What could soon become one of the world's most-visited music websites has been launched by two Edinburgh-based newspaper designers.
Ally Palmer and Terry Watson are the names behind the graphical redesigns of some of the world's most respected newspapers, including French title, Le Monde. Now, the pair, who trade as Palmer Watson, have created – following a year of development – a website that pulls together music reviews, meaning an easy way to find out more about one's favourite musicians plus as easy a means of keeping up with the best new artists.
Says Ally Palmer, of Any Decent Music: “We hunted for a site just like this because we needed one, found there wasn't one, so we launched one.”
Added Watson: “So many times I've read one or two rave reviews of a new album, bought the CD, and been horribly disappointed. I gave up buying CDs or downloads. Any Decent Music solves the problem. One of our strongest messages is: don't just trust one voice. But if an album is getting acclaim by a majority of the most respected reviewers in the UK and US, you can be 95 per cent sure it's going to be worthwhile.”
Palmer Watson's newspaper redesigns also include El Pais and Politiken.
Any Decent Music provides a constantly updated chart of critical reaction to releases. But it is not an automated aggregator which sweeps up everything and anything in a random format. The site is staffed by music lovers who manually review, select and edit all the content.
The slogan at the site is: 'We review the reviews. You get the final word.'
The database includes every relevant release from the last 12 months (around 1000, with many thousands of reviews), and is growing every day. Users can personalise the chart by genre or timespan. They can also hear track previews and view video clips, as well as add reviews and submit playlists. The site is integrated with the most popular music sites such Spotify and Last.fm.
“We hope it provides inspiration for anyone casting around for something new and exciting to listen to,” said Watson. “There are other sites who do something vaguely similar, but none that are as specialised as we are in contemporary music, and none that provide the chart functionality. If you want to know what the hottest American lo-fi garage bands are, you'll find them. If Norwegian nu-folk singer-songwriters are your thing, we've got them covered.”