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George Starostin is a Russian linguist, better known as a rock music critic. Beginning in 1998, he operated the massive music review site Only Solitaire (title taken from a Jethro Tull song). He called it quits in 2007, but the site remained online, and Starostin returned to music criticism in 2009 with the Only Solitaire Blog.

Starostin is best known for his old method of reviewing artists and albums: a unique system of separate (but related) rankings for the artist and their albums, in which an artist's albums would be ranked both relative to their own catalogues and in relation to the entire world of rock music. His reviews also tended to be quite long-winded, with a much more measured and precise style than other critics like Mark Prindle.


The new site is operated in a much looser format, with albums rated by a simple "thumbs up/thumbs down" dichotomy (however, as of January 2018, this has been replaced with a "general verdict" system), and the artist rankings nonexistent. The blog is updated daily, with a ton of new artists previously unmentioned on the old site. Starostin is currently grinding through his entire music collection alphabetically; so massive is said collection that having started with the bands beginning with A in 2009, he has barely hit C. There has been speculation among readers (and Starostin himself) about how long it will take him to finish.

Starostin's site has also given rise to the Only Solitaire Facebook forum, which has developed a storied (read: infamous) history of its own.


George Starostin provides examples of: