It takes an intense mastery of the field, intuition and insight to be an expert music reviewer. You have to know how to curb your own personal likes and dislikes while simultaneously conveying a generally neutral overview of an album, a show, a work of art. Sometimes it’s impossible to contain your emotions, sometimes it’s just not good enough to list the references and rote recital of influences, those nasty “sounds-like”s, with a cross reference of juxtaposing yet contemporary sounds. You gotta put yourself and your audience into the album or spill a drink on them at the show, metaphorically. You gotta take people to that place, and “honest-to-blog” it feels like reinventing the wheel every time, you listen to a new track or a new album. It’s an agonizing process that not a lot of people understand. Being a critic is almost as masochistic as love. You have to give a little more than you get. You have to ruin your favorite album by listening to it over and over again, picking it apart.
As far as album reviews are concerned we got some smoking coverage of some of the hottest indie albums of the year, including releases by A Lull, Mathieu Santos, Kids on a Crime Spree, Golden Glow and North Highlands. I’m not sure why nobody really dug our Bestial Mouth piece, but I’m-a just have to assume that one went over some people’s head. Yeah, I know goth ain’t your thing, that’s cool, but you should still give it a chance. This year also saw some incredible festivals and the previews and reviews pretty much got me wishing I was at every set. Among this years notable fest, have to be Lolla, for all its Latino-focused fanciness and the World Music Festival (need I say more?).
To all our writers, but especially the music section nerds. I can’t say it enough. Thanks homies. All of you are A-list. Seriously. Mad props.
Your favorite neighborhood editor.