Mudcat Café message #2713592 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123141   Message #2713592
Posted By: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
01-Sep-09 - 08:09 AM
Thread Name: music critics,do we need them?
Subject: RE: music critics,do we need them?
I have a vast shelf full of books about music. Some of them are outstandingly well written and an absolute joy to read, often because they are not reduced to a dull list of facts, but riddled with debate, opinion, comment, hyperbole, contention and so on. I regularly read fRoots, The Wire, EDS and occasionally read Mojo - as much for the reviews as for anything else. A well written review by a good writer who loves music is a wonderful thing. The anti-reviewer sentiments on this thread smack of arrogance: "I'm going to put my music in a public arena but woe betide you if you dare to express an opinion about it"... though you don't hear too many complaints about positive reviews, do you?

I also refuse to trust any publication that fails to give bad reviews. To me it shows they have no notion that they are there to provide a service to consumers rather than pander to musicians' needs. One magazine I used to read consistently found something good about virtually everything they reviewed. As a result I wasted good money that I couldn't afford to squander on absolute shite and dreck before I realised they were in the business of sycophancy and not criticism.

I wonder if musicians in other genres, sculptors, painters, playwrights, novelists etc have the same attitude? Most I know are eager to get whatever column inches they can. At least it means someone has noticed them.

Finally, some musicians might believe they don't need reviewers but those of us who put our hands in our pockets - your victims as it were, definitely do.