Do all bands, managers and publicists expect every album review to be full of praise and positive marks that label it the "best album of the year"? That's the feeling I get whenever I write a review for any album that's under 80% on the ol' scorecard.
Example: Raditude. The score is hardly a representation of my feelings for Weezer or the album itself. Do people even read anymore? Skimming is all fine and dandy, but don't just glance over it, be shocked by the numerical score and come up with your assessment of what I think.
Each reviewer here spends a lot of time writing these reviews, listening to both good & horrible albums, and hoping to get a fair word out on what their opinion/critique is.
There are certainly exceptions for when a low score matches my sentiment (Bowling for Soup, Plain White T's), but why give an album high marks that doesn't deserve to be called creative, long-lasting or worthy of any true distinguishing high grades? That doesn't necessarily make the album suck, it just isn't on the same plane as album's that spend more time on themselves over making party-rock.
In my eyes, Raditude will be an album I listen to on shuffle ... Thrice will be one I listen to as a whole. See the difference? Doesn't mean I hate the album, it's just not cohesive enough to sit with anyone. Subtle differences that people seem to always fail to recognize when I write. Just... read the damn thing and try to put your own personal bias on the shelf for a few short moments and see where I'm coming from.
I stand by the assertion that the score itself means far less than what I actually write. Hopefully you can think like that from now on, too.
Finished my reviews for Weezer and This Time Next Year. Always hard for me to give Weezer a low score seeing how long I have adored their music, but Raditude is just a "filler" album: it's fun and pleasant but warrants no critical points for doing anything worthy of true merit. This Time Next Year just loses steam over time. I absolutely loved it back in August when I first received it, but as the months go by, there's just much better pop-punk being made. Still enjoy the album, just not as much as I initially did.
Expect reviews for the following this week (and weekend): Nothington (whoo!), The Larry Arms (yeah!), Strung Out (finally!), Dead To Me (meh!), Dashboard Confessional (not sure yet!), We Shot the Moon (not bad!) and Anchor Down (pretty good!) (plus two others from punk bands not many are familiar with outside of, say, Canada).
Excited to pick up the Foo Fighters' deluxe edition of their greatest hits comp. I really just want the DVD that comes with it since I already own all the albums. "Wheels" has become one of my favorite songs of the year. In terms of favorite singles... I think Weezer will win that. I'm still madly in love with "If You're Wondering if I Want You To (I Want You To)." It's fucking addicting as hell.
Gonna be working hard on getting my meathooks on Joey Cape's album here in the coming weeks. That's my goal for the month. Can I do it? Yes. Yes, I can. I am Chris Fallon damn it.
Oh, and in case you were curious... I cannot decide which album I am looking forward to most in 2010: Jimmy Eat World, Butch Walker or The Gaslight Anthem. How in the name of fuck can I choose between those three?! If 2010 is half as good as 2009, I'll be satisfied. My current top 10 for 2009 is almost narrowed down... give me another month. I can't figure out where to put a few selections. I just love some of these albums like they are my children.
Listen to Adam Carolla's podcast. I love that man and his rationale. I'd like to have a beer with him one day. Dan Patrick can come, too. As long as he brings Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison.
Here's to Philadelphia ousting the Yankees (probably won't happen) and to the Seahawks salvaging what's left of that sinking ship season they are struggling in. I miss the Sonics.
It is cold here. I think I should warm myself up with some Curb Your Enthusiasm and a blanket before sleep... or what little of it I get. Goodnight CFaithful.
By my count, I have 10 upcoming reviews on my pallet... reviews I thought I'd have up by now. To be honest, I have most of them halfway written - I am just at a standstill, currently suffering from a bad case of writer's block. You all know how it goes - after a few weeks, putting all my time and energy into schoolwork, you simply run out of any fresh material you feel is worth sharing. Sure, I'd say 50% of these will be "once-overs," but I am picky about what I publish for the public - so if I am not feeling it, I won't bother.
Anyway, figured I'd say that in written form so I feel better about my current whereabouts/status on the site. I guess a couple of these upcoming reviews don't need to be posted anytime soon (for as-yet-to-be released albums), but I still have a racking sense of guilt on my conscience. I just love my job here too much, and I've neglected it for far too long now.
In case you are interested... here's what albums I need to finish:
Half Hearted Hero
High Five Drive
The Van Buren Boys
House of Heroes
Not to mention...
This is a Standoff
Our Lady Peace
Yeah, some of these are for small, up-and-coming bands so they might be pretty short -- there's only so much you can say, really. But some will get my magic touch. I actually really like Our Lady Peace and Sugar Ray's offerings this summer. Broadway Calls continues to sound better with every listen, and I fully endorse High Five Drive, Anchor Down and Half Hearted Hero. Stay tuned I guess -- you never know when I'll throw down.
Picked up some new vinyl the past week. Probably gonna post a summary of my recent additions to my ever-growing collection. I'm currently on the lookout for some speakers in good condition so I can play these over 4th of July weekend.
Stay well, AP Faithful. Who loves ya baby? This guy does.
Oh, and P.S. Look what I received in the mail earlier this week.
I was planning on posting my review for New Again this morning (Friday) ... but I still don't know what exactly to say. The album is just so mediocre, I seem to be having difficulty finding the words to match. I still passionately hate two songs, and strongly dislike one. The others I'm either "meh" on or like a decent amount. Nothing is spectacular here, and that's never a good sign. I haven't listened to the album all day, and honestly, I barely remember most of it. It's all a bit of a blur. After five very intent listening sessions, that is not a good sign at all.
Think I'll hold off until Monday or Tuesday, since it's gotta be a good one -- after all, this is going to be another big'un. Oh, and I am proud to say I was right -- Green Day is now my most viewed review. What what!
In the meantime, think I'll finish and post some smaller band reviews for tomorrow. Not sure if anyone gives a shit... I just felt like sharing. I am going to go watch The Wrestler now.
Wow, in only four days, my review for 21st Century Breakdown is currently my second most-read review. Rise Against holds the top spot with a little over 13,000 page views -- but it earned those in much less time. I have a feeling at the end of the week, Green Day will surpass that.
Pretty cool, since I've never had a review as widely-read as some people (Tony, in particular) here. When you look at the most popular reviews here, mine aren't up there -- so unless I write a review trashing a band highly-praised by most users here (All Time Low and Taking Back Sunday do have albums coming out soon, ya know), I am knocking on wood that Green Day can do it for me.
I have a bunch of reviews that will be posted this next week once my homework palette clears, none that are bands anywhere near Green Day's stature (most are unsigned or lesser-known punk bands). I am debating reviewing Taking Back Sunday, since I only had one "major" review for May. I'd like to take on another challenge, and New Again would provide that. Not sure yet. That could potentially be a biggie... hmm.
Anyway, as the quarter winds down, more reviews are bound to be posted. It will be my one year staff anniversary next week, and I have just begun, AP Faithful.
Punchline's new album is terrific. I would say it might be their best album yet - hard to say though since I enjoy Action still quite a bit.
Bayside also have recorded another solid disc. To me, this band keeps churning out great albums. Sort of Alkaline Trio meets Smoking Popes ... actually, on second thought ... that's all their stuff. Which is a good thing.
Oh, and because it takes too long to post a buncha links ... go here and read the slough of reviews I published today.
Lots to do this upcoming week slash weekend. I have a ton of reviews up my sleeve I want to get out and done - hopefully I'll get a number of "once-overs" up for a batch of EPs I have in my midst. Trevor Keith, The Ready Aim Fire!, 1969 and a bunch of unsigned bands I hope to direct some attention to are in my line-up. So be on the lookout for that.
I hope to get started on reviews for Relient K and Hit The Lights in the coming week. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of HTL-related items here on the site. This band is part of the better batch of the current pop-punk trend, and they deserve your attention more than, I don't know ... saaaaaaayyy ... Cute Is What We Aim For? The Maine?
As long as I can get all this done before July 4th weekend, I will be set. I want to relax and light fireworks without any worries (except for safety concerns, blah blah blah).
Supposed to be 90+ degrees here over the weekend, possibly stretching into the 100's. I work all day Saturday, so it better not be too out of control or else I'll be in a shitty mood. At least summer is here - I really do love this time of the year, even if I am always exhausted.