"What strikes me about pop criticism of late - and this afflicts the broadsheets as well - is the tyranny of received opinion. ...
"What gives here? Maybe writers are too hidebound by the notion of providing their readers with glorified consumer guides rather informed criticism. Maybe the sheer doggedness of the reviewer's task dulls the senses, precludes reflection and encourages the quick response. Are there so many mediocre albums coming out that, were reviewers to be honest, their negativity would send readers scurrying to the news section in search of some light relief? I think, as a record buyer, I honestly would prefer that.
"Give me rigour, insight and a healthy disregard for the dictates of fashion or received wisdom any day over the dull consensus that holds sway today. What I want is to be entertained, informed, and even jolted into a new way of thinking - listening? - by a review. For that to happen, as with fiction or classical music or film, it requires a close reading of the text - or record or film. And a willingness to fly in the face of received wisdom."
Want to listen to yet another music critic's paranoid wail, "Can't I Trust Anyone These Days?"
Of course you do!
(via our beloved Arts Journal Daily
(addendum: "Are there so many mediocre albums coming out that, were reviewers to be honest, their negativity would send readers scurrying to the news section in search of some light relief? "
My answer is a resounding yes to the first question, and a trip into the honking Hungarian saxophones and Balkan beats of Besh o droM to the latter. Or rollerskating or bowling, or perhaps communing with ducks and other feathered friends of the waterways and flyways; maybe not a swan, but certainly a wild goose.)