Is it a trustworthy ranking of albums with minimal subjective bias? Is there anything better?
How have the lists been compiled?
Instead of giving albums a set of points every time they appear in a critics' list (which would be a huge disadvantage for new albums that had no chance to appear in older all-time lists), I match all albums against each other in pairs. In the "match-ups", the critics' lists are weighted depending on several factors, such as
1. Similarities with the overall Acclaimed Music list (a critics' list with mostly unacclaimed albums gets a low value for this weighting parameter).
2. When the list was presented (newer lists get higher values for this weighting parameter).
3. The overall number of critics' lists included at Acclaimed Music from different regions of the world. A critics' list from a region with a relatively large number of critics' lists at Acclaimed Music (relative to both the region's population and the number of artists at Acclaimed Music) gets a low value for this weighting parameter.
All match-ups are summarized into a score for each album. This score is then adjusted due which opponents the album has been matched against. As it usually takes a while for albums to reach "classic" status and appear in critics' all time lists, new albums (which mostly have been matched against other new albums in the end of year lists) tend to have low "opponent values".
Is Acclaimed Music the final word of the best albums and songs in rock history?
There is no final word. We all have our own favourites, and our musical taste changes over the years. The Acclaimed Music lists also change every time new critics lists are included so ther will never be a definitive list.
So long as you remember what it is - it's not telling you what the 'best' albums are, only what the most 'critically acclaimed' are.
Your not going to discover new or unusual stuff as, by definition, it's trading in the stuff that's already been noticed.
It's really useful if your interested in the context in which records were released - i.e what else came out before and after a particular album.
I also like their end of year best of spreadsheets - it's interesting to see how different albums are critically favoured in different parts of the world.
All in all, if you are a music anorak and you like lists, you'll like it. If you mock such people, you'll hate it.
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