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Thread: The Allman Betts Band

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    Itís hard to go by reviews. I remember a quote that went itís easy to be a critic just say everything sucks and youíll never be wrong. Sometimes I think that the way critics think.
    I'm glad you said "sometimes," because if this is your general impression, I can tell you, not just from my own experience as a music journalist/writer (I hate the term critic, to be honest), but from that of the many writers to whom I aspire, that this is simply not the truth and is, instead, a whitewashing that discourages those who treat writing about music (or anything) as something that must be approached with hard work and research.

    Yes, there are some that as you describe, but far from anywhere near the majority, at least in my experience. Most of us are trying to inform readers and contextualize a release or a show into the artist's overall career, with the hopes that if we've done our job, we're not telling you whether or not you'll like it; we're hoping that, once you've read whatever article at-hand, you'll be informed enough (or, perhaps, further informed enough!) to make your own decision. Whether or not I like something has little meaning. Providing you with as much information as possible so you can make the decision for yourself is the real objective.

    That doesn't mean you can't have criticism (check out my review of Manu Katchť's performance in my Montreal Jazz Festival review, published today. I was disappointed, but hardly suggested it "sucked." Instead, I explained why it was a disappointing show - what I think/hope are good enough reasons as to why it was less than satisfying. That's what I strive for and it's also what all the writers to whom I look up do as well.

    It is, in fact, very discouraging to work as hard as I and my colleagues do, only to read whitewashing statements like this.

    And hey, I absolutely don't expect everyone to like how I write. Nor do I expect everyone to agree with me. But I do hope that folks respect the time and effort put into each and every article, to perhaps help you make up your mind (if you need that; many don't) or, otherwise, to just maybe give you a different perspective, one that might give you cause to pause and view music you might already know through a different prism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    The only thing that really matters is whether you like it or not.
    This is absolutely true. But, as above, a good review can still provide information and context that, if you're uncertain as to whether or not the subject at hand is for you, you'll be in a better position to make that decision after you've read it. That's what every good writer I know aims for.

    The others? A truth is, indeed, that the internet has made everyone a "critic." But those who actually work at it, strive to always get better and inform their readers? There's a difference.

    Sorry, but I had to throw this in. Suffering, as I do, with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (I've only written 10 articles this year - there was a time when I did that every couple of weeks!) has made it increasingly difficult to write and write (what I hope is) well. It's beyond disheartening to see this kind of viewpoint, though not only because of my own situation, but because I really do know far too many writers who are trying to be responsible and write articles that add value for their readers.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    I'm glad you said "sometimes," because if this is your general impression, I can tell you, not just from my own experience as a music journalist/writer (I hate the term critic, to be honest), but from that of the many writers to whom I aspire, that this is simply not the truth and is, instead, a whitewashing that discourages those who treat writing about music (or anything) as something that must be approached with hard work and research.

    Yes, there are some that as you describe, but far from anywhere near the majority, at least in my experience. Most of us are trying to inform readers and contextualize a release or a show into the artist's overall career, with the hopes that if we've done our job, we're not telling you whether or not you'll like it; we're hoping that, once you've read whatever article at-hand, you'll be informed enough (or, perhaps, further informed enough!) to make your own decision. Whether or not I like something has little meaning. Providing you with as much information as possible so you can make the decision for yourself is the real objective.

    That doesn't mean you can't have criticism (check out my review of Manu Katchť's performance in my Montreal Jazz Festival review, published today. I was disappointed, but hardly suggested it "sucked." Instead, I explained why it was a disappointing show - what I think/hope are good enough reasons as to why it was less than satisfying. That's what I strive for and it's also what all the writers to whom I look up do as well.

    It is, in fact, very discouraging to work as hard as I and my colleagues do, only to read whitewashing statements like this.

    And hey, I absolutely don't expect everyone to like how I write. Nor do I expect everyone to agree with me. But I do hope that folks respect the time and effort put into each and every article, to perhaps help you make up your mind (if you need that; many don't) or, otherwise, to just maybe give you a different perspective, one that might give you cause to pause and view music you might already know through a different prism.


    This is absolutely true. But, as above, a good review can still provide information and context that, if you're uncertain as to whether or not the subject at hand is for you, you'll be in a better position.
    I apologize for not being very clear. What I was really thinking of is all the reviews from regular people online and not critics themselves who review music for a living. Iíve read reviews on Amazon of albums where some will say itís terrible and others will say itís great for the same album.


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