles to their later, more elaborate pieces of work. They had good reasons, too. It‘s all about degrees of affection. And the story of your life. 

For example, I do  not need the the big B’s of Klassische Musik in my life (Brahms, Beethoven, Bach – except (sometimes) when being played in a special way on an ancient piano that sounds like a steam engine). That‘s my rating: no deeper degrees of affection here (though no doubts this music has something, or a lot, for other people).

When preferring Talk Talk‘s „Lauging Stock“ to Schubert‘s „Winterreise“ – it‘s a fair choice. Or Bob Marley’s „Catch A Fire“  to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8. Easy peasy, an open mind, the gates of perception! That said, I do not hesitate to put my thumbs down when listening to stuff that sounds high brow, cold – dead fish music. No apologies.

Ah, nearly forgotten, the album cover upfront: Steve Tibbetts – The Fall of Us All, my album of 1994, unrivaled. A lifer!


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