Friday, December 2, 2011

Music Reviews

Every so often I read a music review like this one, and I never know what to think. 

Part of me wants to roll my eyes at how they have used the release of a fairly popular record to show everyone how creative they can be in the context of a review.  That part of me doesn't really care to read their assessment of the band up to this date, or where they fit with a Chrysler commercial.  Just tell me what you think of the album.  I don't relate to you metaphors.  They may be well-conceived, but they don't seem very universal.  And I don't care. 

The other part of me thinks that this is exactly how I might write this type of review.  Take an interesting angle.  Make it not so conventional.  Start paragraphs with "The Lyrics!"  All that sort of stuff.

My conclusion from all this is that I kind of hate myself.  Which I guess I knew already, but here is further proof.


  1. I'm sure we've all heard the line, "writing about music is like dancing about architecture". I have given up on being able to tell if I will like music based upon a written critique. I just pay attention to whatever the final rating is. Sometimes I still like music review articles if they are cleverly written and to my sensibilities, but again it is independent of the review ability to express what the music is like or if I'll enjoy it. Curiously I do really take stock in written movie reviews.

  2. I haven't heard that before, Chuck. It makes sense though. Maybe that's why I fiond it so annoying - because it's cross-genre. I think I'm just against cleverness or coyness in review writing, unless it hits all the right "notes". Ha!

  3. I think this is how my decision is made for deciding to listen to something via Pitchfork review:

    1. Is this a band I've heard of? Yes.
    Do I like them? Yes.

    2. Is this a band I've heard of? Yes.
    Do I like them? Not really.
    Does it have a real high or real low rating? Yes.
    Is it electronic? No. (Yes is STOP DO NOT LISTEN)
    Am I willing to give this band another chance? Yes.
    LISTEN, but only this one more time, 2 strikes and you are out.

    2. Is this a band I've heard of? No.
    Is it electronic? No. (see above for yes)
    Does it have a real high or real low rating? Yes.
    Does the album cover look good? Yes Listen.
    No? Fine then i will read the review and take my chances.

  4. This would be much better if I had an easy way to create flowcharts.