Carrie Brownstein: Aside from putting out good music, what's the single most effective thing a label can do to get people to buy their music?
Matador: Not sure what the single most efficient thing would be (other than, you know, the Pitchfork 9.1), but getting people excited is never easy to quantify or predict.
Carrie Brownstein: Does a Pitchfork 9.1 help?
Kill Rock Stars: Absolutely.
Matador: Sadly, yes. A Pitchfork 9.1 is more influential to the audience and the retailers than a Rolling Stone or New York Times review.
Carrie Brownstein: What does a Pitchfork 4.5 do?
Kill Rock Stars: A 4.5 can kill a record. Unfortunately.
Merge: Agree on the Pitchfork thing, though I do think that a 9.1 helps more than an average number hurts.
Saddle Creek: I'd be inclined to say a high Pitchfork number helps; a low Pitchfork number is irrelevant.
Matador: There remain great things that aren't even on the Pitchfork radar.
Matador: The Beatles.
Secretly Canadian: Cold War Kids were killed on their debut and did quite well.
Matador: Just having a number next to a review discourages anyone from reading.
Merge: Yes, and often the review will be enthusiastic and then the number is like "6.9" and you're like, "Thanks for nothing."
Kill Rock Stars: There's a difference between getting an average/decent review and being a band who is loved by Pitchfork. We have two bands who are doing well despite being basically ignored by Pitchfork right now.
Secretly Canadian: Anything under a 7.6 or 7.7 is a non-review.
The whole discussion is really worth your time, if you're at all interested in trying to get a firm grasp on how/why things have changed the way they have. And be sure to read the comments, too, where some dude accuses Matador's Gerard Cosloy of destroying the underground.