Why do people read album reviews? In an extremely rare moment of logical thought, I decided that was a question worth considering when I started writing them myself. Just seemed to me that if I really wanted anyone to give a fuck about what I wrote, it might make sense to figure out what people were looking for. Here are the answers I came up with:
First, some people are looking for advice in deciding whether to spend their time (and maybe their money) on the music.
Second, even if readers already know the band and have their own opinions about the album, they’re curious about how the particular writer has reacted to it, and why — maybe as validation for their own opinions, maybe as a test about whether their own musical taste has finally fallen all the way into the shitter.
And/or third, they want to be entertained by the writing — even if they don’t really give a crap about the album itself.
I read album reviews for all three of those reasons, and I try to keep those reasons in mind when I write my own, even though I know full well that (a) anyone who looks to me for advice is scraping rock-bottom; (b) no one in their right mind would use my opinion as a standard by which to judge their own; and (c) my best shot at being entertaining depends on using words like “shitter,” “crap,” “fuck,” and “anus” as often as possible.
For me, the best reviews are those that satisfy all three of the criteria listed above. But I confess that, more and more, I read reviews for the third reason — to be entertained. I still read reviews to find new music, though the truth is that I already have so much new music to hear that I need more like I need a second anus. And I figured out a long time ago that I like so much of what I hear that testing my opinions against those of respected critics would just make me feel even more retarded than I already feel.
So, realizing that the desire to be entertained is a big part of why I gravitate to particular reviews, I decided to sample for you some of the best lines I found in music reviews over the past week. Why? Because it’s fucking entertaining. (so, if you want to be fucking entertained, continue reading past the fucking jump . . .) Continue reading »