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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Artist Formerly Known As Crap


I was listening to some of the different albums that have recently arrived. One in particular caught my ear above the others. The artist is a young man who has clearly been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen and Morrissey.

I took an instant and visceral dislike to him (all surly and meaningful on the album cover) and his second-hand brand of confessional pop.

I started to write about him. I started to rip him to pieces. It was so simple. He was such an easy target.

Pulling things apart is so easy. And so much fun.

After a while I grew bored with shooting fish in a barrel and pulling the wings off flies. Stepping back, I realise I didn’t like the me who enjoyed doing that kind of thing.

As an exercise I turned my attention around to the positives in the platter.

Hey, that’s a nice ascending bass line. Good interplay between the horn section. An uplifting guitar motif. Clever use of reverb. Punchy without the swagger. An attractive economy in the overall sound, and now I hear it, that was actually quite a neat lyric on that particular song.

Clearly the young man has been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen and Morrissey. Let’s face it, he could be doing a lot worse.

Clearly this is an artist who has plenty of room to grow.

Me too.

5 comments:

Steve Lawson said...

what a brilliant, poignant post, Sid. I've been in EXACTLY the same place.

And, additionally, have been caught out bitching about people online who've read it and called me out on it, quite justifiably.

I now just don't do bad reviews. If I genuinely think it's a load of balls, I'll just pass on writing about it.

Good words, sir,

Sx

Owen said...

Well blogged.

steven said...

hey sid! i've often wondered how you do it. how you wade through the stacks of cds i see heaped on your desk in the yellow room without wanting to slash and burn a few. i reviewed records for a year for a student newspaper and the dross that came in was rarely lightened by the appearance of something so wholly worthy that i was excited to review it. but, i had my "space" in the paper and it had to be filled, so off to the races i went. a few clever put-downs here a few odious comparisons there and the "space" was filled. i admire you for publishing this piece sid. i hope that some of the reviewers for popular music magazines have an opportunity to read it and reflect on it.
steven

Chris W said...

....probably because you're a nice chap and that isn't something to be taken for granted. Plenty of people wouldn't have even thought about it but just gone ahead and slated the music instead....

Will said...

That's a post I want to clip and send to a lot of people. I've been there too (probably been the young guy too). A great post. Thank you.

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