Review Guidelines

About The System

We take our album reviews very seriously here at Folk N’ Rock. We use a 1-5 star rating system. The content that is reviewed is broken up into three categories, each being awarded it’s own star. A final star rating is given at the end for an over all score. Of course, you’ll have to read the full review to get the proper context. When doing a review, we typically break down each individual song by asking questions about a number of different elements.

Questions We Ask

 
Lyrics – Do the lyrics say anything of value, or is the artist just trying to rhyme for the sake of rhyming? Will a particular song give you chills, or be energetic? Or will you take nothing away from listening to the tracks?

Musicianship – Do the instrumentals sound solid? How is the production quality?

Originality – Is it a themed album? Are there any covers? Is the album thought provoking, or music you just want to blast in a sports bar?

Replay Value – Will it stay in your CD changer, or will you be finished with it after several listens?

Bang for your buck – Should you shell out cash for the vinyl version, or just buy a couple MP3s off iTunes?

Fan Base – Will it please fans of the genre, all music lovers, or only hard-core fans of the band?
 

What The Numbers Mean

One being the worst and Five being the best.

1. Atrocious: Very bad. Minimal or no effort put into the songs with non coherent lyrics, and terrible musicianship.

2. Poor: The albums flaws greatly outweigh any positives. Maybe a few good tracks.

3. Good: Albums with a number of good qualities that far outweigh any negatives. Worth your hard earned cash. However, it might not be for everyone.

4. Great: A strong album that you would have trouble trying to nitpick. Fans will love it, and first time listeners will likely not listen to anything else for the next few weeks. Recommended for everyone.

5. Excellent: A rating so rare, we’ve only given it out every few years. Albums that scored 5 will prove to stand the test of time. As close to perfect as you can possibly get.

Non-English albums

If the album you’re submitting for review is not in English, please provide us with the lyrics in the native language it was written in.

Ethical Policy

Transparency and ethics is something we take very seriously here at Folk N’ Rock. We have a strong commitment to providing our readers with factual and objective coverage and reviews. Our guidelines are as follows:

Advertising

Our source of revenue comes strictly from advertisements, and purchases made from referral links.

Review Copies and Swag

We do accept review copies of music from bands or PR firms. We will often receive other promotional items such as stickers, buttons, and other merchandise that one would receive at trade shows. These items are used for promotional reasons, or in some cases, giveaways.

Conflicts of Interest

A reviewer on our staff may not review any album or product they have finical ties to. If the writer has any personal relationships with the artist, that information MUST be made in a disclosure.

Conclusion

We are not trying to be musical elitist, but rather trying to give you the best idea on how good we think the content is you are potentially purchasing. One thing we don’t want to do is to just write a review saying something such as: “Yo bro this album rocks you should definitely check it out!” That’s not fair to the fans, and it’s certainly not fair to the artist.

Our philosophy is to put out quality reviews with a high standard. We try to avoid merely writing a synopsis without giving a valid argument on why an album rocks, or falls flat. Each album is judged on its own merits in the time in which it is produced. We understand that music is highly subjective. We can’t fathom how someone out there could dislike the album “If I should Fall From Grace With God.” As crazy as it sounds, there’s likely a Pogues fan out there that hates it. But we feel that albums we rate 4 stars or higher is something that everyone can enjoy.

We will only provide you with constructive criticism. We will in no way tear down your hard work and make it personal. Many reviewers out there are afraid of “rocking the boat.” “5 star ratings for everyone!” Our reviews are in no way a reflection upon how we feel about the artist personally, or their musical talent. At the end of the day, we’re just people on the internet with an opinion. Throw a rock and you’ll hit a more talented musician than what we could ever possibly be. At the same time, we are completely dedicated to listening and taking in what you have put out, and what we will do, is our best at providing the reader with useful information on if we think the album is worth buying, or just a few tracks from a stream service.

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