Quick Pitch: Rate and review albums and get recommendations from friends for new music.
Genius Idea: Yelp for music.
Pitchfork may be the holy grail when it comes to music review blogs, but not everyone over at the old ‘fork has the same taste as you. The same goes for every other blog on the block. Your friends, however, well — they’re more likely join in on your screeching ’90s pop sing-alongs (and enjoy them). So you’ll probably listen when a pal tells you to check out a new band.
That’s the idea behind MusicGrid.me, a new music review site that’s currently in beta. Founder Cliff Seal, of Logos Creative, LLC, came up with the concept for the site thanks to noise/mathcore band The Chariot.
“They’re a band I used to love, then quickly started losing hope over the albums they were coming out with,” says Seal. “The only reason I even gave Long Live (their new album) a listen was because of strong recommendations from close friends, and I ended up really enjoying it.”
Seal wanted to open up discussion around music in one place, letting friends and other music fans rate and suggest discs.
At present, MusicGrid.me is extremely simple (maybe a little too simple, actually). Submit your email to get in on the beta, and start surfing. The site features top-rated albums, most discussed discs and hyped artists. Click on album art to see ratings and reviews. To add your own review, you can search for a band or album and either add to or start a conversation. The site uses Last.fm’s API to pull in artist info.
After composing your review, you can share it via Twitter or Facebook. The site also suggests similar artists (again, using Last.fm’s API).
Right now, that’s basically the whole deal. Granted, there are a lot of venues out there where you can review music (on Amazon, etc.), but the idea of taking musical advice from friends is becoming more and more popular, and we can see a site like this (with some tweaks) taking off. Exfm’s new iPhone app is a great recent example, as is up-and-coming listening party startup, Turntable.fm.
First of all, Seal needs to add integration with a music service so that users can actually listen to the music they’re reading about — even if it is in the form of 90-second clips. Still, Seal acknowledges that the site is still in beta, and that it will grow and change in future iterations.
“There’s a whole wave of ideas we’re discussing to use location and interaction to actually get people using MusicGrid.me inside the stores,” he says. This seems like a great move. We can imagine a mobile app featuring something akin to MOG’s new Moggles feature (which lets you take pictures of album art for more info) being a cool addition.
Yes, we do have sites like Metacritic featuring crowdsourced reviews, but there really is room for something like MusicGrid.me — a kind of Yelp for music. Granted, the site is going to need more polish (as well as more features and a mobile app) in order to really take off, but the idea is there. We’ll be interested to see what comes out after the beta phase is done.