The other day I was, nostalgically, if a little ill-advisedly, perusing the NME website, when a couple of reviews caught my eye.
Firstly the 1/10 review for Frankmusik’s album, with which I, as an early (only in very relative terms) champion of Mr Frank, took particular umbrage. I suppose he is something of an acquired taste, and did himself few favours with the choice of his 3rd single and what even I will admit is an annoying video starring Holly Valance, but I really don’t think he deserves 1 out of 10; the first 2 singles at least are ace. And frankly, (pun slightly intended), NME criticising anyone for being attention seeking can jog on.
Witness the second review, that of the Arctic Monkey’s third album. The basis premise is: it’s a difficult third album which is brilliant and challenging but a departure from and less accessible than the first two, so all of their “casual fans” won’t like it because it’s not about going to the pub in Sheffield. Please. .The implication that the early stuff is to be slightly looked down upon because it is less “progressive” than the current album is given the lie by quite how enthusiastically NME themselves slavered over the first album. Also, while it is certainly true that once a band changes its sound there will be some division amongst the fans as to relative preference for the music from different periods, this does not mean that the ones who prefer the later stuff are necessarily more “discerning”. To name but one example the change between “populist” and “difficult” happened in opposite directions for Blink-182 and Radiohead. It is perfectly possible to like a band’s early albums and not be as keen on later stuff without being merely a “casual fan”, and ultimately, it is this wanky condescending tone that I object to rather than the substance of the review.
And another thing; lyrical impenetrability is not necessarily indicative of quality.
And no one really sounds like “anyone-else-on-acid”. Or peyote for that matter. Use some proper adjectives.
RFP top tip: NME journalists, instead of actually writing an album review, just copy and paste “We know more about this band than you, and we love/hate [delete as appropriate] them more than you” over and over again.