I ran across an interesting link the other day that will make some of you laugh, and some of you cry — especially if you review music.
Check it out here.
The ‘article’ was actually written back in 2001. I can’t find any information about the site it’s on, but the fact that someone took the time to compile a list of phrases that could easily be lifted and placed in any review of technical music is totally depressing. And also amusing. My personal favorite is “they are shooting for ‘ambient techno’ and the result is ‘post-industrial doodlings’.” God, that’s good.
I once tried my hand at reviewing music, but even a list like this one could not have masked my failure.
I like music for two reasons. Either I identify with the lyrics, or it makes me dance. If I don't like music it's usually because it makes me cringe. And there's no thesaurus extensive enough to turn either of those statements into a full-out CD review.
I've always loved researching bands and writing about what in their lives inspired certain songs. I think the highlight of all the interviews I've ever done had to be when I finally asked Dave from Saves the Day who Anna was, a name that reoccurred in several of their early recordings. And right after Dave told me it was his sister, Anna called his cell phone. But anecdotes like that aren't enough to convince someone whether or not to buy an album. At some point, facts have to take a backseat to the reviewer's opinion.
And the sad fact is, when it comes down to it, many of those working to review music can't deliver much more than... well... 'post-industrial doodlings'.
Which is why I so admire those who do it well. Those that can listen to a CD and write a synopsis that is not just the same old regurgitation of the same old phrases.
Because I have to admit, it's gotten to the point where I go into reading any review with some amount of skepticism that it will tell me anything at all.