“We are thrilled to announce the launch of Vinyl Reviews,” says Shane Buettner. “This site was born from a desire to have access to a TON of great new vinyl reviews, and to provide a way to connect people to purchasing opportunities and deals. So much great new music sees release on vinyl, yet so far there’s been no place that even tries to cover a broad selection of it as a complete package of music and vinyl. Vinyl Reviews is a fun experience that’s rich in real information, and has been built to expand the knowledge and enjoyment of music on vinyl. And because readers get to chime in and rate records, we like to think of our Vinyl Reviews as a kind of Rotten Tomatoes for vinyl.”
Vinyl Reviews is built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. “On Vinyl Reviews, analog enthusiasts will feel at home among like minds,” says Jessa Zapor-Gray, Principal, VP Behavior and Analytics for Vinyl Reviews, and VP of Marketing for Intervention Records. “In addition to publishing engaging reviews, we believe in highlighting the finer details of the vinyl-making craft. With Vinyl Reviews we want to celebrate those who bring vinyl to life by giving enthusiasts a behind-the-scenes understanding of often-overlooked processes.”
Each weekday, Vinyl Reviews posts new reviews that focus on the vinyl products consumers can buy today. The Vinyl Reviews rating system is comprehensive yet intuitive, offering scoring on artistic merit, sound quality, pressing quality, and jacket/art quality. In addition, for reissues, the site’s writers provide comparative reviews that tell the consumer if a new pressing betters previous pressings of that recording. Such comparisons are crucial when a new reissue is released at a price of $30 or more, while previous editions can still be found cheaply in used-record stores.
“We want to take the guesswork out of purchasing vinyl,” Shane Buettner says. “Vinyl Reviews offers extensive takes on all aspects of vinyl, to provide the reader with as much info as we can put together. We feel that informed buyers will feel confident in their purchases, and regularly return to Vinyl Reviews for new updates.”
Visitors to Vinyl Reviews will be directly connected to purchase outlets for the vinyl editions reviewed, whether reviewed by site visitors or VR staff. That staff includes world-class writers Bob Gendron, freelance music critic for the Chicago Times, and Todd Martens, music contributor to the L.A. Times. In addition to the seasoned editorial staff, industry veteran Angela Speziale will lead the sales efforts for Vinyl Reviews.
The reviews include fun yet thought-provoking questions that help build a discussion for users, including: “When Listening to This Album I Think of This Band or Music”; “I Would Listen to This Album While”; “Music from This Album Would Be a Great Soundtrack to This Movie”; and so on.
Other helpful site components include a release calendar, monthly features, video features, and more. Moreover, there’s the vast amount of data accompanying each release post, including the mastering engineer, record weight, and much more.
The bimonthly features will begin with a profile of a 25th-anniversary boxed set of Liz Phair’s iconic 1993 album, Exile in Guyville, and a feature on the re-pressing on high-quality vinyl of the series of American Recordings albums that resulted from the collaboration of Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin.
The continually evolving content of Vinyl Reviews will also include artist profiles, recommendations for analog hardware and accessories, and much more.