AllMusic’s origins as a resource make it inherently different from other resources that review music, whether they be Rolling Stone or Pitchfork. He said in an excellent interview with RockCritics.com: “That is what was in my head for the All Music Guide: what if we could point folks to the best recordings for each artist, no matter how obscure they were, and regardless of what style of music?” AllMusic’s guiding principle was to provide a service, not to provide artistic criticism; the reviews are a means to an end, that end being helping music fans find the best music out there. That means that its reviews rarely are passed around in the same way that reviews from Pitchfork or the A.V. Club are; its reviews could even be considered dull or businesslike, and it’s because crafting artistic, shareable reviews are simply not one of AllMusic’s main goals.
AllMusic is a fantastic resource. When I first started making a deliberate effort to broaden my musical horizons, there were two tools that allowed me to do it. One was Napster (and later Kazaa/Morpheus/Gnutella/etc.).
The other was AllMusic. To this day, it remains among my most-visited sites. Also, how cool is it that it started out on Gopher?