I decided to take a different approach to my work this week. Since I really want to get into the intricacies of music blogging and compare how different writers voice their opinions, I took one album and looked at different reviews of it. I needed an album that was recent enough that there would be sufficient material about it, popular enough that there would be a few reviews about it, and slightly divisive so I could get a feel for all types of reviews. I ended up using my favorite album; The 1975 by The 1975. I know so much about the album and why I love every one of the songs, so I thought it would be a good idea to see how other people reviewed songs that I am really familiar with. I also knew that this album would have lots of reviews from many different types of blogs because the band’s music doesn’t stick to one single genre. It was really interesting reading all the reviews I found. I had some from Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Pitchfork, which are all some of the more popular and mainstream music publications, but also from Indie Current and Consequence of Sound, which are slightly more underground.
It seemed like the larger publications didn’t like the album because it was spanned too many genres, but the smaller ones had more positive things to say. The reviewers from Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly didn’t appreciate the diversity like the writer at Indie Current did. I think bigger magazines like those two have specific people for reviewing certain genres but smaller publications don’t, so the smaller websites were probably used to having something that’s multi-genre. There was also an interesting change in tone between the publications. The Rolling Stone review was very short, blunt, and condescending (“The 1975 could use some enunciation lessons and an editor”) but the Indie Current review was more open-minded and positive despite the author’s dislike of the album (“While it isn’t exactly what we wanted, The 1975 is what we needed. Sure it isn’t an album with a singular sound, but it is an album of depth, intrigue, and most importantly, originality”).
I think it was interesting to see how different people viewed an album I love so much. I knew that not everybody liked the album, especially in the music industry, but it was neat to see how reviewers expressed that. I think I got good insight into what makes reviews effective as well. The short and heavily opinionated reviews that didn’t like the album didn’t say why The 1975 was bad, they kind of just stated “this is bad” and didn’t elaborate, which left me unconvinced that I should listen to their opinion. I guess reviewing is like regular persuasive writing in that way, you have to be specific and give reasons why something is good or bad or your reader will be lost. I’m looking forward to seeing how my upcoming research and observations compare to this “experiment” in the coming weeks.
Grantz, Caryn. “The 1975 The 1975 Album Review.” Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC, 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/the-1975-20131018>.
Greene, Jayson. “The 1975: The 1975.” Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc, 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/18467-the-1975-the-1975/>.
Levy, Pat. “Album Review: The 1975 – The 1975.” Consequence of Sound. WordPress, 04 Oct. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/10/album-review-the-1975-the-1975/>.
Makarechi, Kia. “The 1975’s Album Is A Bold And Diverse Debut (REVIEW).” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 11 Nov. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/the-1975-album-review_n_3874712.html>.
“The 1975 – The 1975.” Clash Magazine. Music Republic Ltd, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.clashmusic.com/reviews/the-1975-the-1975>.
Pendrill, Matt. “Album Review: The 1975 – ”The 1975“” Indie Current. Indie Current, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://indiecurrent.com/album-review-the-1975-the-1975/>.
Rahman, Ray. “The 1975.” Music. Entertainment Weekly Inc, 5 Sept. 2013. Web. 28 Sept. 2015. <http://www.ew.com/article/2013/09/05/1975-review>.