Hopefully this’ll clear some stuff up. I use a lettered system for a couple reasons, the big one being I’m not a fan of numbers. Numbers are overrated. I use letters more than numbers anyways. Oh, and also ’cause there’s this type of person who’ll read an entire review and only take away a score, leaving their entire experience pointless. That ain’t what I want. I hate when arguments start because of dumb review scores. The lettered grade is more of a statement of “This is where this stands for me, and whether or not I’d recommend it.” The way I’ve got my system set up is thus: A class is varying shades of great; B is good stuff; C is mediocre/bad; D is awful; and F is worst ever. +’s and -‘s are connotative of the strength of the rating. And if you think that’s confusing, here’s how that all works, and even what it ROUGHLY translates to in terms of numbers. Note, though, that the point of these scores isn’t to translate into numbered scores. It is what it is.
A+: Classic, groundbreaking, moving, timeless, etc. All good adjectives. Basically perfect. Best of the very very best. You are required by federal law to own a copy and cherish it. 10/10!!
A: Really fantastic stuff here; enjoyable, smart, well-toned, and powerful. Enjoyable almost the whole way through, maybe a slight misstep here or there. Best of the best. Respect it, bitch. 9/10!
A-: Terrific work, likely flawed in some way (or ways), but thoroughly enjoyable and wonderfully executed. Go check it out! 8/10.
B+: Real good. It ain’t great overall, but it’s got some nice work on it, maybe even some great stuff! Flawed but worthy of respect, and should be on your to-listen list. 7/10.
B: Lowest grade before dipping into the mediocre-to-bad materiel. Pleases occasionally, maybe even many times, but can’t seem to dig itself out of merely being OK. Worth a listen. 6/10.
B-: The quintessential “ehhhhh” category; decent at points, bad at others, perhaps slipping into good at times. Hard to call good, hard to call bad. Upper end between 5/10 and 6/10.
C+: Slightly below decent. Usually doesn’t conjure up much worth coming back to, but maybe once or twice does something worth noting. Lower end between 5/10 and 6/10.
C: Offensively middle of the road – average. Almost nothing worth discussing. Borderline bad at times, mediocre mostly, maybe a good tune or moment sprinkled in. 5/10.
C-: Basically awful at this point. A saving grace in there somewhere, though: a decent tune, nice sound, good production, but all kinda worthless to begin with. 4/10.
D+: Oof. Painful to listen to. Nearly nothing of merit, offering only moments of respite within a sea of suck. Stay away. 3.5/10.
D: Terrible, awful, abysmal, etc. Perfect for sadomasochists, but nobody else need apply. 3/10.
D-: Almost bad enough to be a complete failure, but slightly lifted by one or two good to decent moments that save it from the black hole that is the F. 2/10.
F: The bad to end all bad. So bad, in fact, that there’s nothing redeemable. Not a single thing worth liking about it. No real reason to listen to it either, unless you review music. 1/10.
F-: Somehow worse than an F. I’m not even sure if these exist, but it helps to always be prepared for the worst. 0/10?
Fuck off: What it says on the tin. Nightmare fuel.