I read a lot of music criticism. I'm always looking for something new, something interesting, something I haven't heard before. It's a great way to get exposed to new music. And I love music. I'll read about bands, have a listen for myself and then make up my own mind. I like to see if the reviewer's enthusiasm for a band matches my own. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Let's face it, seeking out new music on the radio is a total waste of time. Nowadays, every single band on every 'rock' station can be sorted into the following groups:
a) Bands that sound like Pearl Jam
b) Bands that sound like Metallica
c) Bands that sound like Radiohead (circa 1995)
d) Bands that sound like The Ramones
I'm serious. Turn on the radio and just listen. Each band you hear will fit into one of those categories. Only not as good. You're better off just listening to the bands I listed above. I go to Pitchfork.com alot. It's a great site for anyone looking for something different. I've found so much great music there, music I would never hear on the radio. Music that doesn't fit into any of the above categories.
Now, I'm not writing an endorsement here. That's not why I'm writing this. I do have some problems with what they do. You see, I have noticed a pattern with their reviews. And it applies to pretty much every artist. They rate albums out of 10.0. Now, I know critics have to apply a grade for a review, but I really dislike this system. I think it's the decimal which bothers me. If an album were rated a 6 or a 7, I think I would have a clearer idea of what the critic thought of the music. But a 6.1 or a 6.6? What is the difference? Know what I mean?
For an artist's debut album, they love it. It will get a great review. For the second album, a bit more critical, but still a solid rating. Every single album after that? Trashed. Not every time, but most of the time.
Take Weezer. I found a review of their album 'Make Believe'. Pitchfork gave it 0.4 out of 10. That's right, 0.4. Which seems a tad harsh. After reading that I could only deduct three things.
1) The writer clearly did not enjoy listening to this album. That much is obvious. Bad Weezer.
2) Even though it was given 0.4 out of 10, it was apparently better than a 0.3. Nice job Weezer.
3) However, the album was not good enough to be given a 0.5. I guess it was just missing something. Better luck next time Weezer.
Check the site out if you want. If you like Weezer, don't bother.