If you’ve ever read any review of any music release ever in the history of words, you probably know what I’m talking about already, so this shouldn’t be too hard to explain, but reviews of anything are pretty much packed to the brim with bullshit. Just look at this genius twitter account that picks bullshit phrases out of actual Pitchfork reviews. Filler words ^^^, stretched comparisons, metaphors that really always fail to describe anything that is actually heard (world shattering drums, throat murdering vokills etc. etc.), and most importantly OPINIONS always fill up and ruin what would be a good review. I used to write reviews but stopped because I hated it because I was just trying to use nice words to make people think like I do, and that felt like a hollow useless exercise.
The main culprit here is SUBJECTIVITY. Most reviews are just people trying to use the right words and emphasis to get their opinion into someone else’s head via flowery bullshit writing. Good writing is wasted trying to describe sound instead of thought or story, so it usually ends up just being used to describe the author’s opinions instead of what is actually recorded. And there might be some great respected reviewers who can accurately say something about a record, or some kid with a computer making a poorly written positive review that can get people excited for an album, which I guess is a purpose. But negative reviews only project the author’s inflated negative opinion and not what anything actually sounds like, because aspects that someone else might enjoy are described with a negative influence, they are perceived as a fault instead of simple description of what something. Its a huge problem and totally ruins potential music for millions of people everywhere probably. BUT I HAVE A SOLUTION
The First Ever Objective Album Reviews:
I factored out all the bullshit, all the flowery words that don’t mean anything, and just broke it down into categories. Could be done with a chart, but venn diagrams work well because there’s usually a lot of overlap. This Ke$ha album noticeably has a lot more jams than bangers, so if you loved her first album (mostly bangers), you might not enjoy this one as much. If you’re a fan of jams you should get stoked. If you aren’t into club bangers or pop jams, you might not dig this album that much, maybe the slow songs, but there are only a few. Notice how you don’t even know what I think about this album? And how you could figure out if you’d like to listen to it on your own without anyone telling you anything? This is the fucking future man.
This one was a little harder and illustrates the major flaw of this system, finding the clear words to accurately describe music. When it doesn’t break that clearly into categories it gets a little harder, but I still feel like this is a pretty good breakdown for the album. I’ve described bangers before, shit that gets you pumped up in the club, the atmospheric smoked out shit might not be that obvious if you didn’t hear the A$AP mixtape which was essentially 100% like that, and boom bap is just what I used to describe dudes gettin on beats and layin down rhymes. This one would probably need an accompanying description of the categories, but most of these won’t even need that.
Here we can see what might make Homesick arguably the ultimate depiction of scene music ever made. With the simple formula (pop punk + breakdowns) that is hardly deviated throughout the full album, it was able to capture both the pop rock crowd and scenecore kids. There’s like no variety, but that’s not what the kids wanted, they craved consistency. There are other factors, like the touring away from home theme that kids wanted to live to prove to their mom they could make a living off their ART, but without any information about lyrics given, this is the kind of thing you’d have to look into for yourself. And if you actually LISTEN to the music, your thoughts about how good the lyrics are and which ones stand out to you are pretty easy to form.
These objective reviews just give a snapshot of the sound and breakdown the kind of songs. They could give a breakdown of lyrical themes as well, and there are tons of way to make them more complex while still not delving into opinions. I do see ways this system could be used for EVIL (let’s put every Justin Bieber song into the category “horseshit that iznt real music! lol olol), but if stayed true to the original idea, they could eventually replace bullshit filled music reviews now, and give people clear-cut useful information about if they’ll like the music or won’t. I know this is more suited for a sometimes-funny single subject blog that I don’t have the time or effort to run, but let me dream big.
THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME
BONUS: reviewed Sarge’s new EP: