It can be a daunting task to take an album, that a band most likely poured a lot of themselves into and tell people it’s no good and not to buy it. In the same way not everyone is cut out to be in a band, not everyone or anyone is able to be the one to judge music for the masses, Simple as that.
So what’s the point of this article? Is it just a way to give myself or reviewers an excuse when our reviews are terrible? It could be, but mostly it’s just a look at what goes in to writing an album review.
A good reviewer can take an album, describe the music and the style and subtly let the reader know what they thought of it without pushing their opinions as fact.
Word Choice: Sometimes I feel like I run into the problem of which words to use, and maybe people who also review music can relate. When writing about the same genre all the time certain words tend to get Ã¢â‚¬Å“tiredÃ¢â‚¬. For example there are only so many times you can say Ã¢â‚¬Å“Driving guitarÃ¢â‚¬ and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Soaring vocalsÃ¢â‚¬ to mention a few. Writing good reviews takes someone skilled in the descriptive department.
Comparing bands to other bands: This is a common thing that is done in reviews, and just in life. It’s not the worst thing ever, but pretty close, because instead of having to describe how the music sounds you can just say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“oh you know Ã¢â‚¬Å“Band XÃ¢â‚¬ yeah, they sound similar to themÃ¢â‚¬. It’s the easy way out from the writers prospective. As the reader I feel like I’m being mislead, because I know no band is going to sound exactly the same but I still get let down slightly when they aren’t a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Taking Back SundayÃ¢â‚¬ clone. A side note on that, I know every band does not sound like them so stop telling me this new hit band does.
Things not to do: There are a few things which are just things which should not be done when writing reviews (most of which can be found in my album reviews). When you spend more time talking about why you should go buy an album than the music on the record, it becomes more of a sell sheet than a Ã¢â‚¬Å“reviewÃ¢â‚¬. The next thing which I actually do quite a lot but don’t like is when the reviewer writes as if everyone is very familiar with the band and doesn’t write for a first time audience as well as the hardcore fan base. The golden rule or what should be the golden rule is when writing a review never do it with the goal of pleasing someone, whether it the publicist, band, or publication which it’s for.
Ultimately a good review comes down to whether or not it makes you interested in the band/record but some reviewers are definitely better at that than others. As always I like reader feedback, and so I want to know what we could do to improve reviews and/or which reviews you’ve enjoyed?