Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
Hello, Iíd like to ask you to take out the buds and let me bend your ear. What were you listening to anyway? Was it good? How do you know? Did you read a review on that song you just downloaded? What about a critique on that new CD you just freed from its shrink-wrapped prison?
I read reviews; I just donít always follow them. In fact, I also write reviews, but I donít expect that everyone will agree with my articles. Itís a matter of taste in my opinion.
See, Iím not a big fan of opera music, so if I were to review opera music, more than likely my pieces would not be dripping with praise. I would honestly try to find something good because I donít like being totally negative, but I donít know how I would honestly analyze an opera performance when I would be gritting my teeth the whole time I was listening.
In the world of Pop Music, I donít always like everything I review and there are times when I think I will like something new or I hope that I will like something new, but I donít. That doesnít mean itís not good or that it shouldnít sell millions of copies. Good grief, to have that much power. Unfortunately, some reviewers seem to think they have that power. I have read scathing reviews on new and old artists. The really bad reviews befuddle me because I wonder about the type of journalistic training the reviewer has. How do you get to be a town crier when it comes to telling others what is good and bad? Do I have to listen to scads upon scads of CDs?
I met a book agent once who advised that in order to write in the genre that you wish to be published, you have to read a thousand books in that particular genre. I love young adult fiction and I would really like to publish some work in this category, so this summer Iím keeping track of all of the young adult novels that I read. I can guarantee you that I wonít like all of them, I can also predict that at some point I will toss one aside and whine to my family and friends that if that author could be published, than so could I. However, it will always amount to what I like, what I thought was good. Iím a very small dot on a very big screen.
So, I wonder, do reviewers listen to 1,000 or more songs, CDs and concerts in the music category that they review? How do they know what is good and what is bad when they listen to the music? Once again, I think this could be a matter of taste. Iím sure there are some blatant points that stand out in some compositions like the ability to stay on key, sudden and painful changes of pitch in voice, and missed intros or beats. And then again . . . some of these elements could actually be part of the creative process and meant to be in the final cut.
The beginning question was do we listen or not listen to reviewers. For me, I decided long ago to decide for myself what I like. As I get older, Iíve found itís easier to really follow my own path and stand true to the choices I make. Sometimes I agree with the reviewers and chart keepers and other times I feel like they are on another planet.
What about you? Is it a matter of taste or are you a connoisseur of music and song. Who do you listen to when it comes time to add to your music collection? Let me know in the forum.
Have a great week!