From today, you’ll notice that NME.COM/reviews looks Slightly Different. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone nuts and replaced the album reviews with tweets. I’ve just made some changes that hopefully make the section more of a filter, and a useful guide, rather than merely a roll-call of what’s new out on a given week.
Traditionally we’ve structured the reviews section so as to privilege the most recent releases, as opposed to the best. But not everyone reads reviews, or buys music, every single week. In a sea of new releases, how do you know which albums and tracks are really worth your attention?
To that end, we’ve introduced NME Recommends, a new sub-section dedicated to the absolute best in new music. Look out for the logo – it’s our ultimate stamp of approval, and we’ll only be bestowing it on a handful of albums and tracks each year.
Being a music fan isn’t just about drooling over the latest albums (not literally), it’s also about looking ahead to upcoming releases and getting excited. Hence our new coming soon section, where you’ll find a constantly updated list of upcoming release dates, as well as the latest album news.
For a while now, you’ve been able to add your own ratings via the slider (you can share that rating to Twitter and Facebook too). We’ve now taken that data and made it more public – at NME.COM/reviews you’ll find a leaderboard of the albums/tracks that are getting the most love from users. Also, if you look at the album reviews index you’ll notice we now display user ratings just underneath our own score.
Traditionally we’ve crammed our track reviews into weekly blog round-ups. We’ll still be doing that for those who prefer a one-stop shop. But we’ve also expanded the track reviews section so each track also has its own page, which means you can Like it/share it/comment on it/whatever.
Pulling in our own archive content, as well as data from Spotify, We7, last.fm, Wikipedia, YouTube, Amazon and Metrolyrics, we now have thousands of useful album pages. Say you’re interested in Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back To Black’. Simply look it up in our database and within one page you can stream it, read the original NME review, scan the lyrics, watch videos and more. Oh, and if you look at the tracklisting you’ll notice it’s possible to drill down to individual track pages too.
For the first time we now have all our end-of-year lists in one place, going back to 1975, which is when the mag first started doing them. Did you know NME voted Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ the best track of 1983? You do now. If you’re interested in the archive stuff, by the way, you might also like our complete history of the NME Awards, which goes all the way back to 1953.
As always with these things there’s bound to be a few bugs to begin with, so please let me know if you spot any. And, more generally, let me know what you think of the new section, and if there are ways in which you reckon it could be improved.