Saturday, 3 January 2015

10 stages of writing a music review

Writing an album review can be a traumatic experience at the best of times. Links that don't work, bands that you've never heard of and the dilemma of avoiding those unnecessary expletives - we've all been there.
1. Who the hell are these guys?
Head straight for Google, but even that doesn't help. An outdated Myspace page, an incomplete Bandcamp profile and a rushed Facebook page later and you still haven't got the foggiest who they are. Accept fate, refer to all anonymous members as 'the guitarist' and 'the drummer' throughout review. Cry at unprofessionalism.

2. Album streams suck!
Links are all too often dead, broken or lead to a locked stream so you have to chase your editor for the passcode. Either spend all day slowly streaming an album from the webpage, intense buffering permitted, or take two decades downloading the ZIP. If only YouTube had already got hold of this album...

3. I can't listen to this all in one go!
Either lose interest halfway through and return to Candy Crush, or break it up over a few days, forget what you heard and have to listen to it all over again.

4. Is it okay to dislike this?
Listen once, listen twice, listen a third time. Still hate it? Put yourselves in other fan's shoes, question if it reflects the band's talents, question if the fans would love it. Cry that you really are the only one that just can't stand that song.

5. How do I say I dislike this?
Are there enough non-expletive words in the English language to describe this abomination? Surely nobody would mind if I swore my head off for this, right?

6. I could listen to this forever...
Find amazing track. Play on loop. Forget to review the rest of album.

7. I could write an essay about this...
No. Keep it brief. Not everyone wants to read that much, let alone has the time to. If needs be, keep to a word count.

8. Oh crap, this is going to be read by real people.
What if my mum reads it? My career is ruined.

9. Social media frightens me.
Notifications are a source of petrifying dread - what if this one is the record label hating me for what I said? Overthinking is obligatory.

10. Someone actually likes it!
Cancel all bad feelings. Take all credit immediately. Initiate total ego boost.

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