Album reviews

This has always worked on the principle of a few listens only surely for music journalism. In an age where people don’t really ‘buy’ music and using the new album by The National as an example do we need immediate reviews? Albums reveal themselves truly over many, many listens so are immediate reviews kinda pointless?

I had a month with Sleep Well Beast before reviewing it so not really sure what you are getting at here

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I see the point you’re making but isn’t that always the case? You might have four days or two weeks to make a judgement but an album might not click until a year later.

A review’s surely a judgement about buying the album this week.

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It’s just promotion, mostly


Plenty of reappraisals after an album initially gets panned then somehow becomes a Classic.

OK? But no one will know that immediately, and even if they do, it’s just opinions maaaaan

Your OP implies that immediate reviews are definitely pointless. I don’t think they’re the final result.

Might it be that any writing about music is kind of pointless* aside from the joy of writing or reading

*dancing about architecture


i usually give quite a few listens before writing about something. that is all.


Just read your post. 4/10.

I might re-evaluate though in a few years time.


I’m fine with the traditional model of listening over a few days then casting a judgement. Of course certain albums are growers, but you can’t hold off reviewing every album in case it’s one of those rare cases.

Problem now days is you get a lot of big surprise releases where everyone rushes to review the record within a day of it dropping. Leads to a lot of really vapid reviews


The review needs to come out when the album is newly released as that’s the point when most people give a shit about opinions on it.

As an aside, these people who moan about people making end of year lists in early December. Sure you could wait until the new year so that every single album of the previous year has been released, but even then you’ll not have heard all of those records and everyone is sick of lists in January.

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In a time when I can listen to the album as soon as it comes out immediate album reviews are pointless

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do you mean albums that get surprise releases?

Nah, on a day when there’s ten-plus albums released, reviews help me prioritise.

Also, regardless of what people say about forming your own opinions, if I give an album a cursory listen and it doesn’t click…if it then gets decent reviews I’ll usually revisit it, often with positive results.


Sure but in that case a considered review after listens not a rushed out one is what you could do with reading and there will be time for it.

If there are 10 plus albums do you have to buy them on the day of release for some medical reason?

I value my time and reviews do help me choose the priority I give new music. Also the press usually have the album a few weeks before release.


Yeah I don’t really get this thread for this reason

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Yeah. Also factor in a 30 minute indie rock record is hardly like tackling an 800 page metaphysical novel. Within a couple of plays of the Alvvays record I could tell it was chock full of catchy tunes, completely unoriginal, has cleaner production than the last one and i’ll listen to it tons for about a fortnight and then get bored.

Not sure reviewing something like that after six months when I am sick of it is actually going to get you a fairer viewpoint. And as before, no one really cares at that point.


I guess it’s different if you have a job or lifestyle that let’s you have headphones or whatever on all day but for me reviews are essential.

I reckon I have the time to properly listen to about five new releases a week which compared to the amount that comes out in a week is tiny.

I generally read music reviews over breakfast and the one that sounds most interesting to me gets queued up for that morning commute. Of the five I normally find one that has really excited me and I tend to buy that one on vinyl.

Not a system for everyone but it works for me because of music reviews.


Bands like The National are the ones I need reviews for least: I know I’m going to give their new lp a proper listen.

But reviews point me in the direction of interesting new stuff which is what stops me from just listening to The National all the time…