This is important. Criticising a band or album or song is fine and perfectly valid. We can’t all like the same things and it’s good to read differing takes on the subject at hand. What’s not cool is aiming any vitriol you might have for the music at or being dsimissive of the fans - ‘Music For People Who…’ is becoming a bit of a faux-pas round here for a good reason these days. We’ve all been guilty of it and similar, but hopefully we’re learning.
I try really hard not just be dismissive or superior about stuff that other people like but I think is derivative or just plain bad (there’s a lot of that sort of thing about). It’s a really hard rule to stick to though and there are definitely times when I fail to keep my mouth shut.
I do think there are different rules for different types of thread though. Pretty much anything goes on a HGATR thread- the only requirement there in my view is to try to show your workings if you’re going to be critical of something and just to butt out altogether if you genuinely know nothing about the artist (I’ve been doing that a lot recently). On the other hand if someone has started a thread specifically to talk about an artist or a record that they love you’d need a very good reason to be getting involved at all if you disagree.
A lot of people will tell you that the long, heartfelt posts about people’s love for a band and how it ties in to their personal life are the best thing about the HGATR threads, but I much prefer the acutely incisive takedowns. Especially when music journalism no longer really offers much of this - almost all credible sources of reviews now seem to score practically everything on a scale of 6-8. So please, for me if nobody else, let rip on the music you loathe, as long as you draw the line there and don’t pass judgement on people who might enjoy it.