Why I write (mostly) positive reviews.

3 Nov

“Why are your reviews so positive?”

This was a question asked to me recently along with “Hey dude, why did you give Avenged Sevenfolds ‘The Stage’ a good review? It sucked”

Music is art and, as we know, art is subjective. It is all down to personal preference. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. In MY opinion, that particular album was a pretty good listen. Sure it had some issues, in MY opinion, but nothing that impeded my overall enjoyment. You may have other issues with the record, you may go as far as saying it sucked. That is YOUR opinion and you are entitled to that. It doesn’t mean that either of us are right though. Opinions do NOT equal fact.

To write music, to play your songs in public and to make them available for the World to hear, takes guts. You are opening yourself for a potential beating. Why would you put yourself through that? As a musician myself, I know the giddy highs of finishing your latest ‘masterpiece’ and the excitement of having everyone listening to it and basking in your genius. I also know the suffocating paranoia of wondering what people will actually think when you make it available for public consumption and the crushing lows of watching your YouTube views or Soundcloud plays not tick over as much as you’d like. I’ve also experienced negative reviews. I despise the badly written ones. I can take a certain amount of criticism if it’s constructive but “You suck” isn’t.

We are all guilty of saying that a piece of music is shit, or that a band sucks. I hate myself when those words leave my mouth because what I should say is simply “I don’t like this piece” or “I’m not a fan of that band” – For every person that slates Nickelback, there are two that love them. Which group is wrong? Neither. Personal taste again. I like them myself.

All musicians want is for people to listen to their music. If I hear something that I’m not 100% enamoured with, I’ll try to gloss over the negatives and accentuate the positives. I’ll try be constructive where I can be, and always stress that anything negative, and positive for that matter, is simply MY opinion. I don’t expect any band reading a review I’ve written about their work to agree with everything I say, but I’d like to think that I am fair with my opinions and give a balanced viewpoint. If I don’t like something and I have to pass comment then I’ll try to explain why it didn’t mesh with me. It’s fine to have a different point of view and if you can explain to me why you have that point of view then that is great. You may even sway me to come around to your way of thinking. Oh I didn’t think of it like that.

So why do I write (mostly) positive reviews?

Because I genuinely enjoy music, can find enjoyment in the majority of things I listen to and am open minded enough to accept “differences” – Argh! He’s a witch!

I listen to a wide range of different music from Country to Blues to Pop to Metal and all in between. It allows me to be a bit more open minded (I think) about certain things and be more accepting. I don’t see the need to outright criticise a singer or a guitarist, or even the production because it is all down to that personal preference I spoke of before. The artist has made personal choices as to why their song sounds a certain way. It is then down to our brains to determine whether or not this choice fits in with what we like or dislike.




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