Grab your thesaurus and gather your metaphors, it's time for an album review!

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#1
Music reviews these days are a complete head wreak. Instead of reviewing the music they seem to wonder off in to a world full of hyperbole's and metaphors. Sputnikmusic is the worst offender, I feel physically sick when I read through their reviews.

Here's an example:
http://thequietus.com/articles/07997-burial-pseud-quotes
When Burial's Kindred EP was released digitally on Sunday, it whipped up something of an online storm, with reviewers (ourselves included) lining up to proclaim it one of his best works to date. More than most, there's something about Burial's music that seems to inspire ordinarily fairly grounded journalists and critics to start earnestly spouting metaphor, dodgy poetry and urban imagery


"The half-formed voices and city sounds that echo across his recordings ask similar questions of their audience as a broken toy in an abandoned house might: who did these traces belong to? Who were they? Where are they now? And are these things left behind signifiers of happiness or sadness?" the Quietus

"The tinkling of glass jars being tapped, vocals crackling through earphones and the engine hum of a lonely road trip are just some of the visual pictures he paints here. The totality of his vision is one of a restless inner city. The city that never sleeps. Or indeed wakes from its insomniac fug." NME

"This time it's overloaded with funereal synths and arpeggios that twirl frantically in anguish as if they had nowhere else to go, saturating the cloudy soundscape with particulate matter so intricate it's a wonder all this sound data can be contained in a single mp3, nevermind a groove in wax. The fluttering effects are only further confused by the bleary smudge of it all, cinematic and grand but stuck in Burial's world of canned frequencies: The locust-swarm effect of the filters is impossibly stirring, far more visceral than perfect clarity ever could have been." Pitchfork

"It’s a kind of clotted and autistic facsimile of dancefloor communion – not quite the elegiac mourning of rave that Burial’s supposedly known for, so much as a deeply alienated re-interpretation of it." FACT Magazine

"On the handful of singles and two classic albums he's released through Hyperdub, the formerly anonymous producer has placed that love of music in the context of deep loss: from HDB001 through to last year's seemingly out-of-nowhere Street Halo EP, a generation of heads heard that nameless rave—the archetype that's long been the itch in Burial's subconscious—drift ever onward toward its vanishing point." Resident Advisor

"At around four minutes and 15 seconds into the 11 minute and 26 second track, the movement ends with the crackling of a waiting turntable, or the crunching page of an old book, or a corrupted transition on celluloid. The page is turned; a theme found throughout the record." Artvoice

"It shows the artist as being, perhaps for the first time, hesitant, not of direction but approach. For the first time he fails to truly internalize the struggle that’s long been present in his music, the constant push and pull, the back and forth that’s been at the core of his dichotomy, the split identity of Bevan the day worker, and Bevan as Burial, the last man pushing the buttons to keep the moon in orbit." Sputnik Music

"There is a muscularness here that has been heretofore unseen, instead of feeling like a passive listener, traveling silently through urban streets, you feel like your feet are on the pavement, the danger around you, the clipped vocal samples are either the passers-by around you or the voices in your head." Mapped By What Surrounded Them.

I mean wtf?
#5
Music reviews have gotten really, really self-important.
*-)
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#6
This isn't a problem limited solely to album reviews. A lot of modern literature has been overwhelmed by 'purple writing' simply because the ability to produce and publish literature is accessible to far less literately capable people than it used to be, people who think that using obscure words equate to literary skill. Literature is suffering a similar problem to music; that being the watering down of the art-form with less capable artists, it's just that nobody gives a flying **** about literature, which is a shame.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#7
Quote by TheReverend724
I like music reviews (plus I'm an active member on sputnik >_>

but I agree the overuse of hyperbole and pretentious writing is a bit of an annoyance


Especially in Wutai's review.

#8
Quote by Jackintehbox
This happens because critically reviewing music is impossible anyway.


This.

Plus, most reviewers seem like failed English students.
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#9
Quote by Jackintehbox
This happens because critically reviewing music is impossible anyway.

True, but is it really that hard to use simple words? I mean just tell me that the song includes a distorted, delayed guitar part rather than a 'thunderous, pulsating, abrasive guitar melody that echos through the dark, mystical woods'.
#10
They just want to seem like the next Roger fucking Ebert.
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#11
I'm guessing they're all failed songwriters themselves.

I don't normally read music reviews. If I want to know if a record is any good, I'll listen to it.
I will admit that all the hyperbole in the review makes the music seem a lot more interesting than it probably is.
#12
Quote by Duffman123
True, but is it really that hard to use simple words? I mean just tell me that the song includes a distorted, delayed guitar part rather than a 'thunderous, pulsating, abrasive guitar melody that echos through the dark, mystical woods'.

I write like that because if I write normally my papers usually end up being 3 pages instead of 8
#13
Quote by Duffman123
True, but is it really that hard to use simple words? I mean just tell me that the song includes a distorted, delayed guitar part rather than a 'thunderous, pulsating, abrasive guitar melody that echos through the dark, mystical woods'.

That doesn't really tell you much about the reviewers opinion or what he's getting from the song though. Loads of songs could have a 'distorted delayed guitar'.. what does that tell me about the vibe of the song? Very little. The point of reviews i've always thought, was to find ones you tend to agree upon and then follow them in order to find other songs or albums that you might like since you know already you agree with the reviewer most of the time.
#14
Quote by TheReverend724
I write like that because if I write normally my papers usually end up being 3 pages instead of 8

Yeah it's fine writing like that if you're in an English literature exam or something, but not in music. Especially since music effects everyone differently and we all feel different emotions when listening to it.
#15
Quote by Duffman123
Yeah it's fine writing like that if you're in an English literature exam or something, but not in music. Especially since music effects everyone differently and we all feel different emotions when listening to it.

That's why they're using such emotional language.
It's hard to convey music through language. They are writing about what the record means to them.
#16
Quote by Zoot Allures
That doesn't really tell you much about the reviewers opinion or what he's getting from the song though. Loads of songs could have a 'distorted delayed guitar'.. what does that tell me about the vibe of the song? Very little. The point of reviews i've always thought, was to find ones you tend to agree upon and then follow them in order to find other songs or albums that you might like since you know already you agree with the reviewer most of the time.

Yeah but the reviewer could then go on to describe how well the melody goes along with the bass line, or how it affects the mood of the track, without the need of using stupid imagery.
#17
Quote by sashki
That's why they're using such emotional language.
It's hard to convey music through language. They are writing about what the record means to them.

I agree
#19
Quote by Simsimius
This.

Plus, most reviewers seem like English teachers.


Fixed.

Ever wondered why these people are stuck reviewing music in little columns or on independent websites when they clearly have some kind of degree in some form of language or literature study.

Because they feel the need to throw every writing technique into a paragraph as physically possible. It's pretty obvious most of these wanted to write some great novel, but the publishers laughed at them because of the sheer amount of crap they write.
#20
Quote by sashki
That's why they're using such emotional language.
It's hard to convey music through language. They are writing about what the record means to them.

But idc what the record means to them, all I want to know is whether the albums is good and whether it works well as a whole. And all that can be easily portrayed without the use of over the top wankery.
#21
Metaphors I can handle.
Overly personalized attacks I can't.
Example in a good review: Man Iron Man was good! See, Ben Affleck? There CAN be good super heroes and not absolute bullshit.
Example in a bad review: I didn't like Adaptation.. It was a great story but I just can't stand Nicolas Cage.

I'm looking at you, Armond White.
#22
Quote by Duffman123
But idc what the record means to them, all I want to know is whether the albums is good and whether it works well as a whole. And all that can be easily portrayed without the use of over the top wankery.


A review consisting of which notes were played in which order with what tone would be rubbish. Reviews are all about the impression the art leaves on the beholder.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#23
Review: "Grab your thesaurus and gather your metaphors, it's time for an album review!"

I encountered this thread while idly inhaling a cigarette, its smoke forming gaseous clouds reminiscent of the tainted air of some valley inundated with the fumes of antiquated factories which line the tattered, ocher horizon.

The first post cried out, a lone loon swimming across a vast lake of humanity's conciousness, searching endlessly for some meaning in this plane of existence. It found none.

The other users swarmed to post, the famished hordes gnawing at the carcass of some giant beast. Their hunger coursed through me. My stomach rumbled in empathy, craving satisfaction. The walls undulated, slick with acid which would decompose the canvas of their conversation...
#24
Some of those descriptions are fantastic, some are just confusing. It's easy to take the piss on anything if you group it all together.

I usually just use music reviews for their rating so I can decide which album to download first if I'm just getting into an artist/collective/soundscape/whirlywhindnoises


edit: lmao bravo ^
Last edited by SleepinGiant at Feb 23, 2012,
#25
Quote by SleepinGiant
Some of those descriptions are fantastic, some are just confusing. It's easy to take the piss on anything if you group it all together.

I usually just use music reviews for their rating so I can decide which album to download first if I'm just getting into an artist/collective/soundscape/whirlywhindnoises


edit: lmao bravo ^



Pretty much this. I listen to an album first if it's an artist i like, or look at the actual numerical rating if it's one I don't know yet but want to check out. Once I give the album a listen, I read the review and see if we're on the same wavelength.
#26
Quote by MakinLattes
Review: "Grab your thesaurus and gather your metaphors, it's time for an album review!"

I encountered this thread while idly inhaling a cigarette, its smoke forming gaseous clouds reminiscent of the tainted air of some valley inundated with the fumes of antiquated factories which line the tattered, ocher horizon.

The first post cried out, a lone loon swimming across a vast lake of humanity's conciousness, searching endlessly for some meaning in this plane of existence. It found none.

The other users swarmed to post, the famished hordes gnawing at the carcass of some giant beast. Their hunger coursed through me. My stomach rumbled in empathy, craving satisfaction. The walls undulated, slick with acid which would decompose the canvas of their conversation...

I read this in the voice of Max Payne.
#27
Quote by MakinLattes
Review: "Grab your thesaurus and gather your metaphors, it's time for an album review!"

I encountered this thread while idly inhaling a cigarette, its smoke forming gaseous clouds reminiscent of the tainted air of some valley inundated with the fumes of antiquated factories which line the tattered, ocher horizon.

The first post cried out, a lone loon swimming across a vast lake of humanity's conciousness, searching endlessly for some meaning in this plane of existence. It found none.

The other users swarmed to post, the famished hordes gnawing at the carcass of some giant beast. Their hunger coursed through me. My stomach rumbled in empathy, craving satisfaction. The walls undulated, slick with acid which would decompose the canvas of their conversation...

Horrible review man 0/10
#29
Quote by Duffman123
Horrible review man 0/10

But I spent four years and 30k on a creative writing degree
#30
Quote by MakinLattes
But I spent four years and 30k on a creative writing degree


Best not be mocking CW, brah!
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#31
Quote by Saint78
Watch the Needle Drop.


I hate that man-shaped being of pure pretentiousness, but I love watching him review things.
~don't finkdinkle when ur supposed to be dimpdickin~
#32


I can't help but snicker at all of these. Can these people please be barred from writing about anything ever again?

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#33
Quote by Primus2112
I hate that man-shaped being of pure pretentiousness, but I love watching him review things.


He talks to his audience like he probably talks to his cats. Now the reviews will sound even more arrogant and pretentious. You're welcome.
you're a stone fox
#34
Quote by MakinLattes
Review: "Grab your thesaurus and gather your metaphors, it's time for an album review!"

I encountered this thread while idly inhaling a cigarette, its smoke forming gaseous clouds reminiscent of the tainted air of some valley inundated with the fumes of antiquated factories which line the tattered, ocher horizon.

The first post cried out, a lone loon swimming across a vast lake of humanity's conciousness, searching endlessly for some meaning in this plane of existence. It found none.

The other users swarmed to post, the famished hordes gnawing at the carcass of some giant beast. Their hunger coursed through me. My stomach rumbled in empathy, craving satisfaction. The walls undulated, slick with acid which would decompose the canvas of their conversation...
This is why you're my favorite.
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#36
"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink." - George Orwell
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Be subtle with it. Don't like molest him.

And cup his balls.


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If there's anything to take away from this thread, anything at all, it's to always cup the balls.
#37
I'd rather music reviewers show they gave an album the time of day by using self-important voice than pulling the shit Christgau does.
#38
Quote by shavorules42
"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink." - George Orwell


Dayum
you're a stone fox
#39
Quote by Duffman123
But idc what the record means to them, all I want to know is whether the albums is good and whether it works well as a whole. And all that can be easily portrayed without the use of over the top wankery.


Just go on MetaCritic and read the accumulative score, then.

You have a lovely 100-scale rating, and the words are optional to read.

Problem solved.

Or you could just read AllMusic instead of visiting shitty sites like Pitchfork.
#40
Quote by hriday_hazarika
Just go on MetaCritic and read the accumulative score, then.

You have a lovely 100-scale rating, and the words are optional to read.

Problem solved.

Or you could just read AllMusic instead of visiting shitty sites like Pitchfork.

Yeah MetaCritic is good, allmusic is awful though, they only gave Holly Valance's second album State of Mind 4 1/2 stars. I mean for an album to do such an amazing job of mixing a lot of styles it deserves 5 stars imo, and state of mind is the pop song of the century.

If only rotten tomatoes had a section for music.
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