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Hi. My name is Adam. I’m 22, I speak three languages, and I don’t believe in god. When I was 15 I got my heart broken and fell into radio pop-punk, which put it back together again without even thinking twice. Since then, I’ve gradually fallen deeper and deeper into music; I discovered post-rock through God Is An Astronaut and dubstep through Burial, and as it grew more dizzying it got more important. I love music.

Is it so wrong to admit that? And yet, almost every professional music publication in the world denies the humanity behind both its writers and its readers by presenting itself as wholly impartial. Critique 101 reads as follows: “don’t refer to yourself in the first-person; it looks unprofessional.” Is that what “professionalism” means now – detachment? How can you expect people to take seriously any article whose author claims that what he’s written is not a reflection of himself? Why would you want to? People don’t listen to music in a state of disconnect; whatever’s playing right now, the chances are that it’s making you feel something. So why would you ever want to even pretend that the best way to talk about music is by taking five or ten steps back? Or even one?

There is simply no such thing as an objective stance on music. OK Computer is not better than “Friday” by Rebecca Black. Sorry. I wish beyond all limits that it were possible to say so, but there are definitely countless people who detest “Paranoid Android” but sing their hearts out whilst wondering which seat they should take. You can’t argue that majority rules, either, because then Adele is the best performer on the planet right now. And if you’re going to base your opinions around supposedly measurable things like technicality, you’re automatically excluding the most beautifully simple songs ever written – beautiful in my opinion, anyway.

And because there’s no such thing as an objective perspective, there’s no such thing as an objective review. Every write-up you ever read was written by a human being who cares about music in a specific way, someone who has favourite bands and favourite songs and is unequivocally biased in the sense that they like certain things and dislike others. Every review is penned from an angle, with the weight of someone’s mindset and life story on every word they say. The way you first heard a band or an album can change anything and everything; it’s like butterflies and hurricanes, chaos theory – the smallest thing can have the hugest impact. If you find yourself capable of removing yourself from the music, you don’t deserve for your opinions to be taken seriously.

Some people conclude from these points that music journalism should concern itself purely with the reporting of facts: Band X will be at Festival Y; Band Z has a new album out in June. But just because you can’t be officially right about something doesn’t mean you can’t write – and think – with all the conviction in the world. It’s the only honest way to go about it. As readers we find someone who writes in a way with which we identify, who sees things the way we do, and then, possibly, take their advice on what to check out every once in a while. We need that right now; there’s so much music, and so many ways to find it, that we need some way of cutting through the masses to the select few albums that can change people’s lives. To know which ones they are, it helps to listen to people they’ve already made an impression on.

So next time someone approaches you – be it in print or in person – and tells you a band is good, make sure that translates as “I love this band”. The way we talk about music should never be to tell people what to like, just what they might like; I write not because I think I’m right, but because I hope that I have enough in common with enough people for it to matter. There is no such thing as a professional opinion. However professionally something is written, it’s still an opinion, and I’m tired of pretending otherwise. I’m Adam, and I think Taylor Swift is brilliant. There’s a pretty good chance you don’t. Which is fine. Just as long as we know where we stand.





Knott-
11.20.11
I was gonna find a picture to break up the text but then I thought nah I'll try and boost your reading age instead.

someguest
11.20.11
I agree somewhat. The quality of music isn't judged solely on our emotional reaction/attachment to it. You also have to consider effort, individuality, and cohesiveness.

mallen-
11.20.11
So much win in this, esp the objectiveness thing

Knott-
11.20.11
How does "effort" come into the equation anywhere? Gonna have to disagree with you (which is sort of the point) on all 3 of those criteria; individuality doesn't matter to everybody and "cohesiveness" is a pretty subjective thing, too... I think Los Campesinos!'s Romance Is Boring is one of the best records I've ever heard but it's hardly "cohesive" as most people would understand the term.

mynameischan
11.20.11
the quality of music is judged based on how much you like it, someguest. to suggest it's based on anything else is dumb. i don't care if something is 'derivative' or 'unoriginal' if it sounds good to me.

Omaha
11.20.11
Fantastic read, Adam. It's a very interesting thing to think about, especially if you regard what someguest said above. If an album is impressive in terms of effort, should it be viewed in the same lens as one that was strung together more abruptly, and would viewing them differently be fair? these are the types of things that I think about constantly. And you're so right in your point about OK Computer not being "better" than Rebecca Black - both make very many people happy, and it's easy to forget how much particular music means to certain people. I feel like we spend too much effort on ratings here; I'm not saying it's a bad thing to rate music, because I feel quite to the contrary. However, users shouldn't entirely base their willingness to check out an album on the average rating. Hopefully, great contributors to Sputnik like yourself can make it a little easier to filter out the good stuff, which I think you've done a great job of so far :]

someguest
11.20.11
"individuality doesn't matter to everybody"

Even people who listen to the most generic bands in existence pick out a quality which they find to be unique, which I would mark as individuality. It may be a false fallback, but it's there.

"How does "effort" come into the equation anywhere?"

I think it's pretty easy to tell when a band doesn't give a shit. Read Gyromania's review of Nickelback's latest.

"but it's hardly "cohesive" as most people would understand the term."

The album has to flow at least partially at a logical level or it's a total disaster.

Acanthus
11.20.11
I really enjoyed reading this, it's going to pop up in my head the next time I find myself trying to reword a review so it doesn't feel to "personal" - perhaps it'll change my style completely and for the better.

NigelH
11.20.11
I like this. Nice perspective on the matter.

klap
11.20.11
the only blog post I've read on here that everyone should read

pizzamachine
11.20.11
I think it is possible to provide an ethical critique of music (and I always attempt to do so) but you're so right - it is impossible to be completely un-biased.

Xenophanes
11.20.11
This was a very pleasant read, Knott-. Cheers.

toxin.
11.20.11
Interesting post. It's hard to reconcile the fact that our own conviction says that *insert favorite album*>Friday and the fact that objectively it's not.

My reconciliation of the two antithetical ideas borrows a lot from nihilist ideas, in that to me (and me alone) Friday is objectively bad. I think once we acknowledge that our opinions are absolute, we're allowed to be absolute in our opinions. I can say "OK Computer is better than Friday objectively" 100% accurately, and a Rebecca Black fan can say "Friday is objectively better than OK Computer" and we can both paradoxically be right.

After all, that's why we rate albums, right? True, we have to acknowledge our opinions are just that, opinions, but if you asked us, "Is *insert album rated 5* better than *insert album rated 1*?" we could honestly say yes. Someone else might disagree, but that doesn't change the absoluteness of your own opinion.

toxin.
11.20.11
once we acknowledge our opinions are not absolute*

klap
11.20.11
isn't that a subjective determination by definition

someguest
11.20.11
I ate all fruits and vegetables and took a shit.

My neighbor ate all junk food and took a shit.

They're both shit. We both enjoy the smell of our own shit. Would we like the smell of each others' shit? Or would be rub each others' noses in the different pile of shit just to force feed something we both know is shit?

klap
11.20.11
better question is why are you smelling your neighbor's shit

robertsona
11.20.11
Effort Individuality and Cohesiveness: how the quality of music is derived objectively, a masterclass by someguest

someguest
11.20.11
I haven't smelled my neighbor's shit, but they keep claiming that their shit smells better.

Trebor.
11.20.11
Music may be subjective, but films definitely aren't

robertsona
11.20.11
Yes, of course

Waior
11.20.11
an open letter to atavanhalen

but I agree. Fantastic, fantastic read sir knott

dimsim3478
11.20.11
I really thought this was going to be some sort of negative review of "I, Robot".

theacademy
11.20.11
this is well-written. depressingly pointless, though. Someguest just said the same thing in a much more memorable context, and it took him way less time. And his example i'll remember, but this one...?


"There is no such thing as a professional opinion."

what about if someone gets paid to give opinions derived from their profession...???

theacademy
11.20.11
SONNY GET THE NANITES

theacademy
11.20.11
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljhv09Jl461qb1miuo1_500.jpg

Knott-
11.20.11
If you think it's pointless, well, hey, plenty of people didn't.

And I mean, that's literally arguing over semantics lol.

theacademy
11.20.11
nah they're just too nice to tell you you should have been putting your talents to something else

http://images2.fanpop.com/images/quiz/154000/154144_1235878545934_500_281.jpg

theacademy
11.20.11
^^thats my face right now

Knott-
11.20.11
define "should"

i enjoyed writing this

so heh

Irving
11.20.11
"SONNY GET THE NANITES"

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA

toxin.
11.20.11
"isn't that a subjective determination by definition"
Yeah, it is. I just feel like looking at it from a grand scheme of things, it's subjective, but to every person, their ideas are objective. You're absolutely right that it's subjective, but I can't justify why I've concluded that my favorite albums are better than Rebecca Black without simply saying "This is my opinion and to me it's fact even though I acknowledge there are dissenting ideas."

It's a paradox but no one said the answer would be easy (and this is my interpretation)

DaveyBoy
11.20.11
Nice read Adam... Well said & very to-the-point.

Had to do a double-take on the (unfortunately aligned) 2 mentions of God in the intro though.

thebhoy
11.20.11
"There is simply no such thing as an objective stance on music. OK Computer is not better than “Friday” by Rebecca Black. Sorry. I wish beyond all limits that it were possible to say so, but there are definitely countless people who detest “Paranoid Android” but sing their hearts out whilst wondering which seat they should take. You can’t argue that majority rules, either, because then Adele is the best performer on the planet right now. And if you’re going to base your opinions around supposedly measurable things like technicality, you’re automatically excluding the most beautifully simple songs ever written – beautiful in my opinion, anyway"

But there are objective ways to tell if one thing is better than another. You can try to account for personal taste and subjectivity, and all that nonsense but it just seems like throwing a band-aid at it. I mean, there is stuff you like and stuff you don't like, but within the realm of stuff "you don't like" you can still objectively saw....... FUCK I'm too tired for this, but I like some of the points and this and consider a rebuttal from moi sometime in the future (ie. mid-December)... it will involve the idea of parallax. Huzzah!

Knott-
11.20.11
But the definition of "better" is central to this debate and I would simply say that the only way I know to tell how good something is is by establishing how it makes me feel... that's why most of my reviews start from the point of trying to work out why the record makes me, or fails to make me, feel a certain way; as soon as you introduce criteria outside of the impact a song or album has on YOU, I don't see what the point is in writing it down. I guess what I mean is that sure, you CAN judge music based on arbitrary things like technicality or uniqueness, but you really, really shouldn't.

theacademy
11.20.11
hey remember this bullshit??

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?listid=70613

yea i didn't either FLOLOL

mynameischan
11.20.11
i agree with the blog but academy as usual hit the nail on the head. you are just asking for circular arguments

Knott-
11.20.11
Hope you're not implying that what I wrote there is incompatible with what I've written here?

Knott-
11.20.11
People should write & talk about music with all the conviction in the world.

People should be more aware that when people review things it's always far more biased than a lot of writers would have you believe.

theacademy
11.20.11
no. the opposite actually.

Knott-
11.20.11
Ah. Well, soapbox and all that :)

mynameischan
11.20.11
well you know i'm in your camp with this one; half the time i barely review the album. but i don't particularly think that one style of review has more merit than the other. personal reviews as a rule are written to a much smaller audience, but i think that audience might ultimately get more out of the album. reviews devoid of personal information appeal to a much broader audience and there's nothing wrong with that, because generally people read reviews to find out if an album is worth hearing, not to read prose or even necessarily an 'individual' piece of writing.

theacademy
11.20.11
:D

ThyCrossAwaits
11.20.11
I'm fairly sure that fifth paragraph just made my life a whole lot better.

Mordecai.
11.20.11
I believe we were promised robots...

Knott-
11.20.11
yah but my point is basically that reviews "devoid of personal information" don't exist, it's just that the personal information isn't always explicitly mentioned or acknowledged. nobody in the world writes reviews that go like "this is an album by a quartet from Arizona. 8 of the songs use just bass, guitar and drums; 2 use piano" because that doesn't tell you jack shit. people alllllllways use words that give insight like "heartfelt" or "energetic" or "dramatic" and all of those things are clearly opinions, not facts, and they're also the only useful parts of most reviews.

there was a link there somewhere Mordecai, i thought it was sort of clever :(

Voivod
11.20.11
Excellent text, i pretty much agree with a lot that you write Knott, yet i believe that worthy reviews are an arbitrary mix of the following ingredients:

1. subjective opinion
2. objective assessment of a band/record 's end merit.


Reviews that include only one of the above two ingredients fail to hit the mark, imho.

Aids
11.20.11
urgh this blog post is so good. I agree with klapper's post: everyone should have to read this, preferably before commenting on sputnik.

dimsim3478
11.20.11
Blows Jesus, maybe.

StrangerofSorts
11.20.11
When I used to review games/movies as well as music on another site, this was always something that I was really keen to get people to realise. I never managed it though, so it's nice to see people here sharing this view.

Deviant.
11.20.11
Idk, there's a pretty clear distinction between what you suggests in the third paragraph and what you're alluding to in the 2nd. Of course it's impossible to be objective because, at the end of the day, a review is merely your opinion on an album; you listened to it and it affected you in some way and then you responded by writing on it.

"people alllllllways use words that give insight like "heartfelt" or "energetic" or "dramatic" and all of those things are clearly opinions, not facts, and they're also the only useful parts of most reviews."

And you're right, those things wouldn't apply if you were attempting to simply be objective and state nothing but facts as opposed to feelings. But what you address n the second paragraph, to me, is more directed at people who when writing reviews tie the album into a personal experience of theirs (like, Jane Doe reminds me of the first time I had my heart broken etc). And I think that is a rather poor way to go about enticing readers, because you run the risk of alienating them by doing so

I don't think the people who abide by the "don’t refer to yourself in the first-person; it looks unprofessional." rule are merely stating that it's rather sloppy when you introduce yourself like an actual character within your review, whereas remaining as a faceless narrator merely commenting on the album and what you take from it as being perfectly acceptable

taylormemer
11.20.11
"this is an album by a quartet from Arizona. 8 of the songs use just bass, guitar and drums; 2 use piano"

Hawks review 101.

Deviant.
11.20.11
rofl

StrangerofSorts
11.20.11
There are plenty of examples of people giving different scores on their review and personal score - mostly (if not just not being bothered to update both) because one is "objective" and one is "subjective". As the success of music is based around how much of an impact it has on the listener, how can you review it in any way but a subjective one?

I have no idea who that's directed to, it's just general.

Omaha
11.20.11
Yeah, I've never really understood the point of writing a review with a different score than what you truly feel. With the new Atlas Sound, I did both 3.5 and 4 with review and personal, but that was because it's more of a 3.75 :P

clercqie
11.20.11
Great read man.
I love reading personal reviews, but I'm not good in putting too much personal feelings in descriptions I write myself.

Adabelle
11.20.11
Really, really enjoyable read, cheers.

natey
11.20.11
i think it comes down to the meaning of music which to me is listening to sounds

parasitic idiots like to make it about genres and originality and ratings and effort and musical talent and egos and comparisons and assumptions but at the end of the day someone's making noises and you'll be happiest when your minds not hostile to them

Fugue
11.20.11
This is cool and all but I have always really sucked when attempting to add "personal" writing into my reviews. I agree with the impossibility of having objectivity in a review, as a writer you write because you like or dislike something, and a review is just a method of justifying why you feel that way. The only caveat I'd add is that sometimes if I know that an album that I don't particularly enjoy has influenced one or more albums that I love, then I'll be more likely to forgive the first album for any 'faults' that I see in it compared to the albums I do like, I'm interested as to whether others do the same?

porch
11.20.11
the "I" is implied, including your life story along with the critique of the music is generally just showy bullshit, as if just including a personal anecdote somehow gives the writer a higher ground or adds more weight to the review. i care more about what informs the opinion and whether or not the person actually knows what they're talking about

porch
11.20.11
not to say that personal reviews can't be effective in the right hands

Irving
11.20.11
So here's the problem with referring to yourself in the first person (which, I think, is the point you miss entirely) - people frankly don't give a shit about what was good for you, but rather, what might be good for them. Referring to yourself in the first person blurs that distinction entirely. Reviews are - broadly - aimed at telling people about a product and selling it to them based on several overarching principles as opposed to an analysis about one single person (i.e yourself) and telling those people why they might like an album based on THAT SINGLE PERSON.

Blackbelt54
11.20.11
nice article

RosaParks
11.20.11
Yawn. Strike two.

mynameischan
11.20.11
"I think you forget that people like Chan usually just go such-and-such's opinion is invalid because they are on Staff or they have better music taste ecetera, ecetera. Shit like that's just pathetic but then again this is the internet so yeah."

see you keep saying this every chance you get but it's not true?

theacademy
11.20.11
i did not murder him!

Aids
11.20.11
"Yawn. Strike two. "

oh shit Adam if you don't impress the all-powerful and important ROSAPARKS with your next post he's going to have you demoted. SHIT MAN!

SowingSeason
11.20.11
great write up adam

i agree completely, there is no such thing as good music or bad music. just music you like and dislike. you can't measure the quality of something that is based entirely on individual perception

porch
11.20.11
really not sure how this went from "don't use the first person or involve yourself too much in the review" to "base your opinions around things like technicality instead". what

porch
11.20.11
the 2nd part of that being the implied alternative to not using the first person

theacademy
11.20.11
Something happened when I first listened to Colors by Between the Buried and Me. A surreal sensation.. a musical revelation. The most inexplicable thing I have heard in years. When the 64 minute charge of human-detestion ended, when the last held key on the piano was silenced, I felt something so damn powerful occuring within me. I had an urge to celebrate, and so I did (the only way I knew how), and I clicked the repeat button . . .

theacademy
11.20.11
Between the Buried and Me HAS created a masterpiece. Not only is this the best album I have heard in ages, but it's from a band I thought I had seen all of. Selkies: The Endless Obsession was my first experience with the band, and even that song on it's own is amazingly impressive. I truly considered that song being my favourite song of all-time, but now that I've heard Colors, I am absolutely certain that this 64 minute album (in which each song connects with the next) is more amazing than anything else I have heard, musically and lyrically. In fact, if you just listen to the music without the lyrics, you are only getting half the experience.

theacademy
11.20.11
all reviews should basically be like this^^

porch
11.20.11
hats off

theacademy
11.20.11
i tip my hat to this as well.

natey
11.20.11
i would've celebrated in a different manner

YetAnotherBrick
11.21.11
Wow. You know, I've been becoming increasingly stubborn about music lately, probably due to being around so many people who have-in my opinion-shitty tastes in music. I've almost found myself actually thinking that there are points when music becomes objective, sort of like the example here, OK Computer being better than Friday. But all the points brought up here have set me straight. Thank you, Adam, for keeping me from falling into the dark hole of elitism (again). Everyone needs to read this.

YetAnotherBrick
11.21.11
"In fact, if you just listen to the music without the lyrics, you are only getting half the experience."

Finally, someone else who realizes this

musicConsumer
11.21.11
There are things that are objective in music. For instance a creative leap. I know on Sputnik people don't value creativity has highly but in visual arts a creative leap is the main contributor to defining it as art. Without a creative leap it's just merely a craft or a skill and never reaches the heights of art. ultimately whether it's art or not is up to the audience but a creative leap is intrigue and very much objective.

Deviant.
11.21.11
"In fact, if you just listen to the music without the lyrics, you are only getting half the experience."

It kinda confounds me that this was something that even needed to be pointed out

Knott-
11.21.11
Lol, define a creative leap.

taylormemer
11.21.11
It's a leap of creativity.

Deviant.
11.21.11
When my leaps aren't based purely on faith I tend to make them creative

taylormemer
11.21.11
See that's called a "leap of creative faith". Those are the hard ones to land properly.

Deviant.
11.21.11
I always fall on my head

taylormemer
11.21.11
That's not very creative bro.

Kubrick
11.21.11
I wrote something in another thread recently that I think applies to this a bit... just kind of my 2 cents on this whole idea. My original post was in response to the idea that elitism has no foundation.. I'm not gonna edit it so some of it might not be worded to relate directly to what you said but it definitely has similar themes. I'd be open to hearing what you think:

If Owl City gets your heart beating faster than a Beethoven symphony, than you shouldn't feel bad for listening to that over Beethoven. You're simply listening to what you like for the exact same reasons that some who loves Beethoven will listen to the 5th Symphony.

But, at the same time, Owl City and Beethoven are not equal. Music has varying levels of complexity and depth. Some music takes more knowledge to appreciate... like an understanding of sonata-allegro form or different music theory principles. Also just going beyond that, some people listen to music more than others and are able to appreciate minor nuances or depth simply based on this listening experience, which has nothing to do with music theory knowledge at all. For someone on that level, I don't really think it would be wrong to look at Owl City as juvenile (as long as you aren't condescending about it).

I think my point is probably more clear with an analogy. Take books for example. Let's say there's two teenagers.. one that loves reading Goosebumps and one that loves "The Library" by Jorge Luis Borges. Even if they both get the exact same enjoyment out of reading their respective books, the one reading Borges obviously has a literary appreciation that reaches far beyond the Goosebumps reader. He can look at the Goosebumps book and totally understand it, but be bored by it because it lacks the nuance and depth of Borges. I don't think it would be wrong of that person to surround himself with Borges' work and disregard things like Goosebumps for not being on the same level.

natey
11.22.11
"some music takes more knowledge to appreciate"

here you're putting the value on a person's knowledge... i think the value really belongs in the happiness one draws from any music or book for any reason, literary or musical experience factored into it but irrelevant when it comes to valuing it, thus the arguement that "elitism has no foundation" when you view art with the right attitude (not as the occasion to show off one's cleverness)



natey
11.22.11
"the one reading Borges obviously has a literary appreciation that reaches far beyond the Goosebumps reader. He can look at the Goosebumps book and totally understand it, but be bored by it because it lacks the nuance and depth of Borges. I don't think it would be wrong of that person to surround himself with Borges' work and disregard things like Goosebumps for not being on the same level."

of course they aren't on the same level in the same way pizza hut pizza is on a different level then my aunt's cheeseburgers but it's not a level of good art bad art it's more of a context thing and different expressions, neither objectively more or less meaningful or valuable

people like to act like one is better when they're "in the know" or they can claim to be "experts" on something

it's just a type of megalomania

rasputin
11.22.11
Good write-up Adam but I completely disagree. Music is both subjective [i]and[/i] objective. Some music is [i]objectively[/i] better than other music. The vital point that a lot of people miss (the people who you probably directed this article towards) is that preference, or subjectivity, is also fundamental. In other words, album A may be objectively better than album B, but someone can easily prefer album B.

The example I use when this topic comes up is Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony compared to somebody who makes a 20 minute sound recording in a public toilet (yes this has been done). It's absurd to even suggest that there is no objectivity in the comparison. Regardless, someone may prefer the toilet recording over Pathetique, and that's fine.

And then you may ask how do you determine what is good objectively, and I can't really answer that. My example uses two extremes to highlight the point that music (or art in general) is not purely subjective, and in many cases it's extremely difficult to make a distinction. Regardless, I think it's wrong to suggest any art form is purely subjective. That's simply mixing up objective/subjective perspectives with preference (which is something else entirely).

coneren
11.22.11
go rasputin

rasputin
11.22.11
others may have already said what I've said (I haven't read the comments) but whatevs

klap
11.22.11
are we assuming that recording a toilet is music?

rasputin
11.22.11
that's not an assumption

Kubrick
11.22.11
"people like to act like one is better when they're "in the know" or they can claim to be "experts" on something"

That's actually not what I'm saying though. I'm saying one is objectively better than the other based on this difference in depth, which can be directly correlated with the fact that not everyone can understand it. The understanding itself is secondary to my point.. I'm basically using it as tangible evidence that music can exist on objectively different levels, some of which not everyone is fully capable of appreciating.

natey
11.22.11
"And then you may ask how do you determine what is good objectively, and I can't really answer that. "
AHA1

Kubrik, there i was just saying what can motivate people to view music stupid ways, i wasn't trying to relabel your arguement

"That's actually not what I'm saying though. I'm saying one is objectively better than the other based on this difference in depth, which can be directly correlated with the fact that not everyone can understand it."

but again your appraising the value of music by the depth of knowledge necessary to "appreciate" it instead of valuing its effect on a listener which is not grounded in objectivity

ChillyGonzalo
11.23.11
Shakespeare vs Family Guy; Transformers vs Waking Life; Chess vs MMA; Kate Bush vs Nickelback; Call of Duty vs Quake; Andy Warhol vs Caspar David Friedrich; Taylor Swift vs everything

This argument has been done times and times again, and to a certain point i agree that we should just admit that people will have their own preferences which we cannot do anything to change once they pass the age of ~18, and that we should write reviews with these things in mind. Yet, I want to believe (however naively) that people's opinions are malleable if they come in contact with "better" things. What's "better", you ask? Taylor Swift, obviously.

Aids
11.23.11
Taylor Swift rules

theacademy
11.23.11
i hope youre proud of this impressively retarded thread, strikez

theacademy
11.23.11
look at all those paragraphs up there, lots of paragraphs

theacademy
11.23.11

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theacademy
11.23.11

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natey
11.24.11
your attention span is awesome

natey
11.24.11
"Shakespeare vs Family Guy; Transformers vs Waking Life; Chess vs MMA; Kate Bush vs Nickelback; Call of Duty vs Quake; Andy Warhol vs Caspar David Friedrich; Taylor Swift vs everything

This argument has been done times and times again, and to a certain point i agree that we should just admit that people will have their own preferences which we cannot do anything to change once they pass the age of ~18, and that we should write reviews with these things in mind. Yet, I want to believe (however naively) that people's opinions are malleable if they come in contact with "better" things. What's "better", you ask? Taylor Swift, obviously."

there's yer problem dude your making all these comparisons

it's cool to find associations between artists and notice creativity and "complexity" as it tickles you but there's really no reason or point (or objective way to do it that when you value art properly, as something that impacts you, for all the reasons it does) in trying to compare the value of different artists with different intentions and different experiences and contexts


Activista anti-MTV
11.30.11
"So next time someone approaches you – be it in print or in person – and tells you a band is good, make sure that translates as “I love this band”. The way we talk about music should never be to tell people what to like, just what they might like; I write not because I think I’m right, but because I hope that I have enough in common with enough people for it to matter. There is no such thing as a professional opinion. However professionally something is written, it’s still an opinion, and I’m tired of pretending otherwise. I’m Adam, and I think Taylor Swift is brilliant. There’s a pretty good chance you don’t. Which is fine. Just as long as we know where we stand."

Knott- is not elitist. Whew. Very well said.

When a writer takes on the third person, I don't think they necessarily abandon "I." It's there, but it's just not as apparent. Having said that, I prefer writers who use the first person to those who don't, but they need to be able to do it judiciously. Saying "I" on the internet or in a magazine is

tkxxx7
12.02.11
I was less than impartial to you before Knott but now I kinda like you

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