Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The trouble with reviews (part 1 of 56)

I had a good night down at the jolly ol' Blazer of Blueness on Sunday, seeing Obi-Norm-Kenobi playing a splendid rare solo acoustic set.  Good to hear some new material there too.  I re-worked a superb Jill Hepburn song called "Moon On My Mind", to a more bluesy bent, which seemed to go down quite well.  The more I listen to Jill's album "Snowflake", the better the songs seem to me, a subtlety in the lyrics suddenly reveals itself, or a melody gets lodged in the brain.

Which brings to me to an idea.  When reviews of albums/singles are done, I'd imagine that in the main, they are done after one or two listens, due to time constraints on the poor overworked journo doing it.  Perhaps for a major release, a selected few favoured acolytes may receive copies early, and they may listen to it a bit more.

But, usually I don't listen to music like that.  I quite often listen to something two, maybe three times, then for some reason don't play it again for a while.  Then, I'll listen again, and if I don't really like it, that'll likely be the end of it.  If I do like it though, I'll probably carry on listening to it for months.  Recent examples (as well as the Jill Hepburn platter mentioned above) might be the I Am Kloot opus "Sky At Night", The National's "High Violet", and Edinburgh-based troubadour Calum Carlyle's "Another Side of Calum Carlyle".  Perhaps my subconscious is processing the musical information.

It's probably not practicable, but what would be interesting is if somehow the reviewer could do another review say, six months down the line.  Does the record still hold any interest for them, what songs started to grate, what has emerged as a classic, etc.  The only problem with that is that it would take up time/space from new music, which wouldn't be good.

Usually, it's music than I'm not terribly sure I even like on first listen, that I end up loving.


  1. Good post Mr Bozo - I think the same kind of thing applies to "Best Album Ever..." polls - nothing younger than 10 years old should be allowed, to ensure said albums have indeed stood the test of time...

  2. I tend to agree Mr CBQ, it always seems a tad ridiculous when an album that came out last year tops one of those polls.