Quantcast
Music reviews are totally pointless and stupid.

Forums - General Discussion - Music reviews are totally pointless and stupid.

drbunnig said:
bugrimmar said:

There's a big difference with movie and game reviews. With those, there are actual parts that can be critiqued individually. For example, with a game, you can pinpoint low res textures, silly AI behavior, sloppy controls, etc. There are actual things to critique that people can experience.

But with music, there's nothing to really fixate on. There's just how you feel about the sound. That's all there is.

 

I disagree. There's plenty to focus on eg:

 

- quality of production/mix

- song structures, tempos and dynamics (in relation to individual songs and the album as a whole)

- how well an album flows, if it's too short/long, are there any lulls

- lyrical themes

- quality of individual performances

- how the music relates to an artist's catalogue and the current scene, if there's any growth or evolution in their sound

In other words, does it sound good? Don't sugarcoat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing.



Around the Network
bugrimmar said:
drbunnig said:

 

I disagree. There's plenty to focus on eg:

 

- quality of production/mix

- song structures, tempos and dynamics (in relation to individual songs and the album as a whole)

- how well an album flows, if it's too short/long, are there any lulls

- lyrical themes

- quality of individual performances

- how the music relates to an artist's catalogue and the current scene, if there's any growth or evolution in their sound

In other words, does it sound good? Don't sugarcoat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing.

They're different metrics you can use to describe the music/album to give the listener an idea of what it's like. What you're suggesting is like saying the quality of acting, script, lighting, special effects, running time etc in a film are all the same thing. Do you think film reviews are pointless too?



Music reviews are the absolute worst. Reviewers have virtually nothing to ground their opinions and so they come as hard as they can with invective or over-the-top praise in order to seem knowledgeable. Listening to a music critic is like consulting a witch doctor: you're gonna get a lot of noise and flash, but very little of any use.

That said, it has been funny to watch over the years as artists who used to be praised either critically or popularly have fallen out of favor, and others of sometimes little regard have been elevated. It's amusing to watch the accepted wisdom shift and change.



I agree that most music reviews are trash! I read a review on David Bowie's last album where (two days before his death) the reviewer was adamant Bowie never sang about death in a single of the songs on his album and was just singing about taking drugs. And he did it in a very condescending tone. Well...

But, just to give some perspective as a not-so-hardcore gamer: This is funny to read on a gaming forum where people complain about slight FPS drops and sub-par resolution in their games! Hardcore music fans live in their bubble, where production and sound quality are really important because they listen to stuff on their high end sound systems or headphones... just like gamers live in their bubble when it comes to game reviews. The sentence you quoted basically translates (in gaming terms) to: "The graphics are high quality with sharp textures, great lighting and a consistent 60fps @ 1800p resolution, with perfect upscaling for your 4K TV." --> Everyone outside the hardcore gaming bubble would go "What does this even mean? Is this even important?" Or, "in other words, does it look good? Don't sugar-coat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing."

To an outsider, discussions on gaming forums are not any less ridiculous than audiophile music reviews. Most of us are not audiophiles, so we laugh about music reviews. But when it comes to gaming, we think it's majorly important for our great Xbox One game to have better texture filtering than the PS4 version or if there are inconsistent drops to 55fps in a game - something most people wouldn't even notice. So, it's basically a mirror: This is what we (core gamers) look like from an outside perspective.



drbunnig said:
bugrimmar said:

In other words, does it sound good? Don't sugarcoat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing.

They're different metrics you can use to describe the music/album to give the listener an idea of what it's like. What you're suggesting is like saying the quality of acting, script, lighting, special effects, running time etc in a film are all the same thing. Do you think film reviews are pointless too?

Wrong. In films, there are more dimensions to see and actual things to critique. The fact that you can see things is already a huge difference. If the lighting is bad, you really see the lighting is bad. If the special effects are bad, you really see the special effects are bad. It's objective. If they're using 10 year old technology to make a whale, you can really see that they're using 10 year old technology and it's not realistic.

 

You can compare films to real life. That's the point. There's a point of comparison. Music is just one dimensional. Just sound. Nothing else. So all that stuff you're saying is just sound while films have sound and a visual component you can compare with real life.



Around the Network
Louie said:

I agree that most music reviews are trash! I read a review on David Bowie's last album where (two days before his death) the reviewer was adamant Bowie never sang about death in a single of the songs on his album and was just singing about taking drugs. And he did it in a very condescending tone. Well...

But, just to give some perspective as a not-so-hardcore gamer: This is funny to read on a gaming forum where people complain about slight FPS drops and sub-par resolution in their games! Hardcore music fans live in their bubble, where production and sound quality are really important because they listen to stuff on their high end sound systems or headphones... just like gamers live in their bubble when it comes to game reviews. The sentence you quoted basically translates (in gaming terms) to: "The graphics are high quality with sharp textures, great lighting and a consistent 60fps @ 1800p resolution, with perfect upscaling for your 4K TV." --> Everyone outside the hardcore gaming bubble would go "What does this even mean? Is this even important?" Or, "in other words, does it look good? Don't sugar-coat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing."

To an outsider, discussions on gaming forums are not any less ridiculous than audiophile music reviews. Most of us are not audiophiles, so we laugh about music reviews. But when it comes to gaming, we think it's majorly important for our great Xbox One game to have better texture filtering than the PS4 version or if there are inconsistent drops to 55fps in a game - something most people wouldn't even notice. So, it's basically a mirror: This is what we (core gamers) look like from an outside perspective.

Wrong. Games have so many dimensions that can easily be critiqued objectively. The facts of low resolution and low framerate are facts. You can't hide that behind any kind of hyperbole. Whoever is watching, you can compare one game has smoother frames while another doesn't. Run a PS4 game vs a PS1 game and anyone can tell the difference.

 

But with music, how to compare? One sounds better than another? If you listen to bohemian Rhapsody be from decades ago and some miley Cyrus crap, do you notice the quality difference? No. All people can say is either they like the song or not. They prefer this genre or not. that's it. Games have objective differences over time that you can compare while music does not.



bugrimmar said:
Louie said:

I agree that most music reviews are trash! I read a review on David Bowie's last album where (two days before his death) the reviewer was adamant Bowie never sang about death in a single of the songs on his album and was just singing about taking drugs. And he did it in a very condescending tone. Well...

But, just to give some perspective as a not-so-hardcore gamer: This is funny to read on a gaming forum where people complain about slight FPS drops and sub-par resolution in their games! Hardcore music fans live in their bubble, where production and sound quality are really important because they listen to stuff on their high end sound systems or headphones... just like gamers live in their bubble when it comes to game reviews. The sentence you quoted basically translates (in gaming terms) to: "The graphics are high quality with sharp textures, great lighting and a consistent 60fps @ 1800p resolution, with perfect upscaling for your 4K TV." --> Everyone outside the hardcore gaming bubble would go "What does this even mean? Is this even important?" Or, "in other words, does it look good? Don't sugar-coat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing."

To an outsider, discussions on gaming forums are not any less ridiculous than audiophile music reviews. Most of us are not audiophiles, so we laugh about music reviews. But when it comes to gaming, we think it's majorly important for our great Xbox One game to have better texture filtering than the PS4 version or if there are inconsistent drops to 55fps in a game - something most people wouldn't even notice. So, it's basically a mirror: This is what we (core gamers) look like from an outside perspective.

Wrong. Games have so many dimensions that can easily be critiqued objectively. The facts of low resolution and low framerate are facts. You can't hide that behind any kind of hyperbole. Whoever is watching, you can compare one game has smoother frames while another doesn't. Run a PS4 game vs a PS1 game and anyone can tell the difference.

 

But with music, how to compare? One sounds better than another? If you listen to bohemian Rhapsody be from decades ago and some miley Cyrus crap, do you notice the quality difference? No. All people can say is either they like the song or not. They prefer this genre or not. that's it. Games have objective differences over time that you can compare while music does not.

People can have preferences, but that doesn't mean their preference is actually higher quality then something else. People cam prefer actual garbadge in their aesthetic choices.



I enjoy music critique just as a form as discussion, but I agree its the least objective of any medium critique.



bugrimmar said:
Louie said:

I agree that most music reviews are trash! I read a review on David Bowie's last album where (two days before his death) the reviewer was adamant Bowie never sang about death in a single of the songs on his album and was just singing about taking drugs. And he did it in a very condescending tone. Well...

But, just to give some perspective as a not-so-hardcore gamer: This is funny to read on a gaming forum where people complain about slight FPS drops and sub-par resolution in their games! Hardcore music fans live in their bubble, where production and sound quality are really important because they listen to stuff on their high end sound systems or headphones... just like gamers live in their bubble when it comes to game reviews. The sentence you quoted basically translates (in gaming terms) to: "The graphics are high quality with sharp textures, great lighting and a consistent 60fps @ 1800p resolution, with perfect upscaling for your 4K TV." --> Everyone outside the hardcore gaming bubble would go "What does this even mean? Is this even important?" Or, "in other words, does it look good? Don't sugar-coat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing."

To an outsider, discussions on gaming forums are not any less ridiculous than audiophile music reviews. Most of us are not audiophiles, so we laugh about music reviews. But when it comes to gaming, we think it's majorly important for our great Xbox One game to have better texture filtering than the PS4 version or if there are inconsistent drops to 55fps in a game - something most people wouldn't even notice. So, it's basically a mirror: This is what we (core gamers) look like from an outside perspective.

Wrong. Games have so many dimensions that can easily be critiqued objectively. The facts of low resolution and low framerate are facts. You can't hide that behind any kind of hyperbole. Whoever is watching, you can compare one game has smoother frames while another doesn't. Run a PS4 game vs a PS1 game and anyone can tell the difference. (1)

 

But with music, how to compare? One sounds better than another? If you listen to bohemian Rhapsody be from decades ago and some miley Cyrus crap, do you notice the quality difference? No. All people can say is either they like the song or not. They prefer this genre or not. that's it. Games have objective differences over time that you can compare while music does not. (2)

1. In other words, does it look good? Don't sugarcoat. All the stuff you said just means the same thing.

2. The meaning of reviews or critique is not to tell you which is best between Queen and Miley Cyrus, it's rather to dissect their songs or albums and tell what is interesting about them and why.

Top 10 lists, GOTY awards and all that stuff are just there to confirm your own bias. In other words you have a great opinion on a opera (or an artist) and you want to see it vaidated form an external authorative agent. Those lists are about self-gratification and not really about evaluating the work of an artist, and to think those lists are in some way "objective" is completely delusional.



Not entirely.

If someone pulls a Yoko Ono and try to pass tuneless screaming as music I'd like to be warned beforehand.

Same if I think somone is doing something new and original but instead it's just a low grade repetition of former, maybe less known greats.

A good music critic could bring attention to those points.