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How much importance do you put on critics' opinions and how influential are they?


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Old 01-05-2012, 21:16
mgvsmith
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Agree with the above. Analysis of anything creative will always involve a fair slice of personal taste. What is 'bad' music ? Is it as simple as music that's not liked ? I'm not sure that it is, there are lots of good musicians with small fanbases.

Someone like John Peel was such a treasure to anyone who appreciated music, particularly that he had no concept of popularity in his choices.
It's good to see this thread move towards a positive outcome. Some comments are so dismissive of critics without thinking the issue through. Peel is a great example of someone who brought indie and minority music to wider attention without consideration of how popular it might be but how good it was.
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Old 01-05-2012, 21:20
Radiomaniac
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In other words you rely on your own prejudices. Critics are a tad more objective than that in most cases actually.
I don't have any prejudice where music is concerned. I only know if I like it or not after I've listened to it. Actually.

I've never bought or not bought anything on the recommendation of some supposed critic.
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Old 01-05-2012, 21:21
lumiere
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It's all very well saying that critics are irrelevant, but without them how do people go about finding the time to actually listen to the estimated 5,000+ albums released every year? That's over 100 albums per week on average.

Personally I find it far better to find critics I trust and think I share similar taste with, and to then allow them to spend their time listening to the mass of new music that's being constantly released so they can narrow it down to, say, half a dozen albums a week that might be worth me spending my time listening to - and then of course I can make my own judgement on which ones I agree with them on.

So I believe critics have their uses. It's just a question of finding the right ones and using them in a way that helps you.
Basically what I was going to say. There's no way I have time to even listen to snippets of all the new music that's released. So I have to rely at least a bit on other people's opinions. Obviously I trust my friends and people I know above critics, but I will normally check something out if it's been critically praised. And I've discovered a lot of great stuff that way.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:51
mushymanrob
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Why does anyone listen to critics.Thats what your own mind is for.
exactly!

i dont read critics opinions on new music

however it is interesting to retrospectively see whos said what and if they were proven correct.

if we had listened to the critics back in 76-77 then punk would never have taken off! ... the nme in particular did a spectacular u turn regarding punk.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:04
mgvsmith
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exactly!

i dont read critics opinions on new music

however it is interesting to retrospectively see whos said what and if they were proven correct.

if we had listened to the critics back in 76-77 then punk would never have taken off! ... the nme in particular did a spectacular u turn regarding punk.
'The Boy looked at Johnny' by Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill was written at the time, took a punk attitude to music writing and probably influenced the success of punk. Plus the vast number of fanzines which emerged at the time were full of great reviews. I would not have known about numerous bands at the time without them. I wouldn't be so dismissive of critics.

It's also fair to say that the NME never had one homogenous approach to music writing. The NME championed ABBA well before anyone else thought they were credible. The NME also did some great work on Joy Division/New Order and New Wave Music in general. Paul Morley's writing was brilliant and he continues as a great writer. Music writing is an art in itself.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:31
mushymanrob
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'The Boy looked at Johnny' by Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill was written at the time, took a punk attitude to music writing and probably influenced the success of punk. Plus the vast number of fanzines which emerged at the time were full of great reviews. I would not have known about numerous bands at the time without them. I wouldn't be so dismissive of critics.

It's also fair to say that the NME never had one homogenous approach to music writing. The NME championed ABBA well before anyone else thought they were credible. The NME also did some great work on Joy Division/New Order and New Wave Music in general. Paul Morley's writing was brilliant and he continues as a great writer. Music writing is an art in itself.
i was thinking of charles shaar murray, big into prog, dismissed early punk before having a change of heart.

i did read julie birchill in particular... thought she spoke sense.

but that was long ago, i dont take note of critics now when commenting on modern music, mainly because modern music is dead compared to the punk era, me being younger then also plays a part! lol
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Old 03-05-2012, 13:20
Dixon
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Maybe I just have really bad taste but how much clout do critics reviews have?

Critics do have a bit of 'clout' in some genres of music, but only a bit.
Some people will buy a record just because it's won critics awards and they feel they need to own that album to keep up with being 'trendy'.
However, the vast majority don't give a toss what critics say about music and neither should they!

I don't read the music press these days,but back when i did it was full of 'music snobs' so it wouldn't surprise me if it was still like that.
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