Author Topic: One day all music reviews will be like this...  (Read 1764 times)

Looknorth

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2008, 09:36:09 AM »
Obviously I've not heard the album, but mere mention of the name Black Crowes is enough for me to award it 0 stars.

Ha ha, do you not like 'southern harmony...' then NC? It happens to be a great album.

Looknorth

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2008, 09:38:06 AM »
I remember with fondness the posters for some music shop or other that used "I Hate Myself And I Want To Buy" as a hookline, just after Mr. Cobain's failed attempt at extreme dentistry. Loads of Nirvana fans threatened to boycot them so they changed it, the pussies. I'd like to have seen the breezy magazine reviews for "Metal Machine Music", myself.

Hee hee, I'd not heard that, but that's great. More anti-angst slogans please. Doesn't over-angst get your goat? It gets mine.

Beagle 2

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2008, 11:58:44 AM »
Swells talking a load of old shite about the whole affair:

Quote
The story so far: the US edition of soft-core Maxim has been forced to grovel like a whipped dog after it reviewed albums by Nas and the Black Crowes, apparently without hearing them in their entirety  "Incredulously, the magazine gave the album a two-and-a-half star rating, although neither the writer nor the editor could have heard more than one song," said the Crowes who, unbelievable as it might seem, don't know how to use the word "incredulously. The review was "a disgrace to the arts, journalism, critics, the publication itself and the public," said Crowe's manager, Pete Angelus (who - incredulous as it might seem - didn't go on to compare the review to the Holocaust, the Crusades and slavery.)

To which I'd like to reply: Bollocks. Maxim did absolutely nothing wrong - apart, perhaps, from assuming that their onanistic readership are at all interested  in smelly beard rock.
Picture this: You're on a blind date and it isn't going well. The scruffy, patchouli-reeking fellow opposite appears to be very old and severely stoned . He has breadcrumbs in his beard and has poured soup all down the front of his hideous polyester mock-lumberjack shirt. He alternately drones and mumbles, sounding horribly like your granddad. Although the date's only five minutes old, surely you'd be justified in saying: "Dude, you disgust me. You obviously deep-down suck. There's no way I'm going to shag you. Goodbye."
Or let's say you're dining alone. The first course contains human hair and rat faeces. Are you really obliged to stay for cheese and biscuits before telling everybody it's a festering hellhole that should be shut down and demolished?
 
Maxim, get off your knees. Of course it's part of the Crowes' mouldy old retro schtick that they cling to the fusty rockist concept of "the album" as an indivisible work of art, rather than a collection of hastily slung together, speed-written and semi-improvised pop songs. The idea that critics are morally obliged to wait until the record company deign to bestow the finished product upon them, before coming to the conclusion that the new album's probably gonna be a buncha pre-chewed Sub-Stonesian comfort-food bluesathons (just like all the other albums), is ridiculous. I mean, do you ever need to hear another track by Los Campesinos to know that everything they're ever going to record is going to be smug rubbish? Of course not. Kurt Cobain had it right: "Here we are now, entertain us." This is pop. Give us your very best shot, the hook right up front. And then maybe we'll waste some of our oh-so-precious time on this planet listening to the rest of your dreck - rather than that served by the other too-tight-leotard-wearing pop whores queuing up in the wings, all nervously anticipating their nanosecond in the audition spotlight .

I speak as a former NME singles reviewer, forged in the white-hot furnace of the war against bad pop, hardened by the desperate struggle to winnow down hundreds upon hundreds of new releases into an erudite and witty commentary, all the while staring out of the window at a London basking in sunshine and bursting with sexual possibility. And I really, really listened to every single song all the way through, just in case it got really good in the last five seconds or something.
Actually it was more like this. Pull, place, drop needle, play (wait ten seconds) skriiiiit, toss. Next.
I have wasted entire years of my life staring at appalling bands, willing the next song not to be awful. Eventually you figure it out. If a band are any good at all they'll play their best toon first. And that toon will deliver a killer hook in the first 30 seconds.
Black Crowes, you had your chance. You teased us with one filthy, flabby, crudely tattooed ankle. We rightly surmised that you'd not acquired the bodies of sexually desirable bronzed pop gods since the last time we saw you naked.
Get over it.

No, I just reckon you should listen to songs before reviewing them, and no, I don't have much sympathy for your harrowing tales of listening to some records and getting paid for it, when you would inevitably just write a load of autopilot "angry" cliched ranting not relating to music in the finished article anyway. Which was admittedly quite funny sometimes. But still, boo hoo music journo's, fucking hell. You get over it.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2008, 12:02:04 PM »
Christ, I really dislike Swells.  I've got sympathy for his recent illness plight, but I disliked his writing whilst he was at the NME slavering over Daphne & Celeste, and I dislike it now..

Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2008, 12:24:16 PM »
Where's that Swells thing from?

Beagle 2

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #35 on: February 29, 2008, 01:35:18 PM »
It was on the guardian website today.

chand

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #36 on: February 29, 2008, 03:38:05 PM »
Swells talking a load of old shite about the whole affair:

No, I just reckon you should listen to songs before reviewing them, and no, I don't have much sympathy for your harrowing tales of listening to some records and getting paid for it, when you would inevitably just write a load of autopilot "angry" cliched ranting not relating to music in the finished article anyway. Which was admittedly quite funny sometimes. But still, boo hoo music journo's, fucking hell. You get over it.

I've always found Swells' writing a bit tedious. He kinda misses the point here; if the Maxim reviewer had admitted they hadn't heard it but said they expected it to be shit, then it would be pretty lazy but no-one would really care. It's the pretence that has got some people bothered (not many though, although primarily because hardly anyone likes the Black Crowes).

NoSleep

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #37 on: February 29, 2008, 04:05:48 PM »
I've seen several reviews of the recently issued 2CD of the complete Disco 3000 sessions by Sun Ra. In each and every one of them they trot out the lie that Art Yard printed in the liner notes: that June Tyson sings on the extended set. NO SHE DOESN'T! I can hear Michael Ray's voice beneath Ra's & Gilmore's more familiar tones, but no June. Somebody at the record company no doubt took a wrong guess, and the reviewers clearly didn't listen.

Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #38 on: February 29, 2008, 04:18:50 PM »
For a long time I found Swells a very entertaining writer (his collaborations with Quantick in the NME's Culture Vulture were painfully funny), but couldn't shake off the idea that he had an appalling record collection.

George Oscar Bluth II

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2008, 04:46:40 PM »
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/38853-shine-on

Compulsary post in a thread like this, I think?


Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2008, 07:21:34 PM »
I had a friend who is currently at the NME and at the Stool Pigeon. She'd go and do a review and be told what she had to write before seeing the band, but would try and give her opinion, only for it to be changed before it got to print anyway. Bands like Bloc Party and the Mystery Jets had to be given positive reviews, regardless of how shit she thought they were. Whats the point in employing a journalist if you don't want their opinion?

Little Hoover

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2008, 07:26:33 PM »
God that is depressing, I really do hate the world sometimes.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2008, 08:01:37 PM »
I had a friend who is currently at the NME and at the Stool Pigeon. She'd go and do a review and be told what she had to write before seeing the band, but would try and give her opinion, only for it to be changed before it got to print anyway. Bands like Bloc Party and the Mystery Jets had to be given positive reviews, regardless of how shit she thought they were. Whats the point in employing a journalist if you don't want their opinion?

Empire have a similar-ish policy, the journalist will see the film but upon returning to the office they take a vote on how good or bad the film is (which is often based on just what the editor thinks), and then the journo will have to write the review whether or not he agrees with the result of the office vote.

NoSleep

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2008, 08:16:39 PM »
The last I heard, NME had a policy of only writing about bands that advertised within their pages, which I didn't think boded well for the future of music (at least within its pages).

boki

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #45 on: March 01, 2008, 08:16:46 PM »
I had a friend who is currently at the NME and at the Stool Pigeon. She'd go and do a review and be told what she had to write before seeing the band, but would try and give her opinion, only for it to be changed before it got to print anyway. Bands like Bloc Party and the Mystery Jets had to be given positive reviews, regardless of how shit she thought they were. Whats the point in employing a journalist if you don't want their opinion?

Heh, this is sort-of why I very quickly gave up on my very-shortly-held ambition to be a journo back in the dim and distant.  I wasn't aware of that sort of situation at the time, of course, but what I did realise was the vast difference in the quality of my school work when I actually had some interest in the subject of the essay we were set.  It didn't take long to realise how little difference there was between being given a job by an editor and being set an essay by a teacher.

boki

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Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2008, 08:20:27 PM »
The last I heard, NME had a policy of only writing about bands that advertised within their pages, which I didn't think boded well for the future of music (at least within its pages).

I've heard that a lot of music mags work that way, and also that labels have to buy onto cover-mounted CDs in certain publications.  It's a far cry from the budget-priced sampler days, innit?

Re: One day all music reviews will be like this...
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2008, 11:03:03 AM »
One of the small magazines I once wrote for had a policy.  A certain indie label would fund the cover mounted CD provided we gave all their artists glowing reviews.  One of the many reasons I gave it all up. 
That said, I'm about to start it all again, but this time I'm writing for ME, so there'll be no bias towards certain record labels, no-one telling me what to write; just my opinions as I see fit.  If they don't like it, fuck 'em.