I like reviewing but I also hate it. I only review, really, unsigned, independent or relatively small acts which is great for me because they’re the ones I think that need more exposure and I could review the new Airbourne album but who won’t be really? I started reviewing and promoting bands that I thought needed the extra help. That’s what it’s always been to me, wanting to support acts who deserve more attention than they get.
So when I don’t like an album or a live performance, I give bad reviews. I hate that. I hate doing them. Sometimes it’s not even a case of not liking, it’s more to do with not caring for it in any way. It doesn’t provoke any reaction from me. When I write these negative reviews, I feel terrible. If a band is unsigned and people search them on Google, one of the first results should not be somebody slating them. I realise that if a band’s bad, I should say so or say their performance is weak I should, too. what if they’re not, though? What if the album I’ve been sent is just poor quality? What if the live performance was an off night for them? Then what? Then I’ve slated them and left that bad review there for anyone to see for however many months/years. It seems a little harsh.
I write for a magazine as well, I love writing for it and have had a few amazing experiences thanks to it. I interviewed Amy Lee, Jamie Oliver from Lostprophets, Frightened Rabbit, Amy McDonald, Phonejacker etc. I’m so lucky to be part of such a lovely wee magazine but when I write bad reviews on there I don’t feel so bad. I feel like honesty is the best policy because I’m reviewing established artists who have fans no matter what and can bounce back from a bad album. Artists who have already proven how great they are. Does that make sense?
Then I feel like a hypocrite.
So here’s what I’m doing on here from now on; if I don’t like an album or don’t feel I have anything to say on it, I won’t be saying anything publicly. I may speak to the band themselves but I won’t be posting it online. It is just too unfair and kicking them down before they’ve even taken more than a few steps on the ladder. If I DO like an album, you’ll know that I do sincerely love it, I’ve always been honest with my reviews and always will be. I wont be writing about albums that I don’t like in any kind of light so whenever I do write about an artist, know that I wholeheartedly love and recommend them.
I know this seems a little silly and if I want to be a music journalist, then I need to write bad reviews but to be honest, it feels better and is better to just promote the good bands and leave the bad bands out of it. It seems more fair, more positive. I know how to review things I don’t like; I know how to do it with respect and dignity while being witty and to the point but I don’t like doing it and for as long as I’m writing on my own website, I’ll be doing things my way and writing about things that I want to. As little needless negativity as possible.
Any bad reviews may be written for the magazine and other publications but as far as my own website goes, I’m happy to stay positive.
Also, on a final note- I have some reviews coming up this week!