2009 music rating system and jj

I've been working on my "Favorite Songs of 2009" list for way too long. Like since October. First, I was just making a list of songs I loved and wanted to hear over and over again. But that was a BIG LIST. Next I came up with a 3-category rating system where each song could get up to 5 points in the areas of music, lyrics/vocals, and artistry/gestalt. However most songs were getting 10-15 points. I needed a better evaluation tool.

Next I came up with a 10-point system based on questions. If I can answer "yes" to a question, the song gets a point. This worked out much better, giving me more believable scores ranging from 3 to 9. (I like this better than 10-15 because "5" can be the dividing line between the really good and the truly great.) Here are the questions:

1. Can you run to it/Does it make you want to dance?
2. Is it pretty and harmonious?
3. Does it perk me up and improve my mood a notch?
4. Reason X: Do I have a specific happy memory about it or extra reason to love it?
5. Does it have satisfying beeps and electronic noises?
6. Does it have a lot of good layering/tracks going on?
7. Does it have an interesting/different bridge or other big change somewhere?
8. Does it have a dramatic build or suspenseful bit that is very satisfying?
9. Does it have cool vocals?
10. Does it have awesome lyrics?

Here is one of my choices for Best Songs of 2009. It got a 3.

"From Africa to Málaga," by jj
(label=sincerely yours, sweden)

This song kept almost falling off my list completely, and then I'd get it stuck in my head again. It is very swoony and melodic, so gets a point for being "pretty." It also gets a "Reason X" point for being Swedish, because I am fascinated by Swedish pop and think it should all get an extra star. But what really put this one in the "Best Of" category are the lyrics. Imagine these sung like a gorgeous ballad, like a pretty little love song:

"The thought that you found takes you to town,
Smashes your face, burns out your heart,
Then you go home and turn it into art."
"No matter how dumb you are, you eventually rise.
If not today, then maybe tomorrow..."

You can listen to--and also buy--this song here.

1 comment:

Amy said...

this is the best rating system! #1 being the most important. and i totally agree with the double life induced feeling. i'm looking forward to checking some of these songs out when i have a free moment out of the Baby Cave.