Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources

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The following list consists of recommended sources for expanding articles that primarily or exclusively cover musical topics. This list is merely a collection of suggestions, and other good sources may exist. Many of these sources include reviews or links to reviews that can be used to source critical reception sections in album articles, and to add ratings to the {{Album ratings}} template. This list is not exhaustive: Additional websites and print sources may also be used, provided they meet the criteria at Wikipedia:Reliable sources and WP:MOSALBUM#Critical reception. Specifically, reviews should be written by professional music journalists or DJs, or found within any online or print publication having a (paid or volunteer) editorial and writing staff (which excludes personal blogs), and must be from a source that is independent of the artist, record company, etc.

Note: While help in expanding this list is quite welcome, please don't add any items to the list before discussing it first on the talk page. Take a look into the project archives for examples of how it has been done in the past. For example here, here, or here.

Online and print[edit]

Publication Primary focus Rating system Country Website Back issues
Alternative Press Rock 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US [8]
American Songwriter Singer-songwriter 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US
The A.V. Club Popular music Letter grade: B +/– US
Bach Baroque, Bach compositions Not applicable US Online archives and JSTOR access
BBC Music Magazine Classical, jazz, world 5-star scale: 3/5 stars UK [9]
Big Cheese Rock, alternative, punk 10-point scale: 7/10 UK
Billboard Popular music Older (between the early 1970s and mid 2000s): various categories such as "Spotlight", "Recommended", "Pick", "Four Star", "Critics' Choice" and "Vital Reissue", as defined in the reviews key
Newer: 5-star scale: 3/5 stars, scores out of 100 before 2014 (As of November 2014, magazine archive contains 129 pages of reviews, with links to 10 reviews per page, dating back to 2008.)
US [10]
Blender Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US [11]
Bluegrass Unlimited Bluegrass, old-time No formal scale US
Blurt Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US
The Boston Globe Popular music No formal scale US
CCM Magazine Christian – CCM, gospel, rock, heavy metal,
hip hop, urban
5-star scale: 3/5 stars, older reviews letter grade: B +/– US [12]
Chart/ChartAttack Rock, alternative, indie, some pop and hip hop No formal rating system Canada
Chicago Tribune All genres 4-star scale: 3/4 stars US
Robert Christgau Rock, popular music {{Rating-Christgau}}: C+, (2-star Honorable Mention) or (dud) US Note: Christgau's articles appear in numerous publications
Christianity Today Christian – all genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US [13]
Clash Popular music 10-point scale: 7/10 UK [14]
Classical Recordings Quarterly Classical No formal scale US [15]
Classic Rock Rock 10-point scale: 7/10, although the magazine's website omits the review score UK
CMJ Popular music No formal scale US
Complex Hip hop, R&B, pop, electronic, rock 5-star scale: 3/5 stars, no formal scale before 2014 US
Country Weekly Country Letter grade B +/–; reviews from 2003 to 2012 use a 5-star scale 3.5/5 stars; no formal scale before then.
Some online archives of reviews omit the rating designation.
US [16]
Crawdaddy! Rock No formal scale US
The Daily Telegraph All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK
Decibel Heavy metal 10-star scale: 8.5/10 stars US [17]
Down Beat Jazz, blues, R&B 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars, online reviews have no formal scale US
Dummy Electronic music 10-point scale: 7/10 UK
Early Music Early music Not applicable UK JSTOR access
Entertainment Weekly All genres Letter grade: B +/– US
Exclaim! All genres 10-point scale: 7/10 or no formal scale Canada
Fact Popular music 5-disc scale, 3.5/5 UK
The Fader Popular music, folk, experimental No formal scale US [18]
Filter Popular music 100-percent scale: 75% US [19]
The Fly Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK [20]
General Music Today All genres, classical focus Not applicable US Latest issue and archives
The Gleaner Jamaican Jamaica
Goldmine All genres 5-star scale: 3/5 stars; or letter-grade scale for reviews posted on staff blogs US
Gramophone Classical No formal scale UK [21]
The Guardian All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK [22]
Harp Adult album alternative UK*/ [23]
The Hindu Indian – all genres No formal scale India
Hip Hop Connection Hip hop 5-point scale: 4/5 UK
HM Christian – rock, heavy metal 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars, some older reviews 10-point scale or no formal scale US [24]
The Independent All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK
The Jamaica Observer Jamaican Jamaica
Jazz Journal Jazz 5-star scale: 3/5 stars UK
JazzTimes Jazz No formal scale US [25]
Juice Rock, heavy metal, surf and skate music No formal scale US
Kerrang! Rock, heavy metal 5-"K" scale, 4/5 UK
Latin Beat Magazine Latin No formal scale US Note: Multi-language source [26]
LA Weekly Popular music No formal rating scale US
Limelight Classical, jazz, pop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars Australia [27]
Living Blues Blues No formal scale US [28]
Los Angeles Times All genres 4-star scale: 3/4 stars US
Loud and Quiet Popular music 10-point scale: 7/10 or no formal scale UK [29]
Magnet Rock 10-star scale: 7.5/10 stars US [30]
Metal Forces Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7/10 UK [31]
Metal Hammer Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7/10 UK [32]
Mixmag EDM, Synthpop 5-"headphones" scale UK [33]
Mojo Rock, popular music 5-star scale (from 2003 onwards): 3.5/5 stars UK [34]
The Musical Quarterly All genres, classical focus Not applicable US JSTOR access
The Musical Times Classical Not applicable UK JSTOR access
The New York Times All genres No formal scale US [35]
NME Rock, popular music 10-point scale: 7/10 UK [36] (digital)
Now All genres 5-"N" scale, 4/5 Canada [37]
The Observer All genres 5-star scale: 3/5 stars UK
Opera Opera No formal scale UK [38]
Opera Canada Opera Canada [39] (digital)
Opera News Opera No formal scale US [40]
Punk Punk US [41]
Paste Rock 10-point scale: 7.6/10 US [42]
Q Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK
The Quietus Popular music No formal scale UK
Rap-Up Urban, popular music No formal rating scale US
Record Collector All genres Older: no formal scale, then 4-star scale: 3/4 stars
Newer: 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars
UK [43]
Reggae Report Reggae, Caribbean, African, hip hop No formal scale US [44]
Rock Hard Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7.5/10 Germany Note: German language source [45]
Rock Sound Rock 10-point scale: 7/10 UK [46]
Rock Street Journal Indian - rock Letter grade India
Rolling Stone Rock, popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US [47]
Respect. Hip hop No formal rating scale US
Revolver Heavy metal 5-point scale: 3/5 US [48]
The Skinny All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars UK [49]
Sonic Seducer Dark culture 10-point scale or no formal scale Germany Note: German language source. Reviews prior to 2014 may be found at *[50]
The Source Hip hop 5-"microphone" scale US
Spin Rock, hip hop, alternative 10-point scale: 7/10 US Is no longer run in a print version [51]
Sruti Indian No formal scale India
This Is Fake DIY Popular music, indie 10-point scale: 7/10 UK [52]
Triple J Popular music No formal scale Australia
Uncut Popular music Older: 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars
From April 2012: 10-point scale: 7/10
(Note: On the magazine's website, reviews published between 1997 and 2012 contain incorrect ratings, in that the original 4/5 stars album rating is now rendered as 4/10. When using the online review as a source, editors are encouraged to consult Metacritic or sites carrying Muze-generated product information to confirm the correct star rating; also, to add hidden text explaining the reason that the (star) rating given in the album article differs from that at
Under the Radar Indie 10-star scale: 7.5/10 stars US [53]
URB Electronic, urban No formal scale UK
USA Today All genres 4-star scale: 3/4 stars US
Vibe R&B, hip hop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US
The Washington Post Popular music No formal rating scale US
The Wire Avant-garde, modern classical, jazz, hip hop, electronic No formal scale UK
Welsh Music History Welsh music Not applicable UK [54]
XXL Hip hop System based on clothing sizes; scale of small ("S") to extra-extra large ("XXL") US
Yearbook for Traditional Music Traditional, traditional dance Not applicable UK JSTOR access

Online only[edit]

Publication Primary focus Rating system Country Website Notes
AbsolutePunk Rock, alternative, indie Percentage scale: 93% US Only use staff reviews All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US Only cite critics that are marked as "Yes" in this table: Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources/ Critics Table
AllHipHop Hip hop 10-point scale: 7/10 US
All About Jazz Jazz, blues No formal scale US
AllMusic All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US Do not indicate the "Album Pick" designation, do not use genre sidebar, do not include reviews that include only a star review and no text review
Alternative Addiction Rock, independent 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US
AltSounds Rock, independent 10-point scale: 7.6/10 International
BBC Music All genres No formal scale UK Do not use mirrors of Wikipedia Hard rock, heavy metal 10-point scale: 7.5/10 US News items should not be used for BLP statements, and if another source can be found for information given, use that source instead. Reviews are acceptable for use in all articles.
The BoomBox Hip hop, R&B No formal scale US All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars Canada Portal for Sun Media newspapers in Canada
Classical Net Classical No formal scale US Pop No formal scale Unknown
Consequence of Sound Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US
Country Standard Time Country No formal scale US Originally a print magazine from 1995-2009; site does not include all reviews from the magazine's history, so print copies may also be cited
DJBooth Hip hop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars (Converted from headphones) US
Drowned in Sound Rock, independent 10-point scale: 7/10 UK Only use staff reviews
ExploreMusic All genres No formal rating system Canada
HipHopDX Hip hop 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars (Converted from X's) US
The Huffington Post Popular music No formal rating scale US
Idolator Popular music 10-star scale: 6/10 stars US
Jesus Freak Hideout Christian - popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US Avoid user reviews (distinguished as yellow stars instead of red)
The Line of Best Fit Popular music 10-star scale: 7.5/10 stars UK
Loudwire Rock, heavy metal 5-star scale: 3/5 stars US
Melodic Rock, independent 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars International
Metal Storm Heavy metal 10-point scale: 7.6/10.0 or

no formal scale

Estonia Do not use guest reviews, recognizable by a tag, or staff reviews from before 2009
MTV Popular music No formal rating system US Searchable artist bios, discographies, album commentary, and other artist information can be found here.
MusicOMH All genres 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars or no formal scale UK
NH7 Indian - Indie, alternative Letter grade India
Noisecreep Hard rock, heavy metal No formal rating system US
No Ripcord Popular music 10-point scale: 7.5/10 UK
NPR Music All genres No formal scale US
Nothing But Hope And Passion Popular music No formal scale Germany
Perfect Sound Forever Alternative, electronic and experimental music No formal scale, reviews are only included in overviews of musicians careers United States Discussion
Pitchfork Media Popular music, independent 10-point scale: 7.6/10.0 US
Playlouder Popular music, independent 5-point scale: 3.5/5 stars UK [Archive of reviews]
PopMatters Popular music 10-star scale: 7/10 stars International No formal rating for reviews published before 2005 Punk, heavy metal, independent 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US Use staff reviews only, recognizable by a tag Hip hop 10 point scale: 6/10 US
Resident Advisor Electronic 5 point scale: 3/5 Global
Roots Archives Jamaican and Reggae Not applicable A discography database
Roughstock Country 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars; no formal scale on pre-2011 reviews; reviews phased out in 2014 US
Slant Magazine Popular music 5-star scale: 3.5/5 stars US
Spinner Rock No formal rating system US
Sputnikmusic All genres 5-point scale: 3.5/5 US Use staff and emeritus reviews only, recognizable by tag
Stylus Magazine Popular music Letter grade: B +/- US
Taste of Country Country 5-star scale 3.5/5 stars; some old reviews use 10-point scale (7.5/10) US
Ultimate Guitar Archive Rock, heavy metal 10-point scale: 7/10 International Only cite articles written by "UG Team" or any members within its group.
VH1 Popular music No formal rating system US
Wondering Sound All genres 5-star rating: 3.5/5 stars US Reviews before 2014 are unrated.


Metacritic can be used to give an aggregate score of an album's reception. However, avoid citing the review excerpts listed below the aggregate score; instead, seek out the reviews in full and cite them individually. {{Album ratings}} has a |MC= parameter that can be used to display the aggregate score for an album. When describing the score in prose, be sure to note that the score is an aggregate and how many reviews it is based on. For example:

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 46/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating

The Devil's Rain received mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 46 out of 100, which indicates "mixed or average reviews" based on 11 reviews.[1]

  1. ^ a b "The Devil's Rain – Misfits". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 


Publication Instrument Country Website Back issues
Bass Guitar Bass guitar UK [55]
Bass Player Bass guitar US [56]
Bass Quarterly Bass guitar Germany (in German) [57]
DRUM! Magazine Drum kit US [58]
Electronic Musician Synthesizer, production equipment US [59]
Guitarist Guitar UK [60]
Guitar Player Guitar US [61]
Guitar World Guitar US [62]
Keyboard Keyboard US [63]
Modern Drummer Drum kit US [64] and [65]
Vintage Synth Explorer Synthesizer US Not applicable

Other sources[edit]

A physical album's liner notes are generally a good place to find writing and production credits for a personnel section. Some records are also released with additional writing that may be helpful with an article's recording and/or composing section. The album notes can be properly sourced with the {{Cite album-notes}} template.

As long as the information being contributed is not overly promotional, unduly self-serving or biased, the artist or record label's website may be acceptable sources. These sites often provide detailed information about an artist's discography. However, since many band websites are recreated entirely upon the release of a new studio album, URL's or information may be moved or deleted, and articles are left with the phenomenon known as link rot. To avoid this, try to find a different source with the same information, or web archive of the original source. For assistance with web archiving, see Wikipedia:Using the Wayback Machine.

Statements given in interviews with an artist, producer, or any other music personnel are reliable for statements about the person themselves and the work they are involved in, such as their band, compositions, etc. However, they are not reliable for statements about other living persons. Any statements about another person should be supported by the individual in question or else a reliable source.

If the artist in question was subject to any form of recorded audio or video in the possible form of a television documentary or an informational DVD/VHS, this may be an acceptable source of information. To cite information from a source like this, use either {{cite video}} or {{cite episode}}, whichever is most applicable.

If an artist or recording act has existed for a significant period of time and/or has made a great impact on their scene or music in general, it's likely that someone has written a book on the topic. An easy way to search through books is with a quick Google Books search. Google Books will provide links of several possible locations to obtain a copy, and will sometimes provide select passages of the book for previewing. To cite a book as a source, use the {{cite books}} template.

Non-English sources[edit]

For more, see Wikipedia:Verifiability#Non-English sources

English-language sources are preferred, as this is an English-language encyclopedia and languages other than English are not understood by a large number of readers. However, if few sources exist, those in languages other than English may be included, especially if the language is especially relevant to the subject in question. Sources in any language must meet the above guidelines, including Wikipedia:Reliable sources and WP:ALBUMS#Reception.

Christian music[edit]

For sources pertaining primarily or specifically to Christian music of all genres, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Christian music/Sources.

Korean music and k-pop[edit]

For sources that deal with South Korean culture, including k-pop and other forms of Korean music, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Korea/Reliable sources.

Sources to avoid[edit]

Websites with user-generated content should never be used as sources since they have little or no editorial oversight. This may include other general wiki-style sites such as Wikia, and album-related sites such as Discogs or Rate Your Music. This is also important to be cautious of on websites that publish user-submitted album reviews. For sites such as AbsolutePunk, Sputnikmusic, and Jesus Freak Hideout, be sure to select only the staff-written reviews.

Self-published sources are generally unacceptable as references on Wikipedia. An artist's social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter, in addition to personal blogs and forum posts, should largely be avoided. If the information being added from one of these websites is truly notable enough for inclusion, a publication will likely report about it.[1][2]

Online retailers such as iTunes and should also be avoided. It can be seen as inappropriate to directly link to a site where one can purchase the subject in question. Wikipedia's role should not be used to advance the sale of an album. Generally speaking, all of the information found on online retailers can be found at a number of other sites. Track listings, release dates, record label, album covers and track lengths can all be found at AllMusic. The content and reviews found on online retailers may also be biased in that these sources want you to buy their product.

AllMusic's genre sidebar should be avoided. Previous discussions at WP:ALBUMS and RSN have evinced that they can be incongruous with the reviewer's prose, which should take precedent over the sidebar (e.g. AllMusic's sidebar classifies Rhythm Killers as "reggae", while the reviewer observes "no reggae in sight"; likewise, AllMusic's sidebar says that Staind includes the post-grunge genre while the reviewer says that the band "no longer sound like post-grungers...").

List of unreliable sources (with link to relevant discussion)[edit]

Website Discussion Note Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 26#What constitutes a professional review.3F User-submitted reviews Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 110#Is reliable.3F - - -
Daily Mail Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 151#Daily Mail .28UK.29: use in BLPs Tabloid
Dead Press Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 91#Reputable music review.3F -
Encyclopaedia Metallum - -
Epinions - - - - Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 136#Grande Rock - - - Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive - - -
Metal Storm (webzine) - Guest reviews, recognizable by a tag, or staff reviews from before 2009 - -
The Needle Drop Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums#The Needle Drop - Discussion of The Needle Drop Reviews by Anthony Fantano are self-published. However, Fantano is reliable if his review was published by a third party.
Perez Hilton - Gossip blogger
Piero Scaruffi Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 46#Piero Scaruffi - Final Verdict on using him as a source in reviews Non-professional, self-published content. Even his books were self-published, and are thus unreliable.
PopCrush Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 131#Is PopCrush a reliable source? -
Prog Archives - - Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 43#Add as a legitimate album review and music news site - - Non-staff reviews
Rate Your Music Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 33#Rate Your Music -
RockOnTheNet Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 141#rock on the net - - -
Sputnikmusic - Non-staff reviews - - Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 123#Thrash, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive -
Ultimate Guitar Archive Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums/Archive 47#Ultimate Guitar, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums#Ultimate_Guitar Articles that aren't written by "UG Team" (or any of the team's members) are unreliable. Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 165#Is 'Under The Gun Review' reliable? - - -

Reviews and ratings which only summarize other reviews and ratings should not be included either:[edit]

The reliability of is debated. Some writers have expertise in music criticism, some do not. Please consult the Table of critics to see if a particular writer is reliable. Do not cite critics that are marked as "No" in the discussion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ On December 11, 2010 Rise Against tweeted that they were almost finished recording their new album.[1] A day later, Alternative Press and published this as news citing Rise Against's tweet as their source.[2][3]
  2. ^ Following the death of their bassist, Paul Gray, heavy metal group Slipknot were unsure if they would continue as a band. A series of tweets from their lead singer Cory Taylor were posted about his feelings on the matter, and published shortly thereafter by, Noisecreep, Gun Shy Assassin and Chart.[4][5][6][7]