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Suggestion: User Equivalent to “Must Hear”

This suggestion is being made due to the recent discussion revolving the new Sleaford Mods’ record, Spare Ribs. It received a Must Hear based on critic reviews, but currently sits at a 55 user score. Someone (@Fhhgvnjscvbbg) in the comments of the album suggested that “At this point, the user score should just decide what album is a must hear”. Now while I like the idea, I think the critic Must Hears are still a crucial part of AOTY and should remain, however, I would love to see a user based “Must Hear” be implemented to the site. I would suggest the title, “User Favorites” or something along those lines. And my suggestion for the criteria for this “user favorite”; I think albums with an 80+ user score (to fall in line with MH criteria) should receive this “User Favorite” title, but given that it’s received 500+ ratings. To hopefully persuade @Rob to implement this feature, I have some statistics for you. (All statistics are as of January 16, 2021)

645 albums currently hold a Must Hear title
411 albums currently fall under the 80+ score w/ 500+ ratings
This would make the user equivalent more exclusive…

…but simultaneously also more inclusive as Must Hear’s only go back to 2003 while 80+ user scores with 500+ ratings go back DECADES.

If implemented, it would “reward” classic albums that won’t ever receive a Must Hear.
One example being The Beatles. Not a single album of theirs has a Must Hear, but 7 of their albums would fall under this User equivalent.

Anyway, I would love to see a user equivalent to the “Must Hear” title and I think it would definitely add a new interesting dynamic to the site.


Perhaps a User’s Must Hear equivalent can represent as a Starred Green Banner, whilst Critic’s Must Hear remains the same.

I think what will hamper down is both low/high scores and low quality reviews that have no bearing to any counterpart (Someone rated 50 and only written a negative remark in one sentence) and of course bot scores (Trust me, 500+ perfect scores on BTS last year was a sham).
So to avoid score tampering and/or contradictory reviews, I think their should be certified users that accumulate big followers that can hold the candle to User’s Must Hear.


Considering the server is built around user criticisms I think it would only make sense to include this feature.


I think this being based upon “certified users that accumulate big followers” is, well, not a very great idea. The whole point of this would be to validate the overall voice of the users, and I don’t think that a select few big users would probably reflect the opinion of the users. And, there are plenty of users on AOTY who only rate albums w/o writing reviews. Why is their score not important? Lastly, to counter your bot argument, bot’s are typically taken care of and won’t be a factor in this User equivalent.


I also agree that there should be separate critic and user must hears as to not take away from the critical aggregate purpose of the site as well.


Yeah I dig this. Kinda like bolded albums in RYM. It would be like the best albums of all time according to the users. Only thing is that 500+ ratings is a tad too much. Albums from other parts of the world don’t get much ratings but still are loved by the users and should hold that tittle too.


Why not using only “one method” but combining both critics and users ratings? For instance, a “Must Hear” album could be a 80+ for critics with 10 publications and a 80+ also for users with at least 250 ratings… what do you think about that?

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Just… combine both of them, if it’s a 80 from both critics and users, its a must hear. But that wouldn’t work for albums that critics dislike, but we love, because AOTY is mainly about the users, so I’d rather just seperate between a “critic must hear” and “user must hear”

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maybe the user’s must hear format could have a star in the top right corner, so that it’s different, yet similar, to the critics must hear design

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This is a great idea. I’m all for user favorites.


Definitely agree with this. I also wish I could give records an individual Must-Hear, as I can’t do anything but rate & review them at this time & sometimes I don’t have enough time to sit down & write out a full review. I don’t know how it’d work with what you’re proposing, though.