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Do Reviews Matter To You?

Posted by: Drew Beringer (11/07/13)
Earlier this week, NPR asked if musics reviews matter to listeners. So let's pose the question here: do you still read reviews every day? Do you read them to get a different view point on what your listening to? Do you check them out to generate a conversation?
These days, I'm not so sure negative reviews have as much of an effect. If someone wants to know whether or not they like a record, they'll probably just listen to it online somewhere. It really depends on the band and where it is in its lifespan. A stellar, four- or five-star review for a new or emerging artist could be huge for them. It looks good in press releases and ads. Pull quotes end up on album cover stickers, and the otherwise casual listener might be more inclined to check out the music. For bigger, more established artists, such as Arcade Fire, a bad review probably isn't going to change what fans think of the band or its music.
    
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 52.
03:20 PM on 11/07/13
#2
billyboatkid
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I always enjoy someone elses point of view on something that I've heard or am anticipating listening to.

Edit: I would say reviews matter. Music reviews usually don't change/sway my outlook on the body of work as much as a game or movie review would. If it was given a good review and is something in the genre(s) I like it would definitely make me more inclined to give it a shot.
03:20 PM on 11/07/13
#3
*dannyg*
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I definitely read reviews before & after I listen to things that I like and don't like. I like to see other people's opinions & see if they relate to my own or if I completely disagree with them. I also tend to find reviewers opinions who I like, then read their reviews of other albums I haven't listened to yet; just another way I get into artists, from people who I deem reputable sources.
03:21 PM on 11/07/13
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Adam Pfleider
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depends on the record and then the writer
03:24 PM on 11/07/13
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dannylololol
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A well written, positive review will sometimes make me check out an album
03:28 PM on 11/07/13
#6
slimfenix182
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I'd say the only reviews that have any effect on me at this point are those for video games.
03:28 PM on 11/07/13
#7
dash64
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When it comes to this website I definitely read reviews. Each staff member has their own unique way of viewing things so I like that it can give me a different perspective on something I've been listening to.
03:29 PM on 11/07/13
#8
Rosenbcm
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They absolutely matter. I always read the review before I listen to a record and then I read it again after I listen to it. I like to see if they have valid points and if I agree with them in certain areas.

I love reading the reviews on this site.
03:30 PM on 11/07/13
#9
drewinseries
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I write for Under The Gun and I love it. Whenever I write reviews, I feel it is my job to adequately portray the feelings and emotions a piece of art instills in me, rather then just tracklist the songs in the album. I think there is much to gain from complimentary understanding and appreciation on the usefulness of art in the human experience. Here is my favorite review thus far, for Radical Face's newest album.

http://www.underthegunreview.net/2013/10/18/review-radical-face-the-family-tree-the-branches/
03:34 PM on 11/07/13
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They matter as far as spurring discussion and that's about it. The reviews I choose to read on this site are by the people I interact with on this site, so there's not usually any diverging opinions as much as somehwere else. But posting other reviews here and discussing them is good. The Eminem reviews "matter" to me because I think they're setting back the genre.
03:35 PM on 11/07/13
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Music reviews shouldn't matter, but I feel like I can enjoy albums more if they get critical praise. I'm immune to film criticism, I like movies that have gotten some BAD reviews. (Only God Forgives, Hesher)
03:41 PM on 11/07/13
livinginpixels
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Reviews definitely matter - Everytime I see an album get a "Best New Music" tag on Pitchfork, its almost guaranteed to be on iTunes top 10 the next Tuesday.

Also - I value people that review albums, because there is no way I could possibly filter through all the music out there on the Internet and find NEW amazing material on my own.

We NEED reviews
03:41 PM on 11/07/13
kismet
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I like to read through reviews for albums that I've heard a lot of hype for, but don't listen to the band to see if it's something I'd want to check out.
03:42 PM on 11/07/13
Jason Tate
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My feelings on reviews for certain things hasn't changed that much over the years, and it continues to inform how I write my own thoughts about things.

I trust a small group of people when it comes to something such as "taste." There are movie critics I respect and would say I had a close to 95% similarity with (Roger Ebert for example), and then someone like Andy Greenwald is writing about TV better than anyone else right now (and I would trust his taste explicitly right now). With music I have those who I would want to hear from when deciding if I'd like something (different people for different genres). When it comes to reviews:

1) Movies: I will look at the score of the people I trust first. See if they recommend seeing it. If they do, then I'll see the movie, form my opinion, and then go read the review to see where it is the same or differs and reevaluate my own. If I randomly see a movie and I like it, I won't usually go find other reviews to read. If I see a movie and dislike it, I will usually try and find some reviews to flesh out my thoughts (maybe I missed something, or maybe I'm right). I try and read everything Wesley Morris writes though, because I fucking love his style.

2) TV shows: I read basically anything Andy Greenwald is writing even if I don't watch the shows. I absolutely read the re-caps and listen to the podcasts about my favorites though (Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc.).

3) Music: I listen for recommendations from the people I trust. I'll read reviews after I've heard albums. I'll listen to an album (it's easier to do via Rdio) based on a tweet, post in a thread, email, whatever ... and read full reviews usually after I've heard or been exposed to an album. I read mostly AP.net reviews and don't have many other writers elsewhere I follow (Ian Cohen) but I am so entrenched in music and my tastes on it are really fine tuned to when I can pick up if I like something, want to dive into it more, etc. That said, a big publication posting a review means nothing to me. The Boston Globe's opinion on the new Eminem is not worth the paper it's printed on. I don't read reviews on other sites similar to ours about music we cover, cause I already know how I feel about it - and I definitely don't care if AltPress shit all over an album they'll be praising at the end of the year once it gets popular. A positive tweet from Ryan D or Craig or Drew or cshadows about an album will have me add it to my rdio queue to check out. A news post about a band from staff that says "holy shit this is good" will have me toss it in my rdio quote to check out. I'll use other opinions to inform my own, and then I try and look at things through two lenses: the subjective "do I like this and why" as well as the objective "is this good and why."

Reviews matter when the author matters to me -- this is why I try and form my writing around ways that let people know how I feel about something in a recommended/don't recommend kind of way. I know people will check things out if I say I like them, that quality to me is more important than a dissertation on why, and that's why I try and write how I would want to read myself. That sounds way meta and weird. Hope it made some sense.
03:43 PM on 11/07/13
caraballo
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Music reviews shouldn't matter, but I feel like I can enjoy albums more if they get critical praise. I'm immune to film criticism, I like movies that have gotten some BAD reviews. (Only God Forgives, Hesher)
My thoughts exactly. When I see and read praise for an album I already enjoy I tend to praise that said album even more.
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