Thursday, February 28, 2008

A new language, pt. 1

Temps' talk of the critic needing to acknowledge the medium in which the album was experienced brought something else to light for me. There is no existing language for a critic to employ to speak about the way in which an album is produced. A critic has talked about emotional landscapes (belch), harmonic contents, forms, tempos, rhythms, etc. for centuries. And yet when approaching the way in which a record sounds we simply get vague, tired descriptive words, genre concoctions and a listing of the primary instruments.

"Got a Good Feelin' Down Hee-are" is an exciting, upbeat reggae-Tron number where the infectious cowbell competes for the listeners attention with heavily delayed vocals.

And in case they can't figure out how to describe the song any better, they pull out some lyrics and expect us to somehow envision how those words SOUND! One shouldn't finish a review and think: Oh, they certainly seemed to like that record, but, sadly, I didn't know the composers they referenced nor the newly birthed genres they're discussing, thus in buying the record I am putting all of my faith in the publication.

The point I'm trying to make is this: reading reviews could be fun. I love recorded music. I also love to think about recorded music. Thus the thought of some sort of publication, be it net-bound or printed, writing about the way in which music sounds is so entirely exciting that I am salivating. Part of what temps and uticas have covered so far with this blog is to show that many critics fail to write about what the music sounds like. What I propose, though, is that critics don't have a language with which to talk about recordings.

More later.

1 comment:

Uticas said...

they do have one word to say about production in their bag o tricks: "over-produced". they love that one.