Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


The role of the CD Reviewer?

nutty 26 Apr 11 - 03:44 PM
nutty 26 Apr 11 - 03:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Apr 11 - 03:49 PM
Linda Kelly 26 Apr 11 - 03:56 PM
Joe Offer 26 Apr 11 - 03:57 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Apr 11 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,999 26 Apr 11 - 04:12 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Apr 11 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,999 26 Apr 11 - 04:16 PM
Joe Offer 26 Apr 11 - 04:22 PM
Arthur_itus 26 Apr 11 - 04:33 PM
Deckman 26 Apr 11 - 05:11 PM
nutty 26 Apr 11 - 05:19 PM
John P 26 Apr 11 - 05:20 PM
Deckman 26 Apr 11 - 05:23 PM
nutty 26 Apr 11 - 05:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Apr 11 - 05:39 PM
Paul Davenport 26 Apr 11 - 05:40 PM
Crane Driver 26 Apr 11 - 05:47 PM
Deckman 26 Apr 11 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,999 26 Apr 11 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Paul Slade 26 Apr 11 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,999 26 Apr 11 - 06:43 PM
Anne Lister 26 Apr 11 - 06:52 PM
Amos 26 Apr 11 - 07:23 PM
EBarnacle 26 Apr 11 - 07:42 PM
Bobert 26 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM
theleveller 27 Apr 11 - 03:26 AM
nutty 27 Apr 11 - 03:52 AM
theleveller 27 Apr 11 - 04:05 AM
synbyn 27 Apr 11 - 04:12 AM
nutty 27 Apr 11 - 04:26 AM
Wolfhound person 27 Apr 11 - 04:50 AM
theleveller 27 Apr 11 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 27 Apr 11 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,glueman 27 Apr 11 - 05:08 AM
Acorn4 27 Apr 11 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 27 Apr 11 - 12:33 PM
John P 27 Apr 11 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 27 Apr 11 - 03:43 PM
Colin Randall 27 Apr 11 - 05:14 PM
GloriaJ 27 Apr 11 - 06:01 PM
MoorleyMan 27 Apr 11 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Joe G 27 Apr 11 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,James 27 Apr 11 - 07:00 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Apr 11 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,999 28 Apr 11 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,glueman 28 Apr 11 - 04:35 PM
MoorleyMan 28 Apr 11 - 05:26 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 11 - 05:32 PM
Jeri 28 Apr 11 - 05:49 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Apr 11 - 10:39 PM
GUEST,Jerry Simon 03 May 11 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 04 May 11 - 12:51 PM
The Sandman 04 May 11 - 01:17 PM
dick greenhaus 04 May 11 - 01:47 PM
Seamus Kennedy 04 May 11 - 02:29 PM
Arthur_itus 04 May 11 - 02:43 PM
Colin Randall 04 May 11 - 03:23 PM
Arthur_itus 04 May 11 - 03:30 PM
Colin Randall 04 May 11 - 03:33 PM
Arthur_itus 04 May 11 - 03:43 PM
Tyke 04 May 11 - 04:41 PM
Seamus Kennedy 04 May 11 - 06:03 PM
The Sandman 04 May 11 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,Joe G 04 May 11 - 07:20 PM
Tyke 04 May 11 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,Joe G 05 May 11 - 08:47 AM
Tyke 05 May 11 - 09:16 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: The roll of the CD Reviewer?
From: nutty
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 03:44 PM

I'm getting very confused as to the roll of the CD reviewer who's reviews get published in folk magazines.

Before I go on , please, let me assure people that I have never personally been the subject of such a review but have become increasingly concerned that some reviews that I have recently read would appear to be so unbiased as to suggest that the reviewer had a particilar axe to grind.

I have therefore started to question how useful CD reviews are.
Am I alone in this?

Do magazines actually read the reviews that they publish?
Do people actually read reviews and are they influenced by them?
Should it be made clear in the publication that a review is just the reviewers personal opinion and in some cases is in no way based on fact?
Should a reviewer refrain from reviewing something that they personally dislike?

What do you think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The roll of the CD Reviewer?
From: nutty
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 03:46 PM

Correction

that should read "would appear to be so biased as to suggest that the reviewer had a particilar axe to grind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The roll of the CD Reviewer?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 03:49 PM

role...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 03:56 PM

I don't read them. Seems to me you can judge for yourself by listening to the snippets on Amazon. I don't read book or film reviews either. By all accounts the Kings Speech was a reviewer's dream whereas I found it the drabbest film I've ever watched. Make up yout own mind, that's what I say.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 03:57 PM

It's easy to use the reviewer's platform as a kangaroo-court judge's bench, but I don't think that's worthwhile. I think it's better for reviews to be a factual presentation of the contents of a recording, refraining from the temptation to be an invective against the performer. If the performance is less than perfect, a few mild remarks will get that point across.
I've found the most interesting CD reviews, to be those that make a study of the songs presented on the recording. I don't have time to read all the books I'd like to read and all the movies I'd like to watch, but I've found that a good review can at least give me an idea what's in a book or a movie. I think the best reviews inform, and don't condemn. People ask me to review their CDs on occasion. I find that writing a review is hard work, but worthwhile.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The roll of the CD Reviewer?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:10 PM

Should reviewers only give favourable reviews or should they be honest and criticise things they dislike?

I think that performers will only ask people to review their CD as long as it is favourable.

I have read reviewers comments and then listened to the Cd and thought we were on different planets.

Very often on Mudcat, you get husband/wife/friend review threads and they praise the CD. However they are so biased to make you think the CD is wonderful. However in reality they are up their own arse and very often the artist on the Cd is aweful.

So my answer to your question, is, take the review with a piece of salt.

The best thing to do with Cd's is go and see the performers live and if you like what they do, buy their CD.

My big complaint, is having seen a performer live, and really loving what they do, buy a CD and when listening to it, find that the songs bear no resemblance to how great they are live. They add half a dozen instruments to the songs and backing choruses.
If I buy a CD, I want to listen to the songs as you see them live.
When will performers realise that many fans like to hear what they see, not what they falsify at the recording studios.

I have bought some top line artists CD's who I love and been so disappointed with the CD, because they are not as good as their live performances. Why add extra instruments in, that totally spoil the CD.
Record the Cd the way you play on stage. That way you are not bullshitting your audience. I have often felt like sending such Cd's back and asking for a refund.

It also helps organisers to know how good you are.

Sorry to be so blunt and honest.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:12 PM

This topic has been done to death, imo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:14 PM

What, with only seven post :-) ooops sorry 8 now :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:16 PM

Yeah. I hereby ask a clone to list the other threads on this subject. I doubt anything new will come up in this one. (9 now :-))


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:22 PM

Give me a list of thread numbers, 999, and I'll crosslink them. We've had a few threads on reviews here, and some turned into less-than-fair diatribes against reviewers. I find that writing a review is hard work, and can be a thankless task. I think there are ways to review a bad CD and still be both kind and honest - if you keep in mind that your primary job should be to inform, not condemn. It is, however, very difficult to write a review that will satisfy a narcissistic performer.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 04:33 PM

I agree with you Joe, writing a review is very difficult and I know 2 excellent people who do reviews and they are both kind and honest. However, I have had comments back from the performers, who slate those reviewers because they didn't say what they wanted to hear.
As you say, a thankless task.
Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:11 PM

I agree with Joe, in that writing a CD, or concert, review is tough work and a mostly thankless task. I've done a few. The tact I try to take is two fold: I like to put the songs in historical context and perhaps give some guidelines as to where and how the song came about; I also try to give the listener some tips as to what to listen for in the songs ... perhaps a unique combination of voicing or instrumental work. I try to be honest and clear. ON the few occasions when I've been asked to review a CD that I think is garbage, I've taken the "back door out" ... I've called the artist and suggest they find another reviewer. If they ask why ... I give them my critque. bob(deckman)nelson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: nutty
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:19 PM

As I said at the beginning of the thread, I have no particular axe to grind but I am becoming concerned that a particularly prolific reviewer is overstepping (imo) the brief and criticising things like the way a CD is produced or the specific lack of something in the sleeve notes, yet this is still being published.

Surely magazines should be more careful about publishing a single persons opinion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: John P
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:20 PM

Reading old threads is boring and not conducive to conversation. Reading current threads is interesting and allows you to actually talk to people.

I find that reviews are useful for pointing me toward things I MIGHT like. Anything more specific than that and you're trying to sort out the reviewer's personal likes and dislikes -- no way to do so without reading lots of reviews from the same reviewer.

I think reviewers should be as factual as possible about the music and the act, while also offering an opinion about how the music strikes them. As has been noted, not an easy task.

I think any musician who is going to be emotionally crushed by a bad review should not send out their recordings for review. I think reviewers who think they need to criticize in order to be honest should find a line of work that's an easier task. I think music that is really bad, from a technical standpoint, should get reviewed as such. I think a reviewer who just doesn't like the style of music, the song selection, or the instruments used should find a different album to review.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:23 PM

Hmmm? If you've got a beef with one particuliar reviewer, why don't you take it up with that one particuliar reviewer? bob


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: nutty
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:32 PM

It's not only the reviewer that I have a particular beef with but the magazines that publish such reviews. I think it very unfair that the artists/ engineers that produce the CD have no redress once the article is in print.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:39 PM

So many books, and so many cds, are produced, that it is impossible to keep up with them.
I find reviews are helpful, even those that are critical, in sorting through the jungle. Of course some worthwhile material is missed, that can't be helped. Some I find by listening to programs of music types I like.
Two organs I peruse regularly are the NY Times and BBC Music magazine.

Some online catalogues are very helpful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:40 PM

The role of the reviewer should be to give a personal take on the CD. This means that there's going to be some good and some bad reviews. It's ok to ignore reviews but that's hardly the point. Without the reviews the people out there don't know that the CD even exists. I try to write reviews which are constructive and fair. This means that sometimes I have to say when I don't like the CD but also giving reasons for my opinion. The thing is, you often find yourself sent CDs to review which you mint not have chosen to pick up on the shop. I had one recently where the package fell to pieces in my hand on opening the envelope. The actual material was good but the production did it no favours at all. I commented on this and some months later the artist and I met. He thanked me for the comments and gave me a new package!
I once gave one of our CDs to a reviewer whom I knew was going to be pretty tough on it. He was. But...our next album addressed his criticisms and hopefully therefore appealed to a wider audience as a result. I send around forty CDs to magazines and get back around ten reviews. I can't choose who reviews them nor if they get reviewed at all.
But...Arthur-it is is exactly right when he talks about recording what you sound like. It's not really honest to produce an elaborately arranged album with loads of mates playing and singing in the background if, when a club books you, you turn out to be a solo artist with a guitar. Being aspirational is one thing but sell your wares fairly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 05:47 PM

As far as the point about a CD being as close as possible to a live performance - unless you actually do a live recording, which has its own problems, a studio recording will always have something missing - the audience. Especially if you do a lot of chorus songs and actually work with the audience. Then you have to put something else into the CD or it sounds half-empty. Half a dozen extra instruments is probably too much though.

There are two ways of looking at a CD - either it is a reproduction of a stage performance, or it is a different kind of performance entirely. A CD should stand on its own as a musical work, as well as giving an idea of what a live performance would be like. It's a hard balance to get right, and we don't always get it spot on.

Thread drift over.

Andrew


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:06 PM

I would like add another dimmension to this discussion. I DO NOT INTEND a thread creep. I expect that others might recognize another aspect of reviews I'd like to bring up:

An artist who places his CD in the hands of a reviewer should be very careful. You want to choose your reviewers well. Let me try to explain:

A few years ago I laid down my carpenters hammer and picked up my guitar. Since then I have given many concerts and produced one CD. When I felt I was strong enough to handle the critism, I asked two people I knew to review my concerts. One was a fairly new aquaintance. I was delighted in that he picked on several things in my performance that I'd taken for granted. That told me that I was on the right track.

Another concert, and another reviewer became two reviewers. One was a longtime friend of well over 50 years. He brought his GRANDSON with him. I received two reviews from them. My longtime friend was quite clear in what he liked and didn't like. His 18 year old grandson was a complete surprise. This "kid" picked up on stuff that was hapenning at the concert. His review was joy to read. He was watching the audience, the connections that happenned, the smiles on faces. As I read his comments, I thought: "Holy smoke ... these songs can capture young people too!"

So ... choose your reviewers well. bob(deckman)nelson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:08 PM

I'm with Crane Driver's view.

As Joe points out, reviews are hard work.

But, that alone doesn't make a review 'right' or correct or even observant. I think the people to ask the question of are--GASP--reviewers. Any folks around who do lotsa reviews and who also care to state what their role is with regard to CDs?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Paul Slade
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:30 PM

1) The reviewer's first duty is to his readers, not to the artist, therefore he must be free to say a CD is rubbish when that's his honest opinion. Reviews which could give only favourable verdicts would be just one more form of advertising, and useless to the readers they're supposed to serve.

2) Many reviews do contain a good deal of factual information, and that's often useful. There's no simple right or wrong answer to the question of whether a CD is worth buying or not, however, merely a range of opinions which will differ sharply from one individual to the next. There's no such thing as objectivity when it comes to this aspect of reviews, and nor should there be.

3) The critic's job is to articulate his own opinion in an interesting and informative way. The fact that he hears such a lot of music in his chosen field should allow him to build up an expertise and offer insights a casual listener would miss. The fact that he gets so much practice at this helps him communicate his views with greater clarity and precision than the average fan could muster.

4) If you read the reviews pages in any music magazine regularly, you will soon get a sense of which critics you trust and which you don't. With luck, you'll discover someone whose taste coincides with your own, and feel confident in regularly following their recommendations. Sometimes, it's equally useful to find someone you know you'll always disagree with, and do the opposite of whatever he suggests.

5) In an age where there's simply too much of everything, we need useful filters more than ever. A well-written review will give you a far more useful basis for deciding whether something's worth buying or not than any 30-second clip on Amazon or a hopelessly biased plug from the artist's girlfriend.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:43 PM

I'd be curious as to how many people have actually bought CDs based on reviews they've read.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:52 PM

I've served my time as a reviewer and also been on the receiving end of reviews. It's very difficult sometimes when you know that the very thing that you dislike about an album may well be its selling point for others, and it's extremely difficult to review an album if you are likely to encounter the performers in a professional context as well. I think it's fair to comment on technical issues and things to do with musicianship, as part of the recording process should mean you have time to listen and re-listen to your recording to iron out tuning and timing glitsches. I actually think it's far fairer to review a CD than a live performance, as so much of what's on the CD is completely within the control of the performer(s) whereas there are many more variables in a live event.

As to whether you want your CD denuded of other arrangements and instruments as an exact memento of a live performance - that's a total matter of taste. A lot of my albums sell to people who may never see me live, and I enjoy working with other musicians and putting together arrangements of the songs to create multiple musical textures. I wouldn't ever claim that these studio albums are what you would get if you came to see me in concert, although on each one there's at least one unadorned song, but I haven't ever had a negative reaction to the recordings because of this either in reviews or from individuals. If I could, I would tour with my musical collaborators and we'd all be able to multi-track as well and it would all be perfect, but sadly economic realities mean that when I perform it's mostly just me and the guitar. The CD isn't meant to be a representation of a live performance - it's a showcase for the songs, and it's also something that should bear repeated plays without becoming stale or boring.

The major role for the CD reviewer is to inform the readers of whatever publication it is that the album is available, and some indication of its content. Without CD reviews all you'd get would be adverts and for most independent performers these are prohibitively expensive.

As to the lasting damage they can do - I think that is pretty limited. The bigger risk these days is to have negative comments put on the web, as those stay around forever. Printed reviews are usually quickly forgotten, except by the performers who are either delighted or upset. And we're all generally hyper-sensitive to any criticism, however mild, which is why you'll hear actors and other performers claiming never to read reviews at all. But hearing what other people think of our work is an essential part of being a professional, even if we'd rather not hear anything remotely negative. "Darling, you were wonderful" is about as honest as any of us really wants!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:23 PM

Hard though it may be, writing a review of a CD is not a scratch on the work of composing, performing and producing one.



A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 07:42 PM

As an occasional reviewer, I have found that several of the magazines I have dealt with currently want only reviews which are "completely behind the CD." As every production has strengths and weaknesses, this is a cheat to the reader. The reader is entitled to know what they will be buying.

Back in the 60's, I reviewed a release by Omar B, a well known Canadian singer. The production was atrocious but the album was still worth getting as many of the songs were unavailable anywhere else. Sound levels were all over the place between songs. The mike work was poor, even though all of the words were understandable. To not tell the readers this would have been a violation of the contract with the reader.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 08:18 PM

I'm a firm believer in what Dale Carnage said in that if you don't like someone you just haven't looked hard enough...

A good reviewers should do this...

Hey, I'm not saying to sugar-coat or lie but to find other bands or individuals with which to compare the music... This gives the reader a better understanding of what they could expect if they were to spend their $$$ on someone's CD...

There are some bands and/or performer who I think suck so if I were doing a review of someone's CD I'd point out what I liked and compare the rest to those bands/performers...

However, if I really like someone's work, like Bruce Murdock's for instance, I'd say it in a more forceful manner...

B~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:26 AM

I think that if people submit a CD for review then they should accept what the reviewer says. If they disagree with anything a reviewer says then it's just their opinion against his/hers because they, as the artist, have a bigger axe to grind than the reviewer.

Nutty, I think I know the review that you are referring to and IMO it was a very fair, balanced and, on the whole, complimentary review with only a few minor criticisms. I think the complaints that were posted on Facebook etc. afterwards were wholly unwarranted. Seemed that there was a clash of egos going on. (BTW, I have no axe to grind for either party.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: nutty
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:52 AM

Leveller - I was not thinking of any review in particular and know nothing of any Facebook complaints as I rarely access the site
I am just becoming increasingly concerned that certain reviews I am reading are not wholly fair and feel that the reviewer's ego may be starting to interfere with their impartiality.
In some cases comments appear to be unnecessary and petty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 04:05 AM

Sorry, Nutty, it's just that one review I happened to come across and the reaction to it seemed to fit the bill.

It's hard to judge whether a review is fair until you've read it AND heard the CD. In the end it's just a matter of personal opnion. Are you concerned about one reviewer in particular (no names please) or reviewers in general? If it's the former, why not bring the matter up with the publication's editor - as a reader you are perfectly entitled to let him/her know how you feel?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: synbyn
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 04:12 AM

Thanks, Paul & Anne, for some informed sense on this issue! nothing to add, just agree with the approach...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: nutty
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 04:26 AM

I don't really want to get personal on this but I suppose I was really asking -
Who reviews the reviewer?
Should a review be published unquestioningly or does a publication have a responsibility to ensure that what it prints in fair and accurate?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 04:50 AM

Reviews are not published unquestioningly, in my experience (UK, one mag. only). Bad ones - and I do think the public deserves warning of c**p - just quietly disappear. The result is they've ceased to have any value.

I also think that artistes should not be allowed to get their friends to send in reviews. The CD or whatever should be sent to the editorial team, who should then choose a reviewer. Then we the public are protected from some of the rubbish that does get printed.

A review will never suit everybody, reviewers have their tastes and viewpoints too - but applied with intelligence a good review should still be possible (variations on "this track is not to my personal taste, but I can think of many whom it would probably please" type comments).

Paws


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 04:54 AM

"Who reviews the reviewer?"

I suppose, in the end, it's the responsibility of the editor or whoever employs the reviewer. As to what is fair and accurate - tricky one as, in the end, it's a matter of personal opinion, otherwise it would just be a list of tracks and musicians.

A complementary question would be: why do artistes submit their CDs for review? I guess, to quote Oscar Wilde: "The only thing worse than being talked about it not being talked about."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:00 AM

An interesting thread Nutty.

I think Anne Lister talks a lot of sense, I agree with pretty much all she says.

I would also add that I agree with theleveller, if you're not prepared for some criticism, don't produce a CD...... or get it reviewed.

As for using additional musicians, I don't see a problem. For me the live medium and the recorded medium are completely different things, especially for a solo artist..... with a CD I want something that sounds good on repeated listens, but live I want spontaneity and atmosphere, something that it is nigh on impossible to record. A demo for sending to potential gig bookers is another medium again.

I say these things from a household bracing itself for reviews of the other half's new album just starting to come through.......... (Only one so far, very positive as it turns out!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:08 AM

The role of any reviewer is to confirm the prejudices of his/her readers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Acorn4
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:49 AM

I did a bit of reviewing for a magazine a couple of years back, and always made sure I listened to the CD at least twice through. The only reviews I find a bit annoying is where the reviewer has perhaps listened only to the first couple of tracks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 12:33 PM

Looking back over the reviews of a recent album I was involved in it seemed like each review was of a different album, which is fair enough given the bredth of such things & the utter subjectivity of journalism. But no such thing as absolutes, other than absolute bollocks coming from the nay-sayers revealing their lack of nouce. I honestly think if a reviewer can't find something good to say about an album they should pass it over to someone who can. After all, it's only ever a matter of taste, even in the concensus-driven wilderness of folk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: John P
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:22 PM

After all, it's only ever a matter of taste, even in the concensus-driven wilderness of folk.

Nope - bad playing and bad production are just plain bad, even in folk music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 03:43 PM

bad playing and bad production are just plain bad

After 35 years of Folk Clubs & Singarounds I can listen beyond such superficialities as bad playing to get to the musical intentions underlying the most sincere of efforts. Music is so much more. Production? Hell, I listen to most of my folk music on wax cylinders transciptions & field recordings so my ears are pretty open to a few sonic glitches here and there.

Besides, I'm not talking about bad playing / bad production. The CD I mentioned features sterling playing & production by everyone on it (a stellar folk cast indeed including some brilliant work by The Unthanks) but certain reviewers still found cause to display their hostility. Why? God alone knows. I'm doing some reviewing now myself - it's nice (nay - it's an honour) to have a chance to enjoy albums I wouldn't ordinarily buy (including the new ones from Jim Causley & John Kirkpatrick) but I can still appreciate just why they are good albums and deserving of positive criticism and critical support.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Colin Randall
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 05:14 PM

I have been previewing, reviewing and writing more generally about folk music, and heaven knows what else, for 40+ years. It is a habit that started on my local paper in the North East of England, followed me to a local paper in London, picked up again after a spell of purely news reporting some time after I joined The Daily Telegraph, still rears is head from time to time in The National, Abu Dhabi and is a regular(-ish) feature at my website
http://salutlive.com

Never have I supposed that my view on a CD, live performance or anything else is anything more than that: my view. In terms of folk, I am a fan with a platform or two. I should be judged on whether my reviews inform or entertain and I am thick-skinned to accept that I will sometimes get it in the neck, whether from artists or from readers.

On the whole, I believe I have performed a modest service to the music most people coming to Mudcat love. Most of my written work has been in a mainstream setting where folk has often been neglected, mocked or completely ignored. It does no harm, in my view, to have someone on the inside to champion the music for what it is. I may occasionally have offended people, but there has never been malicious intent, and I certainly make no apology for criticising a CD or performance any more than I expect praise for being positive.

And I always think back to my days on that first local paper, when local amateur dramatic societies complained - rightly, looking back - that bored, pimpled young hacks were not suited to reviewing their productions. But the annoyance at being put down by ignorant cub reporters forced to accept night duties was nothing compared with the anger displayed when I - having reached the mighty status of district office chief reporter, aged 23 - sent a colleague who knew exactly what she was talking about, since she was also part of the amateur drama scene, to review a show. Her resulting piece was critical. "We might have known she wouldn't like it," I was told. "She's from a rival society."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GloriaJ
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 06:01 PM

The most important thing surely, is that they should be well-written.Entertaining, first of all, and informative if you insist.I picked up the last issue of Stirrings, the sheffield -based folk mag, and I found the reviews there quite stimulating - partly because they didnt follow the party-line, as you might say (there was a hilarious account of the Folk Awards ceremony,for instance) - but they were interesting and unusual - like a swedish Incredible String Band covers band.Now, to be honest, I'm never ever going to buy this - but it was amusing to read about.
A lot of reviews are too bland - not surprising in a way, as they are covering the professionally produced stuff that is churned out by the industry.You get the impression sometimes that the biggest challenge for a reviewer is staying awake.They also usually helpfully send out bumff to make sure the reviewer knows what to write.
I know how much heartache goes into producing a cd, and I wouldnt want reviewers to be malicious, but compared to book reviews, they are sometimes so inoffensive and dull.
I must admit I quite enjoy reading a damning review - as long as it's not of anything of mine!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 06:06 PM

Well said, Colin R above.

I've just come across this new thread, and while I do feel that most of the points covered have already been discussed in previous threads, I feel it may still be useful to respond directly in order to address Nutty's original confusions and specific questions.

Cards on the table, then: Nutty knows that I am a reviewer of several years' (hard) experience (and yes, I guess I might also be termed prolific!). By now, my credentials will likely be considered proven, and I'm told that readers and artists both value, and feel they can trust, my accumulated knowledge, expertise and integrity, and the insights that they may bring (although I know I can never be infallible!). They appreciate too that I genuinely have no axes to grind in the course of the reviewing process – nor would I ever wish to do so.

So, why review a CD at all? Well yes, the most obvious reason is to let folks know that the CD exists and is available for purchase. Of course, a paid-for advertisement in a carefully-targeted publication would do the trick, but this option is not necessarily available in the right place or right time for every performer, and in any case has financial implications for already-struggling artists.

Additionally, a review is the only mechanism by which a prospective purchaser can get detailed information about the CD's contents (an artist's own website or publicity agency is necessarily biased in this regard and thus may not always be relied upon to inform a decision whether or not to purchase, and a small sales blurb on Amazon is hardly sufficient information in this respect).
The notion of a "good" or "bad" review is by nature purely subjective, and can never be otherwise. But in the hands of a skilled reviewer, those words are seen to apply only in relative context. The terms are not all-embracing.

A reviewer's task, then, as I see it, is to alert readers to the existence of a CD, then explain – as factually as possible – its background or raison-d'être. Often this needs to contain a description of "where the artist is coming from" (in both senses of the term) and a useful comparison with the artist's previous work (if any), giving potential reference points which the reader can latch onto. The reviewer should then be in a position to give informed guidance on the merits of the CD in question, both from the reader's perspective and that of the artist (ie. does it communicate what it intends to?). This "informed guidance" may (and should, if space permits) involve a critique of anything from the choice of songs/tunes to the musical arrangements, aspects of the performance itself (whether technical or aesthetic), the quality of the recording or production, and the actual presentation of the whole package – which in turn can include comments on the often all-important sleeve notes or even the cover art.

Any reviewer worth his/her salt will have a degree of understanding of just how much hard work goes into the production of any CD, and so recognises the importance of the review in ensuring the artist's endeavours are done justice. That means giving the CD itself a good measure of listening in its entirety, and then consideration to what to write about it.

The intention is to write a fair, honest and balanced review, which addresses matters that will be of interest and concern to prospective purchasers. This obviously entails more than just reproducing a list of track titles or personnel credits.
The review may also entertain as well as inform – if so, then so much the better! However, we must beware of so-called "reviews" that are either merely a reproduction of the artist's agent's press release, or a succession of personal anecdotes of the "I was at school with the lead singer" category, only finally getting round to mentioning the actual music on the CD in the final sentence, or else thinly veiled personal axe-grindings…

Quite often, and when circumstances and timescales permit, I will personally feed back to the artist concerned a draft of a review, precisely in order to establish that (a) I have got my facts right, and (b) I have made a fair assessment of the product. That particular review will not be submitted for print until this dialogue has been completed to the satisfaction of both parties. I have lost count of the number of artists who have sincerely appreciated this approach, and I have a file of testimonials from artists who have felt that I "get what they are about and have communicated it in my review".
Interestingly, there have also been a few artists who, on receipt of my draft review, have initially been displeased at my honest but slightly negative (albeit reasoned) criticism of isolated aspects of their CD, but who have taken them on board for subsequent CDs, or else later returned apologetically to me saying that I was absolutely right in my earlier comments after all and that they should have taken notice (and not offence) at the time! After all, a review should be able to foster and furnish improvements in an artist's performance or at least in that artist's communication of his vision to the listener.

Whether a CD should reflect a live act or be something else entirely is a matter for the artist himself to decide – but either way, the potential purchaser needs to be aware of what they're going to buy (or not), and unless a CD is plainly titled "Live At…" or something akin, that may not be obvious. Acts that captivate live often just don't cut it in the studio, and vice versa. And any CD purchase must be a desirable and repeatable listening experience, whether it takes the form of a conscious studio creation or a faithfully reproduced gig-memento.

I have over the years been tasked with writing several different types of CD review, however – all of them valid in the circumstances for which they were destined or commissioned. First, there's the broad-brush basic para or two, which can be either a sales tool (with little or no commentary) or a purely informative description of contents. Secondly there's the developed (generally longer) variant of this, which hopefully explores the background, gives details of the participants and the material performed, the type of recording and any other salient features of the artistic statement; this will hopefully embody a conclusion in the form of a reasoned recommendation (or not). Thirdly there's the more detailed (and lengthier) critique, which may amount to an academic appraisal and may discuss finer points in a more reasoned manner; this may well be destined for an even more specialist readership or a fanzine-type audience. It must also be remembered that in these days of rigorously-applied wordcounts, goldfish-style attention spans, fast soundbites and casual sales pitches, there are relatively few outlets for sensible, balanced discussion of CDs…

I have a policy of never reviewing a CD of a type of music that I dislike. I may, however, find that I dislike (or more likely, am disappointed, for any number of possible reasons, by) a CD which falls into a category of music (or is by an artist) that I would normally "like".

Listening moods can vary enormously too, and a CD may take several plays to reveal its charms – or else I may not be directly receptive to its virtues on that occasion. And we can all think of artists whose work we readily acknowledge as top-quality but which is simply "not one's own bag" or for whatever reason fails to "connect" with us individually. There's simply so much music around that even the most open-minded reviewer can't expect to respond to every CD within even his chosen genre!

Yes, Nutty, magazines do read reviews before they decide to print them. Always, I believe. It's just that some magazines are more (or less) choosy about what reviews they then print; some have more exacting standards than others, some will only print whitewash because they're ultra-wary of offending, whereas others will only print those containing potentially contentious statements. You'll quickly suss out those and avoid reading them altogether. But virtually every magazine includes a statement that any review is necessarily the reviewer's personal opinion.

As regards the issue of "artists/engineers that produce the CD having no redress once the article is in print" – well, I've personally addressed that point by instigating a dialogue with artists prior to a review's submission, either on my own initiative (out of respect for the artist) or when specifically requested to do so. If that has not happened, then I'm perfectly happy to discuss the finer points of any of my reviews with the artists concerned.

But while I acknowledge that nobody's perfect – least of all the humble reviewer! – I feel that my file of "satisfied customers" vindicates my approach. I wholly accept that sometimes I will get it "right", sometimes "wrong", for both artist and audience or either. There have been instances where a second-pressing or reissue of a CD has been amended to incorporate specific suggestions I had made in my review, like provision of (or amendments to) sleeve notes, adoption of more readable fonts or better colour schemes, and even correction of engineering glitches.

Getting the music across to the audience, or at least improving the quality of that process, is surely the ultimate goal for both artist and audience; and as I see it, the reviewer's job is to facilitate that. Period.

There you go!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 06:41 PM

I have been reviewing CDs and live gigs for several years now for a local folk magazine. After writing what was, with hindsight, rather too savage a review of a CD that I had endured as long as I could before putting my anguish into words, I was criticised in letters to the magazine by a couple of people who disagreed with my comments. In the next edition I was praised by a further couple of correspondents who asked me to keep writing! I did write a piece for the magazine called the Reviewer's Dilemma which I will see if I have still got and post it here if so.

I have been fortunate recently that the standard of CDs I have reviewed has generally been very good and I tend not to review those that aren't. My problem now is that I have simply run out of new things to say about the music and it has become a chore rather than a pleasure so will be taking a year or so off until the muse returns.

I enjoy reading reviews and admire many reviewers who, like MM above clearly put a huge amount of work into their listening and writing. My belief is that if you submit a work to be criticised you need to be ready for whatever is said as long as it is not personally insulting (though if someone has what I consider to be an awful voice or plays badly then it needs to be said). It is after all only one opinion!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 07:00 PM

Hmmmm...whoever said the reviewer's first and foremost duty is to the reader is spot-on. Personally I'm appalled by the admission of Moorley Man that he submits reviews to the artists concerned for their approval before submitting them for publication. Surely that negates the credibility of any review, merely turning it into a free extension of the artist's promotion and goes against all the ethics of impartial journalism. I wouldn't trust any review that is submitted for rubber-stamping by the artist before publication.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 10:49 PM

A review is only of value if you know who's doing the reviewing. Reading several reviews by the same reviewer can be a useful guide if you have an idea how the reviewers like and dislikes correspond to yours.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 04:34 PM

I`d still like to know how many people buy CDs based on reviews.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 04:35 PM

Or how many buy CDs?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 05:26 PM

Guest, James - it seems that you have missed the point of what I wrote ...

Taking the wider issue first, no journalism is ever (nor ever can be) truly impartial, however much it might claim to be ethically so. (Think about it...). Opinion is always going to creep in, however subtly or however slight. But if a reviewer aims to achieve fairness and balance, that's easier to achieve if one can get the facts right at the outset. The arena of conjecture is where a reviewer will come unstuck very rapidly...

Thus, if my duty as a reviewer is to the reader, an integral element of that duty is to present accurate factual information about the CD and its contents - right?
And actually, very often the best (indeed, sometimes the only) way to ensure a review is factually correct is to pass it by the artist concerned before publication.
It is then neither a rubber stamping exercise nor a non-impartial extension of an artist's promotion, but an attempt first and foremost to avoid any factual errors which can be grossly misleading to the reader. And/or embarrassing for the artist too (not to mention the reviewer himself). For, as Nutty rightly observed, once a review is actually published and "out there", the opportunity for redress is lost...

I am finding increasingly nowadays that much of the information supplied with press releases and/or on artists' websites is blatantly inaccurate (examples being incorrect or incomplete musician credits, subsequent band lineup changes etc, also incorrect or unclear or carelessly written author/composer credits) - and some CDs even lack the salient information within their sleeve notes too... All of this undermines not only the product itself but, importantly, also negates the credibility of any review that aims to evaluate the CD in an informed manner on the reader's behalf.

I myself can't trust a review - or reviewer - that parades inaccuracies as a matter of course, any more than one that's based on only bothering to listen to half of the CD or less. That in my book is more disrespectful to both reader and artist than one which makes the effort to check or clarify facts (for the benefit of both parties) before launching into print.

Hope that clarifies things.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 05:32 PM

Dick Greenhaus says:
    A review is only of value if you know who's doing the reviewing. Reading several reviews by the same reviewer can be a useful guide if you have an idea how the reviewers like and dislikes correspond to yours.
I disagree, Dick. I think a good review should stand on its own, and not depend primarily on the personal tastes of the reviewer. A good review should inform, not merely express the opinions of the reviewer.

I find the reviews in Sing Out! Magazine very satisfying, and I often use them to guide my buying.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 05:49 PM

Reviews alert me that a recording has come out. Other than that, I read the reviews but they very often don't make much of a difference, other than telling me about content. The reviews I've read that were about quality usually haven't had much of an effect on me. The one time I bought a recording based on a review was one that had been thoroughly trashed. Some of the criticisms were right, and some seemed trivial enough to indicate the reviewers feeling of betrayal. As in "You're gonna make me sit through this, I'm gonna git you as many ways as I can."

The reviews that talk about quality often sound to me as if they're more about the reviewer and their personal preferences than the material being reviewed.

The best thing a review can do is let me know a recording has come out and tell me a bit about what's on it. Trying to tell me I should or shouldn't buy it isn't effective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 10:39 PM

Joe, SO reviews only seem to find flaws in the reordings of traditional singers; othrwise they're almost universally rah-rah! As far as" A good review should inform, not merely express the opinions of the reviewer", it's a noble sentiment, but I don't think you can find such a review in the real world. They're all opinions. It's not like judging figure skating (though there are lot on personal opinions sneaking in there)where you get goodie points for how well you conform to a generally-accepted standard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Jerry Simon
Date: 03 May 11 - 08:42 PM

"I`d still like to know how many people buy CDs based on reviews."

Fifteen.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 04 May 11 - 12:51 PM

I've bought CDs based on reviews - usually by reviewers whose taste and judgement I trust reasonably well. I want reviews to be opinionated and lively and tell me how the music made the reviewer feel and respond. A bunch of information neutrally put out there isn't a review - it's an encyclopedia entry. And we have to remember it's all subjective, and that musical taste is a very personal thing.

When I put out Oak Ash Thorn, I obviously hoped it would get some brilliant reviews, but I knew it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. So while we've had some great responses from fRoots, Uncut, R2, Living Tradition, The Observer and others, there have been some reviewers who the album simply didn't work for - interestingly, even on this thread there are contributions from one reviewer who thought OAT was one of the best albums of the year so far and another who really didn't like it. But do you know what? That's okay! If we all thought exactly the same about everything, the world (and music magazines in particular) would be a pretty boring place.

And to reiterate Paul Slade above, the reviewer's duty is to the reader, not to me as a record company micromogul or to any of the artists whose wonderful music I release. My duty is to bring out the best records I can, which for me has to be very subjective - unless they are the sort of records that would have pride of place in my own record collection I'm not interested in them. I'm old and ugly enough to understand not only that everyone's record collection is different, but also that some people might think my taste is appalling.

That's not to say I won't have a quiet grumble, though ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 11 - 01:17 PM

I seem to have made permanent enemies of two people, because I criticised a review that pretended it had a connection to a well known Roots magazine, this review[imo ] was a hatchet job.
However, I do think that reviews should try and be objective as possible, they should also inform the consumer as to the material and style of the music, the reality is that sometimes reviews tell the potential buyer more about the reviewer than the item thatthe reviwer is supposed to be reviewing.
personalLy I dont give a toss whether i get a bad or good review, Because I think most sales are based on live performance,or hearing samples on a website, reviewers are becoming an irrelevance, let the public make their own judgements, and consign the w###### who are too fond of their purple prose to the dustbin, may they quickly become extinct like the dodo and the dinosaur.
http://www.dickmiles.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 May 11 - 01:47 PM

With sveral thousand new releasess each month, I, for one, need reviews as a guide to what I might buy.Puff piecss are worthless, IMO. And serious criticism, though it may be unfair at times, is something that the folk field has been lacking for decades. As I said before, if you know the previous work of the reviewer, you can decide how best to use the review. (I recll tht, when Judith Crist was reviewing movies, I found her reviws valuable--if shepanneda movie, I tended to like it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 04 May 11 - 02:29 PM

There have been several instances here in the U.S. of restaurants suing reviewers and/or their newspapers because of unfavourable reviews, and
the resultant loss of revenue, damaged reputation, etc.

And apparently some papers are becoming gun-shy (please excuse the mixed-metaphor) about publishing restaurant reviews.
The legal fees alone make them tend to settle out-of-court, so the restaurant gets a publicity boost equivalent to a good review when a settlement is reached.

Now this tactic could also extend to movies, plays, books, concerts, CDs, etc.
So musical Mudcatters, whattaya say?; next time one of us gets an unfavourable review, or even a lukewarm one, let's sue the shit out of the reviewer and the publication!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 04 May 11 - 02:43 PM

My sincere apologies Seammus, but that sounds very stupid. Most performers beg reviewers to do their CD, and hope they will think they are brilliant. As we all know, that can never be. Reviewers are not there to pamper to the jumped up artist who thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread.
I suggest that reviewers bring a clause in that makes the artist's agree that they cannot sue the reviewer under any circumstances. If they don't sign, no review.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Colin Randall
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:23 PM

I am sure Seamus is being ironic since no one would actually believe in such an attack on freedom of expression... but then I'm indulging in irony now.

I had to read the post twice to confirm that he was talking about the land of the free, where I thought someone bringing a defamation action had to prove malice. Hence the libel tourists who head for the more litigant-friendly judicial climate of the UK to collect their windfalls or block free expression, or both.

There was a case from Northern Ireland of a Belfast jury awarding libel damages to a restaurateur who objected to a harsh review. It seemed preposterous at the time but I am not sure what happened on appeal. And didn't the winegrowers of Beaujolais bring a successful "class' action against a respected wine expert who said something highly uncomplimentary about one year's output?

Human nature being what it is, I realise some Mudcatters, in common with many other people, would applaud such events. The people vs the press and all that.

But you need only think about it for half a second to see how intellectually rotten it is. Unless, that is, you truly want a descent into something resembling fascism.

OK, as a working journalist, I have an axe or two to grind. But I approach such issues with as open a mind as I can: I would certainly grant automatic right of reply to aggrieved parties, even musicians attracting poor reviews. The detail of how such replies would be handled would need a lot of thought. I would also have some equivalent of the small claims courts so that all people, and not just the rich who can afford to risk heavy costs in the unlikely event of defeat, could bring actions where real damage - as opposed to annoyance - could be shown (and again as a journalist, I'd add the "with malice" proviso).

Or let's just settle for a bland, regimented society where no one, however well qualified or however entertaining a writer or speaker, may criticise anyone or anything except on pain of draconian punishment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:30 PM

You might be right Colin and apologoes to Seamus if that is the case.
I am so against people suing everybody. We are getting so stupid.

We can't fart anymore.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Colin Randall
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:33 PM

Not if people get wind of what you've done!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:43 PM

LOL


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Tyke
Date: 04 May 11 - 04:41 PM

I am not anybodies enemy however I reserve the right to air my own views regarding things I consider to be out of order. As I think people have a right to use a Mudcat name but not to hide anything were their opinion might suspect because it hides a financial or other self-interest.

A declaration of members interests so that your views are taken in context of his or her own interests especially when that member seeks to gain from his or her views.

Dave Kidman has already made a fine attempt at an apology and I was hoping he had learned his lesson. Not everyone will be aware that he is a prolific reviewer of Albums in fact the last time I read a copy of Folk Roundabout all reviews were by Dave Kidman unless stated otherwise. Now I am and never have had any right or the skill, I am Dyslexic, to have any issue with content of his reviews. If they were poor then the editor should not have published them. However as the same reviews then find there way to every other Folk Publication I do think that the opinions of others should appear. How many times do I want to pay to read the same review?

Don't go getting upset Dave I also think that the owner of B Sky B has too much influence as he also owns most of the News papers. I'm also very wary of Richard Branson (who has just sold Virgin TV to B Sky B) and as he made his money selling record out of the back of a Mini Van until Tubular Bells made him more money than Mike Oldfield allegedly.

I use the Mudcat Name Tyke because it is what people are called who are from Yorkshire! Not because I have anything to do with the Folk Magazine Tykes News although I was and described myself as the paper boy distributing Tykes News for over twenty years. I could have used the name given to me by a certain Gordon Tyrral The Radio Ham referring to my work for the BBC Radio's Folk Network. I do nether of the above mention things now, which make me a lot happier when it comes to being asked to MC at a Festival or take a booking. Why because the reason I have been asked is because of those talents and not for any other perceived reason.

Don't get upset Dave this was prompted by another post to this thread just use your name to show which hat you have on that's all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 04 May 11 - 06:03 PM

Colin, thanks for getting the irony, and Arthur - no apology needed.

Unfortunately, the very threat of a lawsuit could make some credible reviewers/publishers a little leery.
On the other hand, it might make some vindictive or biased reviewers think twice about what they write.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 May 11 - 06:57 PM

some reviewers can dish out the criticism, but cannot take it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 04 May 11 - 07:20 PM

Tyke brings up the issue of conflict of interest and I must say that, as well as the muse deserting me, my other reason for giving up writing is my own feeling of conflict of interest as I now book artists for a folk club. Although I have been involved in booking artists for festivals previously the numbers involved were small so it was relatively easy to avoid that conflict. With around 40 artists a year to book it is more difficult - though I see nothing wrong in mentioning that an artist is visiting a local club (even if I have booked them!) if I am reviewing the CD near the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Tyke
Date: 04 May 11 - 10:01 PM

Well Joe I definatly not against the promotion of Live Music and as long as you are awear, as you seem to be, that you would only be damaging your own credibility if you personal were viewed by others as doing things for your own self interest.

I think that a rule of the Magazen editor handing out Albums to people who he or she knows like that type of Music is best. If then the reviewer gives a negative review the Album in question should be given to someone else to review and only if the second reviewer delivers a negative review should the editer decide to publish the First review.

All reviewers should listen to the whole Album and again on difertent day. As his or her mood or mindset can lead him or her to a different conclsion.As some one has already said a lot of blood sweat an tears goes into producing an Album not to mention money.

The internet will make all would be reviewers of Albums redundent as many artists let you sample the tracks before you download it might be marmite to a reviewer but a lot of peoples like marmite. I'm backing Betamax it is the Future!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 05 May 11 - 08:47 AM

Never done anything for my own self interest - I think I should start now!!

Whenever I reviewed a CD I would say I probably listened to it at least 10 times, often more, in different situations - on the hi fi, on the mp3 player walking to or from work and on the car radio.

There are a very small number of CDs that don't get played that much and those are the ones that really make me cringe and think 'life is too short'!

The only downside is that after such intensive listening, no matter how good the CD is, it is often a while before you want to listen to it again - though there have been some that have been so wonderful they have permanent residence on the mp3 player - to name a few Jon Boden's Songs from the Floodplain, Katriona & Jamie's Shadows & Half Light, Gerry McNiece's Small Town Boy and, recent favourite, Rebekah Findlay's 'Northern Skies' oh and of course Tom Bliss's 'Island Stories'!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: The role of the CD Reviewer?
From: Tyke
Date: 05 May 11 - 09:16 AM

Hi Joe you can go here to Gemm
to value all your Albums. Some feach very High Prices and some don't. You can work just why some reach a very High Price Yourself!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 August 10:36 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.