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catherine

music journalism

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for the interest of an essay im writing...

what are peoples views on the differences between production of, or just the music journalism in general on a broadsheet newspaper and on a music magazine.

which do you feel has more freedom of expression, or do you not read broadsheet music journalisim.... do you even read music magazines or are they too *fake*

what do you think about consumer guide style reviews?

discuss

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There is no right answer regarding music reviewing. Certain publications can help make/break musicians by conveying their view. Having one persons view is unfair IMHO. In an ideal world, reviews would be tackled by a group of people who are all qualified in the topic.

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"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." Frank Zappa

Every review is one person's opinion. However, it's not the opinion of the person that matters - namely yourself. You can't really trust any review or interview to tell you what you're really going to think when you actually hear an artist for the first time.

I'm quite into folk music, and for a number of years was aware that "The Incredible String Band" were regarded as extremely influential in the folk/rock genre. I'd seen Robin Williamson (one of the founder members) perform solo and was very impressed. I'd read a lot of articles and reviews, all of which said that the album "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" was a seminal work of brilliance, so when I saw said album in Fopp reduced to a bargain 5 I bought it straight away and hurried home to enjoy it.

It was probably the worst album I have ever had the misfortune to hear. I just didn't get it - I was really really looking forward to it, based on what I'd heard about it and the band, and it was really disappointing. In fact, the experience was so bad that I've never had the courage to give it a second listen. Maybe one day soon.

Regards

Flossie

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what are peoples views on the differences between production of' date=' or just the music journalism in general on a broadsheet newspaper and on a music magazine.[/quote']

Okay, my personal opinion is that they are very similar. The main difference (as far as I can see) is that broadsheets tend to write in a more mature style - out of the music rags that I've picked up, most of them seem to be aimed at a 14-25 age group. Some try and cater for older readers, but the focus is on the "entertainment" side of things with the rags. Broadsheets tend to be more critical in their opinions, perhaps trying to reflect that they're "intelligent" reviews.

The similarities comes in that you will tend to see the same popular album (say..KT Tunstall) reviewed at the same time - and they can be equally scathing if they want to be.

which do you feel has more freedom of expression, or do you not read broadsheet music journalisim....

Neither, to be honest. Most national broadsheets tend to be owned by the same mass media companies that own the music rags. I've seen controversial opinions in both the rags and the broadsheets - but the broadsheets tend to receive far less attention than the music rags. However, I tend to pay more attention to the music rags, because they're paid to write about music - chances are, the writer in the broadsheet also covers a wide variety of other things, and therefore their opinion is less "critical" than they'd like it to be.

do you even read music magazines or are they too *fake*

They are undoubtably pressured by a lot of outside influences. Their coverage is undoubtably fake and decided by a select few, but a few of the magazines do make an attempt at covering different stuff (it just isn't highlighted). I think the falseness is showing through a lot these days (Doherty in the NME for example), but it doesn't mean that all their coverage is exactly the same. Some of the interviews can be interesting, and a good example was Kerrang stirring the pot surrounding Tarja Turunen's diva-like nature that later turned out to be true.

The quality of the magazines tend to depend on whether something is hip or not at the minute - if there's nothing to obsess over and they haven't created something recently, a lot more quality journalism seems to come to the front.

Online music reviews are the way forward, though :)

what do you think about consumer guide style reviews?

I don't understand this, care to clarify? :p

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when they give you star ratings on albums and what not. so you dont even need to read the review. if its a small review the writer normally hasnt even listened to the album, just pikced stuff off the press release.

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when they give you star ratings on albums and what not. so you dont even need to read the review. if its a small review the writer normally hasnt even listened to the album' date=' just pikced stuff off the press release.[/quote']

Star reviews are not of much use. I may think that Reign in Blood by Slayer, Trout Mask Replica by Beefheart, Minesweeper Suite by Rupture and Heart of the Congos by The Congos are all worthy of 5 stars out of 5. However anyone who does not like metal, blues / free jazz, turntablism or reggae is bound to disagree with me.

I write music reviews for fun and always try and mention three things -

  • Introduction / interesting points about the artist, label, genre.
  • Description of the sound
  • Whether I like it or not

Obviously the third point is the most subjective and should be the most interesting part of the review. Recycling of press releases is a problem all journalists seem to have.....

Dave

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