Friday, October 3

Are Negative Reviews A Negative Thing?

. Friday, October 3

So a few weeks ago I wrote a review of Iglu & Hartly's debut album '& Then Boom' which I gave a mark of 0/10. I wrote it on Drowned In Sound so I knew people were not going to disagree with the content of the review nor the score. However a lot of the comments spoke of the disgust that a serious music site like Dis would waste it's time and bandwidth on publishing reviews of such a band, especially when the review merely compounds preconceptions. Comments like -

What a load of bollocks
you don't review something zero out of ten. This is meaningless nonsense. Way to ruin DiS's reputation as a serious music site.

Had I slagged off the new TV On The Radio album I'd understand it but for this pile of rubbish? Surely, as I thought writing it, it's just a bit of fun- maybe make someone giggle on their dinner break. Further debate was created when Dis ran their weekly discussion feature loosely based on my review and the topic of negative reviews. Link General consensus appears to be that in an age of downloads and the disposable nature of music that

A) A writers job is pointless
B) Publications should only ever focus on what is good.

Personally I feel this is wrong. I think it is important to address what is going on in the cultural environment we all live in. Had Iglu & Hartly been a group of 17 year olds handing out CD-Rs after a support gig at the Barfly I would not have been bothered as to their level of ineptitude. If however that band had huge press coverage, billboard posters, blanket TV coverage and the swellings of popularity then I would, and will always, feel the need to speak out. One of the arguments is that by covering an album that is awful we block coverage of a genuinely good band. I say allowing a terrible band to become successful is more detrimental to a good acts progress.

I am in a fortunate position to be able to write about music I love, I gushed about Eugene Mcguiness' debut album and poured superlatives over Friendly Fires. However for every piece of good music there is a wave of bad- just listen to Radio 1 for 10 minutes. Thats why it can be important and refreshing to speak out and I will continue to do so.


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