Wednesday, January 16, 2013
This is the new era, the era of the pros.
So why then, on what assumes to be music's most widely respected, trusted news source, aka Rolling Stone, do music reviewers insist on limiting their examinations and analysis of art to a mere paragraph or two?
The successive staffs of Rolling Stone have been providing readers with well-respected lists, reviews, news coverage, and opinion pieces since 1967, with no other significant rival to contest their dominance.
Until the music blogs came along.
Sure, the capital income for Rolling Stone squanders that of leading Hip Hop websites. But more readers and viewers are continuously turning to indie or mainstream music coverage sites to listen to new songs, gain insight from thorough editorials, or simply stay up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape that is the music industry.
One of the principle reasons for this slow but steady shift from established, print issued magazines to indie-essenced, steady-posting blogs and websites can be definitively explained through the use of one word: laziness.
Long.Live.A$AP, the fantastic debut album by Harlem born, Houston-rap infused artist A$AP Rocky (which dropped yesterday and leaked about a month earlier)was reviewed by Rolling Stone writer Simon Vozick-Levinson. I have no issue with the rating given, a respectable 3.5 / 5 stars. I have an issue with the extremely short, substance lacking 230 word 'review' that effectively spent two sentences total on providing some opinion about the actual content. 75 % of the 'review' is spent talking about the album's precursor, the also excellent Live.Love.A$AP mix tape, or the names of high-caliber features and producers. While this information is important, it almost entirely lacks any real opinionated or reflective response to the actual music.
Of course, the reader's time is precious. In this day and age, there is always something to be done, and when there is not, there is always an abundance of ways to spend (or waste) time. I am not advocating for multi page reviews--save that for the interviews and editorials. What I am advocating for is more substance.