12 January

Album of the Year uses a method somewhat similar to Metacritic, at times more transparent, at other times lacking in explanation. Their method starts out simple: a first-place finish in a year-end list gets an artist a certain number of points, second-place gives a smaller number, and so on. But they never bother to tell us exactly how many points. Someone who finds mathematics more amusing than I do could figure it out, assuming they don't weight certain publications more. But that might not be a safe assumption, because...

Like Metacritic, they make the mistake of estimating a numerical score for an album based on its reviews when those reviews did not give any numerical score; and offer no explanation of how those estimates were divined, other than noting that certain publications are weighted more. These scores, highlighted in green next to an image of the album's cover, are hard to avoid when browsing the site. Only the year-end summary focuses on the relatively simple, verifiable approach of rating albums based only on other numerical lists.