Music criticism boot camp, week 314 | Criticism by comparison
This is the Internet. Hello. Welcome. Glad you could make it. You fuckhead.
Here, the need for words is sometimes obviated by the sheer wealth of resources. I mean, not that it’s not fun to drive and talk. I mean, not that it’s not fun to eat pizza with chilli sauce and read Woman Rebel. I mean, not that it’s not fun to stroke your partner’s thighs and demand they keep silent.
For example. You might be thinking that this version is actually – perhaps surprisingly, considering image and Zeitgeist and fondness for bad male dancing partners – pretty darn fine.
Especially when you compare it to this.
But, of course, one person’s cup of saccharine-sweetened piss-weak reheated coffee is another person’s cup of golden Java. (One person’s Starbucks is another’s precious recorded-over Daniel Johnston tape.) Heaven forbid we upset the 80s revivalist and New Labour faction among the music press (read their brand-new manifesto HERE) by claiming something to be ‘superior’ to something else.
When I was a mere strip of an editor, some of the first words to go from anyone’s review – as space was always at a premium – were the phrases “I think” and “in my opinion”. Yes yes, I’d patiently explain, eyes raised to the sky in forlorn hope that a lightning strike should happen by and reduce said pitiful mewling retch to less than pixie dust, I’m fully aware that’s what you think. I know it’s your opinion. You wrote the damn thing, after all.
These days, you’d think it’d be a given. But it seems that it is now mandatory that anyone who does have an opinion in web 2.0 environments has to add in those words, to explicitly make clear that this is THEIR opinion, not anyone else’s… and Bangs forbid you should make judgement calls on taste. See those big STOP signs chundering down the street? NOT ALLOWED. NOT ALLOWED.
Sorry. Where was I?
Oh yeah. Miley. Behaving all grown-up like all those damn boring grown-ups want her to. You might well think that her version of ‘Lilac Wine’ is pretty darn fine. Especially when compared to the Pearl Jam of folk, Jeff Buckley.
The trouble is, there’s always a singer like this, just round the corner….
Once again, Collapse Board shows the way forward for music critics in web 2.0 environments. You’d think someone would put us on a retainer, the way we’re constantly saving the form from redundancy.
Kimbra. No. No, don’t Kimbra. Please don’t.