You fucking fuck downer
Digging: Twin Shadow - Confess
yeah what an asshole
Digging: Bibio - Silver Wilkinson
agreed, let's get 'im
liledman makes good points i think
i agree that to treat an album as simply an object of cultural history detached from any aesthetic
import is Lamedog but i also urge against us becoming high schoolers who are all like "teacher shut
up theres no SYMBOLISM there" when that sort of base, instant-reaction-centric approach can divest a
work of its power in unexpected ways
it's cool, your review sorta sells it, but i'm almost inclined to side with ian cohen when the
apparent alternative to his approach is just like "guys this is really good" or "guys this slays"
limned with a few paragraphs about how ian cohen is lame and stuff--which, yeah, is slightly
yea alex's 2nd paragraph hits the nail on the head
Digging: Anchor & Braille - Felt
"teacher shut up theres no SYMBOLISM there"
They do that shitloads more than you'd expect, even.
It's cool to talk about symbolism as long as it's overt enough that you're not grasping at straws.
And as long as it's really important to the album. But I think it's a rare thing for lyrical
symbolism to be the most important quality of music. Not that it can't be, I just think it's rare.
Oftentimes, it seems more like the emotion and presentation of the lyrics (coupled with the lyrical
content itself, of course) best demonstrates the message of the band's lyrical and sonic message.
And it means more in terms of the review than an 8th grade poetry deconstruction of the lyrics does.
Unless the singer's lyrics were written by the Riddler, it's unlikely that you'll have to dig far
(well, I mean as long as you're fairly intelligent) to understand the point when you have all of
those factors put together. And if you do, maybe it's more worthwhile to discuss their cryptic
nature than it is to try your hand at amateur psychoanalysis.
Leave that stuff to the people at Cobalt and Calcium who have been trying to figure out what Coheed
and Cambria's lyrics are all about for over a decade now.
Digging: TesseracT - Altered State
i guess my point was not a direct one about -symbolism- as much as it was a point about dukes-up resistance to looking into a piece of art/music/thing past your initial visceral impression. i get why this album seems like it might lend itself to a "simple" analysis, or one mostly about physicality rather than psychoanalysis or whatever. i'm just not sure this is the right way to go about that. nor am i sure that ian cohen is the right way to go about the opposite, but u know
yeah a-rob is right about the balance that we should be aiming for. Over-analysis pisses me off, but not nearly as much as "fans" that get pissed off whenever someone starts analyzing music with any depth at all. We'll always be in danger of treading into overly-critical or overly-simplistic waters, but hopefully the sane ones among us can keep some sort of balance in the equation.
Music criticism is important and interesting (for me anyway), but we definitely need to make sure that we don't take it too far. It may not seem like a big deal inherently, but this is very relevant in our modern music-consuming society if you ask me.
The best critics, the only ones I care to read, are those that can plant one foot firmly in each sphere and exist somewhere in the middle: primarily listening to music for enjoyment, but analyzing it with some intellectualism and depth when appropriate (or at least interesting to read).
i wouldn't chastise A-Downer necessarily for exploring that or finding issue with Cohen or trying to find an alternative but...well i find extradionarily lame quoting myself but this is an essay i wrote for a college application
"A constructive analysis of literature, for me, does not favor your immediate personal response to a text over the historical context of that work or vice versa. It rather adopts as its subject the crucial distance between these two things: that irrefutable gap between your gut reaction to a text and its external meaning as an object of history's relentless forward motion. Often forgotten, however, is a great book's ability to conflate these two things--to close that gap."
i didnt know exactly what i was talking about at the time but that sums it up for me except that i also believe a good piece of literary criticism also closes the gap. the art historian Leo Steinberg is one of the best in the world at this. the best tinymixtapes reviews ditto
I wasn't attempting to chastise downer at all. I actually like this review and would like to see the staff here start to be more creative with some of their reviews (maybe not in exactly this style, but there is something to be said for what he's going for here). My post was just in response to the thread so far.
agreed with that quote btw.
oh no when i said "i wouldn't" i wasn't aiming it at you though i see how that sounds now
yeah fuck just called you robert mb
what do you study at uni, or have you graduated?
me? i'm in high school lol
oh right i guess you said college application, i assumed that was old.
i also derisively referred to high schoolers in my earlier post its like im already outta here
Album Rating: 2.5
so you're my age? You come across as older
Digging: Still Corners - Strange Pleasures
Album Rating: 3.0
At the very least Downer, you have gotten people talking, which is the main thing.
That classroom image works quite well on top of what has been mentioned previously, robertsona. We should avoid both "symbolism is dumb" calls and just plain brown nosing. The problem that usually plagues the kind of reviews Downer refers to, is the fact that they seem to rely too heavily on the lyrics as a launching pad for socio-cultural critique. While this is not in itself a bad thing, if the musical analysis is not approached with the same rigour and depth, then it gives off the scent of liberal arts student, rather than music student (I apologise to anybody studying arts; just going with the metaphor). This is perhaps why many Pitchfork reviewers attract criticism, especially here.
Sputnik is I think refreshing in this case, as the amateur review is often a fanboy struggling with all of the imagery and metaphor he possesses to try and explain his lustful feelings towards the sounds of an album. A review with all of the extra cultural references and social awareness can be fantastic, and is generally quite impressive on the surface even when bereft of any musical detail, but may leave you still guessing as to the actual sound of the album. Sometimes I think these reviews just assume familiarity with the music and the bands history in order to more easily launch off into those other areas.
Reviews are an odd literary format, and when your audience is the world, a balance is hard to strike.