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Here at sputnikmusic.com, we have a whole crap-load of users who have yet to write a review.  It’s not necessarily in my job description as a staff writer to notice things like that, but then again it’s not my job to stare at the leggy photographs in the liner notes for Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me for hours on end either, which is what my day generally consists of.  Some of these users are fairly established, with a few hundred comments or so.  It’s clear they’ve read plenty of reviews and would theoretically be able to accurately reconstruct one of them in their own unique voice, so why haven’t they?  And then it hit me:

I haven’t written a how-to guide yet.

this guy looks familiar

I have been on this site for far too long now.  I won’t say how long exactly but I will hint that it may or may not be more than four years.  As such, I’ve watched reviewing trends come and go out of style like all those articles of clothing in the American Apparel ads (or maybe they’re cool because they’re out of style?  Are they post-out of style??  What sort of man wears a scarf in the summer anyway?).  Back when I first joined the site, people were still writing track-by-track reviews and at that point I think there were still only 175 or so Pokemon.  Things were simpler back then.  There was a basic reviewing progression that was prevalent, and if you look at my earlier reviews, you will see a good example of it.  People generally started off writing track-by-track reviews, which made sense because back in 2006 a lot of people were still using Limewire and could only find two or three Avenged Sevenfold songs from a particular album.  So they would read through the track descriptions until they saw choice words like “best” and “song” and “on the album,” hop onto their favorite P2P program, and presto!  ”Unholy Confessions” was now their legal property.  After that, they would start to mix the track-by-track format with a more professional style of reviewing, which had the distinct advantage of not seeming like it was written by a butthead teenager with the musical intuition of a…butthole.

These days, the format is frowned upon, and anyone who writes their first review as a track-by-track will be treated to a stern talking-to from someone with a 2009 joindate.  So we have ground rules now.  Don’t write track-by-tracks.  Use paragraphs.  Have an intro and a conclusion.  Sounds easy enough, right?  After all, there are people on the site with 200 of the damn things.  (There is an investigation pending as to whether or not they use the same review except for changed band, album, and song names.  TRMdetective is on the case.)  Still, no matter how easy it seems, there’s a bit more to it than just slapping a few words and genre-names together, despite what Iluvatar would lead you to believe.  So here are some surefire tips to help you timid nerds write your first review:

Find some inspiration!  Now, you might think that simply listening to the album in question is inspiration enough, but think again.  It works sometimes, sure, but for the most part it makes for boring and predictable writing.  Instead, look in unexpected places.  For example, the inspiration I used for my last few reviews were the leggy photographs of Joanna Newsom from the Have One On Me liner notes.  Needless to say, I typed all of them one-handed, which was tedious but ultimately satisfying.  Of course, you might not find the same inspiration that I did from those pictures (if you’re PirateSquid), so be creative!  Is there an empty water bottle on the floor of your room?  You can use that!  ”The riffs slowly dribble towards the forefront of the song like the leftover water in an upturned Deer Park bottle.”  See?  Is there a pizza box on your kitchen counter?  ”This song tastes like pizza.”  Boom!  Pow!  Bang!

To be honest, inspiration is really all you need.  With unique, unexpected inspiration, the sky is the limit.  Actually, fuck it, the universe is the limit.  Just ask Insane Clown Posse, who, in their music video for “Miracles,” can be seen riding a giant metal boner into the sunset, intent on ripping a hole through the atmosphere and into the realm of the Dark Carnival.  It doesn’t matter where you find your inspiration; when you write your review, there will be magic everywhere in this bitch.

inspiration in its purest form

Til next time!

GDandBlinkfan76 (11:33:57 PM): everytime i nap i wake up with stomach cramps
GDandBlinkfan76 (11:33:58 PM): dunno why
Soliquidis (11:34:16 PM): cramps huh
GDandBlinkfan76 (11:34:22 PM): ya
Soliquidis (11:34:30 PM): how bout a bloody vagina?
Soliquidis (11:34:45 PM): you get tehm when u take naps too




mynameischan
04.11.10
hey guys

Waior
04.11.10
'this song tastes like pizza'

bien hecho otra vez señor chang

Emim
04.11.10
Cool. I'll have to use this guide next time.

Prophet178
04.11.10
Typing reviews one handed is the only way to do it honestly.

tombits
04.11.10
chan delivers once again

never stop doing these dude.

sniper
04.11.10
There will be magic everywhere in this bitch.

JWT155
04.11.10
Chan's is by far my favorite of all the blogs so far, love the aim conversations.

hydeyomoney
04.11.10
Just ask Insane Clown Posse, who, in their music video for “Miracles,” can be seen riding a giant metal boner into the sunset, intent on ripping a hole through the atmosphere and into the realm of the Dark Carnival.

Eclectic
04.11.10
These are so good, lol.

JWT155
04.11.10
And I really do need to write a review, just been busy with school and I'm really critical on my stuff before I want to "publish" it. Definitely will try to write one early this summer.

Douglas
04.11.10
Some songs sound like pizza though...

JWT155
04.11.10
Is the picture of Chan perhaps?
*Wolf-whistles...

Burn2Burn
04.11.10
i should really write a review this summer. i'm just too lazzzzyyy.

Circa4life
04.11.10
You have inspired me to write a review... eventually, but seriously I will. Fucking rainbows after it rains!

Jim
04.11.10
but what is brocore???

scotish
04.11.10
I think the insane clown posee ref just about killed me

qwe3
04.11.10
these aren't plans what a jip

coneren
04.11.10
I'd love to write areview, but I'm just so bad at writing

DoubtGin
04.11.10
^-- this

KritikalMotion
04.11.10
i've been here way to long without writing a review

joshuatree
04.11.10
now i know hwo to do it

Relinquished
04.11.10
Jim knows what's up

VicariousIntent
04.11.10
I always say I'm going to write more but it never happens. I'll make a point of reviewing this week.

Romulus
04.11.10
Look at the amazing impact this blog is having

Phantom
04.11.10
pic is hoooooooooooot

Poet
04.11.10
I'm going to make sure every review from now on is a track by track.

Electric City
04.11.10
”This song tastes like pizza.” Boom! Pow! Bang!

robertsona
04.11.10
those joanna pics are 2 good

SowingSeason
04.11.10
my first review was a track by tack/paragraph hybrid and someone told me to get out as the very first sputnik comment i ever read.

awesome blog, awesome pic. we should be allowed to pos these things

mynameischan
04.11.10
but seriously the point of this really was to get the people who have never written a review to actually write one. whaddya got to lose?

SeaAnemone
04.11.10
I support this whole heartedly. Nice work chan, love the Plan / presentation / meaning behind it / Sputnik jokes in-between

SrightryEpic
04.11.10
do you think I really should

JayVex
04.11.10
I'm working on my very first review as we speak... or rather, type.

mynameischan
04.11.10
yes slightlyepic, it's part of being a member of charlesplace

SrightryEpic
04.11.10
do I have to review music can't I review the feeling you get when you poop or something

mynameischan
04.11.10
no that's what the staff blog is for

SrightryEpic
04.11.10
how do I become staff

mynameischan
04.11.10
maybe that will be the subject of the next chan's plans

Nikkolae
04.11.10
[quote] ”This song tastes like pizza.” Boom! Pow! Bang![/quote]

brought the lols big time, i love chan's plans

illmitch
04.11.10
i might start writing reviews again hmmmmm idk maybe hmmmm

bringthegjaw
04.11.10
i love this site...

Jom
04.11.10
HOLY FUCK THAT PICTURE BRINGS BACK SO MANY GOOD MEMORIES

bring back the respect picture! bring back the respect picture!

"i think he's taken to pretending the feature doesn't exist"

feav233
04.11.10
i mean, i guess i could write a review

mynameischan
04.11.10
dfelon will make cameos in future chan's plans, i promise

Countess
04.11.10
"Of course, you might not find the same inspiration that I did from those pictures"
@ Chan
post a picture of you and I'll have a review done right away!

Tulannical
04.11.10
i would write reviews but it's a little hard for me to expand on a topic without saying the same thing over and over again

plane
04.11.10
Back when I first joined the site, people were still writing track-by-track reviews and at that point I think there were still only 175 or so Pokemon.

Ire
04.11.10
I think you just have to keep writing for your reviews to get better. This is why mine suck.

Pizza
04.11.10
I stopped writing reviews about 4 years ago lol. Maybe I should start again because I'm a much better writer now

Zizzer
04.11.10
I feel like this applies to me. Maybe I'll throw some together this summer.

Klekticist
04.12.10
well done, sir.

Countess
04.12.10
this is very helpful, now if only someone could make a guide for new users...

Prophet178
04.12.10
Now who would do something like that.

witchxrapist
04.12.10
that pic of newsom seriously is the only inspiration needed

i looked at it for about 666 hours before i wrote my years spent cold review

ShadowAmI
04.12.10
well.. i have a few really shitty reviews! lol
btw your plans make me lollerbate

PanasonicYouth
04.12.10
i suck at writing hence why i don't write reviews

KILL
04.12.10
makes sense

Jips
04.12.10
ive been wanting to write reviews since before i even joined sputnik...

Maybe my first will come in a few weeks after this semester is over?... stay tuned...

Jips
04.12.10
in fact now that i think about it... i think i will try to fill a void i see in sputnik and become the SlightlyEpic of Post-punk...

i know lofty aspirations right?

witchxrapist
04.12.10
SlightlyEpic reviews entry level skramz. Kid's a total noob. I'm gonna fly to Britain and punch him in der face piece.

JK I LOVE THAT NIGGA.

Fort23
04.12.10

whaddya got to lose?


your youthful innocence



TheSpirit
04.13.10
this is hilarious, i don't know why i never bothered to read these before. Now to go back to the other 4!

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