Whenever I read a piece of writing about music (which is quite, quite often) I can easily end up with more questions than answers, which is part of the process of deciding how I should write my next piece about music. Some of the questions other music critics ask themselves:
[To be rhythmically spoken--or "rapped"--over top of any Grover Washington Jr. b-side from 1974 - 1977.]
1. Is the primary readership of rock criticism other rock critics?
2. If so, is there something wrong with that?
3. Is the concept of "community" antithetical to the ideals of rock criticism?
4. Outside of discussions of geometry, does the word "angular" mean anything?
5. Should rock critics force themselves to listen to music they wouldn't listen to otherwise?
6. Would the world be a better place if the term "rock critic" was replaced by "music critic" or "pop critic"?
7. Are diminishing word lengths in record reviews really a bad thing?
8. If so, for whom?
9. Is it necessary--or even helpful--for rock critics to know something about music (technically speaking, that is--i.e., music theory)?
10. Is it necessary or helpful to know the biography (or the "back story") of the artist you're reviewing?
11. Does a record's popularity (or lack thereof) have any bearing at all on how it actually sounds?
12. Is it a rock critic's job to try and sell a particular artist (or their records) to the reader?
13. Will people still want to pay to read rock magazines in 5 or 10 years time?
14. If "everyone's a critic" is no one a critic?
15. Is the phrase "osmotic tongue pressure" really as abstract as it sounds?
16. Do critics limit themselves when they write with a particular readership in mind?
17. Should rock critics be "in touch with" what younger people are listening to? (Or for that matter, anyone not part of their immediate peer group?)
18. Are any musicians truly "beneath contempt"-- and therefore not worth consideration by critics?
19. Is the idea that a great recording can come from anywhere just an urban legend?
20. In terms of genre, is it better for music magazines to be locked into a particular niche or should they jump around all over the place?
21. If I went back to a Hoopty from a Benz, would you poof and disappear like some of my friends?
via rockcritics daily
Lately I've been asking:
22. Shouldn't a music critic write about the music?
23. Shouldn't a music critic describe how the music actually sounds?
24. Will a music critic tell me what the music does?