Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Album Reviews Are Soooooo Boring

I've worked as a journalist before, and written album reviews and whatnot. It's fun to write about music, but boring to read about it. 

OK, let's back up. No blanket statements. To me, it's boring to read about some music. For instance, any serious review of any rock record. It's great to find new songs on blogs, and a little bit of description (what instruments, comparisons, and so on) helps you to pick one song or band over another, but lengthy analyses of music don't hold my interest unless the music is extraordinarily complex and layered. Concert music or bebop for instance. Interviews with brilliant, entertaining, funny or batshit performers, too.

Reading a review in advance of hearing new work biases the reader, informing him or her of the journalist's opinions in the work. It sort of takes the thrill out of hearing a new piece if my expectations are guided. 

Alex G's new one is out now, and there's a lot of buzz around it. I'd already heard some of his earlier songs and liked them well enough to download it. I haven't taken the time yet to give it a listen (I prefer to give a new record my undivided) and I won't read Pitchfork or anyone else's reviews of it because I want every word and every note that I hear to bring into my mind its own associations, its own connotations and images. 

Besides, those reviewers are just soooooo serious.