Home > Author blabber > Self-Reflection: Bargains Vs. Busts

Self-Reflection: Bargains Vs. Busts

Something that has lingered in my mind every time I write a review is my evaluation of my own critique.  In life I like to believe that I am open-minded and am willing to give everything a chance.  Just the other day a friend of mine said he wanted a group of people to go out for Ethiopian food.  I immediately paused and tried to recall if I ever had Ethiopian food before and, if I had, whether I liked it or not.  My friend looked at the obvious consternation on my face and declared that hey, I’ll probably like it since he knows I’ve tried many types of cuisine before.  Well that was nice to hear!  Considering I had no idea what to expect, it turned out that I enjoyed the meal even without the utensils.  So, perhaps I tend to find something good out of most situations even if the original outlook might seem worrisome.

This seems to be the case with my music reviews as well.  Looking at my Past Reviews there has to be something like a 3:1 ratio of Bargains:Busts.  Either I am selling everyone a load of goods when it comes to my reviews or I am actually finding quite a lot of fine albums for very cheap.  If I was quick to judge then it might be the former, but I have to stand by the fact that I am being honest with my reviews.  I sometimes have to slog through a record two or three times just to find something to write about that doesn’t resemble hate or apathy.  There are quite a few times when I wish I had the guts to just write “Ah, it was alright around the middle but a few songs were just awful.” and be done with it.  Giving things a few listens seems to conjure up remote feelings of interest, so maybe that is why some Bargains arose from The Rest and, of course, much of The Rest from the depths of Busts.

Perhaps I should wield more of an iron fist?  Declare that two or three tracks are not enough to save an album from widespread (okay, village-like spread) shunning?  I could do that.  I could point at a rack of dollar bin records and, before even listening to them, declare that it is likely that 80% of it is an improper use of plastic and disc-making machines.  But man, that would be terribly dishonest.  There’s tons of great music out there, even in those two or three tracks amidst the dreck of ill-conceived ideas that make up an album.  I’m not sure how many of these albums that I deem listenable are truly front-to-back worthy of spinning for most people, but I think they should get at least one run through to hear what I’m talking about.  Maybe there’s a few songs that should get another spin at that.

Going forward, I feel that the 3:1 ratio will likely stay the same if not branch wider into a 4:1 ratio.  I’m sure there will still be albums that I won’t be able to recommend to anybody, but as with every review, it’s only my opinion.  My … traditionally optimistic opinion, that is.

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