By and large, being negative is a Bad Thing. Some blogs only review stuff they like, so they can never say anything negative. That’s not the case here. Because of the nature of this blog, we will have to criticise from time to time, as well as praise and encourage. Here’s why that is.
I know what it’s like. I’ve made things that have been less than warmly received by some reviewers. It can be heartbreaking, because the fact that others don’t like it does not lessen the work and time and sweat and passion that went into making it. All creations have value – let’s take that as a given. Even if it’s naïve, derivative, of low quality, and amateurish, it still means something to its creator and to those who understand that artist’s view of the world. It still has value, even if it’s technically crap.
That said, this blog has a very specific mission. We are trying to re-emphasise the importance of structure and melody in songwriting and production, features that are absent from much modern music. History shows that contemporary classics, and thus bestselling music almost always feature those characteristics. People want good music, with melody, structure, and story; they will pay for it and collectively, make it eternal. Sadly, that type of music is not always what we’re given. Music is a business – what sells is what gets published. But if it is marketed as music, then it is fair game to be reviewed as such.
With genuine songwriting talent being relatively rare and so often absent, it is not hard to stumble across music that pays less store by strong songwriting and produces instead riff-based repetition; or to encounter a producer who packs an album with filler and relies on an extraordinary single to sell it. If this is perpetrated by a major label, that organisation’s huge cost base will prompt it to hype the release, obscure the competition, and browbeat the radio stations so as to maximise its financial returns. And when that happens – when mediocre music bullies its way to the front of your attention – this blog will pull no punches. If your product screams for attention, while overstating its musical value, this blog will not follow the herd and will not shy away from negativity if that is what is needed.
But if you present the world with music that revels in your craft and talent, then space and time permitting, we will acknowledge it. And if you are that rare thing, a major label that allows an initially-failed artist to develop and grow into musical prowess, we will extol you even more highly, because we surmise you probably have had to go out on a limb and defy the bean-counters to achieve that.
One last warning to A&R – our praise for finding and nurturing genuine talent and innovation will be generous. On the other hand, if you’ve taken the easy way out and just gone looking for somebody who sounds like an established hit artist merely to jump the bandwagon or split the market, we may not be so admiring of you. Why? Because we wouldn’t want anybody to be taken for a ride.