As I'm sure you might have noticed with my previous mini-review of the Schoolcraft single, something has slightly changed in the way that I present reviews and it is this: at least for this blog, I am abandoning a rating system.
Why, you might ask? Well, the reason is simple: I don't review anything I don't like. So to give a good rating to everything I review is rather redundant, don't you think?
Surely many of you have read my (few) reviews and wondered to yourself why I give everything such a high score. Quite honestly, when I decided that writing music reviews might just be “my thing”, I noticed an overabundance of snarky condescension, smugness, and downright hostility running rampant on the internet from online music reviewers. I have just never caught on to the whole “look how cool I am because I hate everything” attitude. If you hate a band or an album, why the fuck are you giving them free promotion by bashing them on your site? It just never made sense to me, and I don't suppose it ever will. I didn't want to be that kind of reviewer; I wanted to do something different, and put my writing skills to use in a more pro-active manner.
I might, for example, make a passing reference to something in general about music that I dislike; but as long as I have this blog open, I will continue to channel my energies in promoting the music I love, rather than to insult the music I hate. For me, that is the reason I enjoy writing reviews: it's sharing the love of music, not to act like a fucking snob who has to bash everything in order to show how vast my musical palate is. Perhaps those reviewers are far better at it than I am, but I know what my strengths are as a writer and being intentionally malicious is just not my style. For the time and effort it takes to write reviews, I'd rather spend it writing about a band that I think is going places and that I'm excited for other people to hear about. Going into rants about how dumbed-down pop music has become, to me, is like shooting fish in a barrel. It's almost too easy.
Above all this, I could never write a negative review if only for the plain fact that I can't stand the idea of giving any attention to a band I despise. If I don't like a band, artist, or style of music, then it doesn't exist for me. Therefore I don't want it to exist for other people either. If I write on my blog about a band I hate, then I'm giving attention to the things I dislike. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad press; and from every negative review written, there is always that percentage of readers who stumble upon it and wonder just what the fuss is about, and go out and buy an album out of sheer curiosity to hear what is so bad about this album that they garnered such negative feedback. So yes, I admit it's more for selfish reasons than any other. I'll be damned if I'll help sell any albums for a band or artist I think is crap. Even mentioning their names is giving them more attention than I want them to have. If I don't write about them, you don't know they exist and therefore in some small way, I hope to have prevented another sale of a shitty album. I would rather do just the opposite and write a glowing review about a band I like or an album I think is great, and if I can help them sell even just one extra album through my positive review, I will have considered that a job well done.
There are so many talented artists and so much exceptional music to share, that I think it is an absolute disservice to them that a writer should spend more time wading through all the garbage than to give proper attention to the diamonds in the rough instead. Whatever our own personal tastes in music may be, I'm sure most of us can agree that there are more than enough lumps of coal to go around!
So it is for these reasons that I have decided to just do away with a rating system when reviewing here on this blog altogether. If I'm going through the trouble of writing a review, then it is because I believe in the music enough to share my thoughts about it with all of you. I don't want to waste my time—or yours—on anything I think is sub-par. Whether you ultimately share my opinion about the music I choose to review here is another story; but at least you will know that for my part, the music you'll read about here is nothing less than what I am truly passionate about, therefore eliminating the need for a ratings system in the first place. While everything reviewed here is in a positive light, you also know that it is coming straight from the heart!