The rating system for the albums on this Web site are as follows:
A+ The best of the best. A Essential. I would consider my own record collection incomplete without it. A- Highly recommended, but for one of several reasons (a few weaker tracks, lacks thematic unity, not enough diversity or great songs) fails to crack the top tier. B+ A very good but flawed record. Recommended. B Good B- Fair. If you like the artist give it a try. C+ Below average. C Poor. C- Why D+ torment D yourself? E No explanation necessary F Pure torture.
Please note that the ratings are merely guides for what to expect when you read the actual reviews (feel free to let me know when a rating doesn't seem to match a review). Since each artist page is its own entity, and since I try to establish a ratings hierarchy within each artist page, it can be tricky to compare ratings across artists. For example, if an artist like Al Green has an abundance of high quality albums, I may lower the grade of a borderline A- level album to a B+ to indicate that for an Al Green album this one is only "recommended," as opposed to several other superior A- albums that come "highly recommended." I acknowledge that this ratings system is far from perfect, and that I've probably been a bit generous to certain artists while being a bit stingy with other artists.