Music criticism is no place for the squeamish
Over the past decade, I’ve found that being a music critic of any repute requires a thicker skin than most musicians could dream of owning. Putting an opinion out there, into the vast muddle of public irritation and apathy, requires a lot more gumption than people might think. On the face of it, it’s a relatively simple thing to do but that doesn’t mean anyone can do it.
Criticism is not just about having an opinion. If that was the case, Twitter would be the go-to place for all culture. Obviously, I’ve heard, and been assaulted by, the cliché that opinions are like arseholes, but in my experience not everyone has a genuine opinion. Arseholes are plentiful.
I began writing music criticism because I had a neurotic notion that by articulating, distilling and delivering my critique, I could somehow help to improve the medium. Even just writing that down, it looks like an arrogant notion but it was my springboard, my reason for bothering. I thought I could make a difference. I set about trying to destroy laziness, ridicule the stereotypes, denounce the derivative, promote the underdog, unearth the creative and shine a light on shaded genius. Continue reading