Hello out there in cyberville. The name's Brian Burks, a grad student with a bit of extra time on his hands who decided to set up a website full of reviews of rock/pop/"music that ain't jazz, classical, country, cocktail, or blues made after 1957" which is really the only half-way decent definition of this stuff. Unless it makes sense to you to lump metal and Motown, Prince and Pavement, Spice Girls and Sex Pistols, Beck and Bacharach, all together as the dubious category of "rock". I suppose I should also note that, contrary to what I so flippantly stated above, there exist such sub-genres as jazz-rock, classical-rock, country-rock, blues-rock, and even, heaven help us, cocktail-rock. I have, like most people who've listened to this "rock" stuff for my entire life, a naturally in-born sense of eclecticism (is that phrase grammatical? Well, you get my drift.) I certainly have no intention of reviewing everything, since eclectic has its limits and there's only so many genres of music I can claim to understand and enjoy. However, I will eventually get around to reviewing the 1,000 or so albums I own, in various CD-tape-vinyl formats, most of which I understand, and a great deal of which I enjoy - and a hefty chunk of which I got cheap. Don't be fooled by "the Man", i.e., the major labels, into paying $16 of your hard-earned sawbucks on an album when you can help it. Anyway, here's my ratings system:
5*****Great album. Perfect in every way, or at least no complaints that matter much.
4**** A very good album, sure to give you pleasure, if perhaps flawed in some way.
3*** A good album that either doesn't get me too excited despite its quality, or surrounds a few great tracks with filler. Fans of a particular style or artist will enjoy it, but everyone else should go to the five or four star albums first.
2** Not that great. Generally either one or more good (even great) songs surrounded by too much filler, or a well-crafted collection that frankly bores me, or an "interesting" experiment that bores me. Might be worth a buck or two.
1* If you see this for a quarter in the cut-out bins, throw it back. Recommended for masochists and/or the tone deaf.
In order to leave myself some gray area, I give out a bunch of 1/2 stars between the grades (****1/2,**1/2, etc). Eventually you'll get a feel for my style and figure out just how good I'm saying an album is. To get to the reviews proper, follow the links listed below. If you notice, at the end of every page is a notice allowing you to Post Your Comments This is so that you can interact with my page and post your reactions to my reviews here. I appreciate constructive criticism, and I like to know that some people are paying attention to my sub-witty pretentious little blatherings. I'll post pretty much anything you send, as long as it's within reasonable length - no more than a few paragraphs; I trust you're smart enough to figure out what's appropriate. If you think I'm a fucking idiot who can't tell a masterpiece from Marilyn Hanson, then I'll post your flames, too - 9 times out 10 it's the flamers who wind up looking like fools, anyway. Everybody's got opinions, keep that in mind - it's what makes this country great. And if you think I'm a genius of penetrating insight and exquisite taste, put in a good word for me at some big rock mag so they can hire me and I can actually get paid to do this. But I don't mind doing this for free for now - heck, it's fun. What can you say?

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