Who writes the reviews for albums on Roon?

I have recently been listening the work of the Finnish contemporary music composer Kaija Sariaaho recently and have a number of albums in my personal library. I recently uploaded an album of her music: Du Crystal, A la Fumee, Nymphea & Sept Papillons.

I wanted to see what reviews this album has received as I was very impressed with the quality of the music but was dismayed by the facetiously negative and highly prejudicial review of this album on Roon. I cannot understand why such blatantly prejudiced reviews go unedited. The comments about IRCAM are clearly driven by an ideological position and the reviewer is clearly not interested in engaging in a discussion about the role it played in the development of electro-acoustic music in the late 20thC. As for the music of Sariaaho the reviewer has missed the point entirely!!

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The reviews are written by Allmusic.com house critics.

Completely Agree. Many of the reviews are exactly as Alex points out. And frankly, I may discontinue this service because of that alone.

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You need to complain to Allmusic. Roon uses them as their reviewing source.

Then Roon should look elsewhere or ban them instead of using them.

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Why throw the baby out with the bathwater? Because you don’t agree with someone’s opinion? IMO they are useful whether or not I agree with a review.

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I agree that leaving Roon because of poorly written critical reviews taken from Allmusic is an overreaction. My criticism was about a specific review and looking back at it now it’s still a very poor review. I think also that there is a cultural difference operating here in that to write a review of contemporary classical music in the same style that you’d expect of a Rock or Indie band is poorly judged and only makes the reviewer look like an immature imbecile.

Having read the review in question, I actually found it useful. Just goes to show you can’t please all of the people all of the time. :grinning:

Hopefully roon will open up to other sources soon ( eg Qobuz) or allow users to add reviews and bios manually. I hate to have English language reviews and bios when the rest of the interface is in Dutch… roon used it’s users to translate the inteface but now it’s not consistent at all because of the mixed languages.

In what way did you find it useful? I’m intrigued.

Because it referred to the sleeve notes making the connection with Ligeti, and the additional observation of thematic connection with Varese. I was sufficiently intrigued to pull up the album and listen. And I can understand why the reviewer (Uncle Dave Lewis) reduced the altitude of the listening experience…

Yes the references to Ligeti are apposite in that there is an interesting relationship in her work to his use of micropolyphony. But he does not mention the strong link to the influence of the work of the pan European Spectralist composers from France, Germany and Romania. More importantly though, Kaariaho brought her own poetic vision to this aesthetic musical tradition and developed her own musical language out of it. Another problem for me is that the way he makes scathing comments about Saariaho’s work in relation to these esteemed composers, it comes across as more than a little misogynistic. In that his overarching argument is that her work does not measure up to these great, ‘male’, modernist composers. Still not convinced.

Alex_Landrum: Well, the review served one good purpose: It made you annoyed enough to post about it here, which in return made me aware of the composer and this album specifically! It is now on my buy list together with some SACD multichannel recording. :slight_smile:


Hello all, am new to Roon, just got it today, running well! Saw this interesting thread but puzzled: Boulez-Mahler album conducted by Boulez has no review on Roon; yet there is a review on allmusic.com?

Is Roon not seeing the allmusic review?

My major reason for getting Roon was to read about the album and musicians whilst listening. So far it’s been great but a bunch of music has no review for them, hoping it’s a timing thing whilst Roon trawls all the links :grin::grin:

That’s because there is more than one release of the box set and the one you have (TIDAL?) is the 2013 release–the 2012 version has the review. This can be flagged in the #support:metadata-issues category.

Ah thanks Martin. Yes on tidal. Though I notice Roon did populate the credits from allmusic.

I wonder if another way for difficult albums is to give the ability to search on allmusic without leaving roon. So I tap on on info button and it opens a window with potential links to reviews of the album. Saves having to leave Roon and go to browser and type in search?

Users who get Roon for its info-gathering will be disappointed if they get an empty review for an album etc

Frankly having read the massive debates on sound quality I feel the real nugget of gold in Roon is information! Plenty of other alternatives to get good UI and SQ :slight_smile:

Hire more data scientists Roon!


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Music review is obviously a subjective personal opinion. One reviewer’s opinion is hardly possible to reflect everyone’s taste. Why doesn’t Roon do Amazon type reviews? Have users opine and rate. If not possible, limit reviews to give background, history, etc…but refrain from personal preferences or tastes.

I’d move this to feature requests.

The longer I use Roon, the less I want to see the stars and the reviews. I’d gladly trade reviews for liner notes.

For example (And I’ve said this before), here’s an example of Dire Straits Alchemy album review:

" …much of which is slow and moody, with Mark Knopfler’s muttered vocals and large helpings of his fingerpicking on what sounds like an amplified Spanish guitar…"

That amplified Spanish guitar is a national steel played by one of the better guitarists to touch one. The reviewer, William Ruhlmann, can eat my ass.

What I’ve found is that there is only a tenuous link between star ratings and my enjoyment of a particular album. The reviews have done more to make me think I have no taste in music and the snide comments from my wife. :smiley:


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I’d not think that way Sheldon. Allmusic reviews are often little more than promos I find, and as per anything within The Arts we all have our own views, thoughts, feeling etc. Further, they are a snapshot of the reviewers thoughts at that given moment. Perhaps, a reviewer would write something completely different years down the track and that would align more with your thoughts, but they can’t.

There’s been many an artist ‘lost’ in the system, only to be ‘discovered’ many years later and lauded for their groundbreaking sound. Or an album misunderstood by a given reviewer at the time of release, yet years later that album considered definitive of a certain sound with many artists following and so on.

Don’t be swayed - stick to your guns. But, view the allmusic reviews as a decent starting place, rather than a definitive resource. Also, it is of use to get to ‘know’ the reviewer (as with any form of review), to understand their likes/dislikes, and so on.