Monday, September 22, 2008

Review sites will always suck

Everytime i come back to this page i think to myself, "what can i say about what i'm listening to that lends any importance to an album that is likely already being reviewed by a thousand other embarrassingly amateur weblogs and music critic's websites?"
So unless i find myself with a lot more time on my hands, i'm not going to give number ratings and pretend to know more about an album than the artists that make them. I don't consider myself qualified. I'll keep this informal, which will let me write more. I hate to be so wishy washy, but i think i tried to do something that i really just can't bring myself to do. I was fooling.

I visited The Silent Ballet today (once linked on this blog, now removed) and saw 3 things off the bat:
They gave Mogwai's new album a 6.5. They gave Talkdemonic's new disc a 2.5 (what?!- is that even professional?). They gave my friend Jason's disc a 6. And it's not that they aren't entitled to their opinions. They are. It's just that, all of their reviews are by different writers, all varying in skill level, all varying in editing taste, all with very DIFFERENT opinions. What thousands of people are receiving in the form of a number score is just one pimple-faced college radio dj or aspiring "music journalist"s passing opinion. There is no cohesiveness. If i was the editor of that magazine, i'd never let anyone give a score as low as a 2.5, especially to such a great, creative, talented band like Talkdemonic. There seems to be no filter. Just a bunch of kids sitting in basements enjoying all the free promo cds in return for writing a shitty piece of paragraph once a month. I hate that website now, and i hate postrockxchange, for the same reason. They devour, not devote time to, music. Though they do pick good music to review, their reviews of them suck.
It's as many new bands as you can learn, as obscure as you can get. Microwave fishsticks. Instant gratification. Why pay homage to a band like Mogwai- to whom you owe the whole reason your stupid website was started- when you can shuffle right on by to find the next "new" thrilling group. Somebody to impress your friends with by obscurity.


Dot Eyes said...

I fully agree.

this little sonic iceberg said...

that was a bit of a rant, i know, but thanks.

Cory said...

This being the first post I read of your blog, I'm extremely happy to have come across it.

I agree with you on that subject not entirely, but more than enough to be extremely happy about reading it.

On a lighter note, I've seen an AWESOME alternative to giving an album one rating -- allowing the viewers of the blog to rate the album by way of a simple 1-5 star icon thingy that readers can click. The votes are tallied and averaged, so that after one votes, one can see the average score.

I think you'd agree that that is a really good rating system that most blogs should include if they wish to include any kind of rating at all.

In my blog, my goal is to simply provide music I enjoy or think is enjoyable or I have been listening to lately, also providing a really short description of the album. I don't really rate them; I felt it really unnecessary, and, like you, felt unqualified to do so.

I take it a little farther than that, though, which I think you hint to in your post: I don't think there are many people anywhere fully qualified to rate an album on some stupid 1-5, 1-10 scale.

Anyway, that's what I have to say. I'll be procrastinating an essay by reading your blog, and I'll be enjoying that time.