The Beards Corner

As MusicTalks.xyz is launching today its new music page "The Beards Corner" https://www.musictalks.xyz/music-reviews where I will be reviewing music every two weeks (hopefully!), I thought it would be good to talk about my motivations for embarking in this risky endeavor…

Tracey Arbon, who is the amazing brain behind Music Talks, asked me a few weeks ago if I would be interested and at first, I said that I didn’t think it was such a good idea… I mean I’ve seen bad reviews (I’ve had one myself, ah!) and I know that they can be upsetting, depending on how much of a thick skin you have, especially when they are coming from someone you know nothing about. Plus, music is an art form that is hugely subjective after all, so what would qualify me to voice my opinion on my peers?

I took the time to think about it though, and it seemed like it could be a cool way to shout out to great bands and artists and give them thumbs up (and beards!) and have their music exposed to anyone who’d like to discover something different… I started to see this as another occasion to share the love of indie music.

What’s for sure is that I have no intention to be the judge and jury of any artists around, or to pose as an arbiter of taste. 

I have my own tastes and distastes of course, like anyone else, but my intention is to say what I love about the songs that I came to listen to and appreciate. My angle will probably be more on the music and production side of the tracks I review, simply because I’m passionate about music and production; and they will be biased this way, as I’m usually less focused on lyrics for example; but in any case, I intend to focus on the positive always, so you will most likely never read a bad review from me, my condition was that I would not review something if I don’t like it, and Tracey understood that and gracefully accepted.

All I hope is that it will help good artists get a little bit of extra exposure in the music world. Wish me luck!

4 comments

  • Jacqueline Lademann

    Jacqueline Lademann Melbourne, Australia

    That's so cool! Can't wait to read it. You're right, writing reviews is much harder than it looks. In my view it is an art form in itself. FWIW- when I write a review, in my case about books, I ask myself these questions. 1./Who is the review for? Is it for the 'general public'? (i.e folks that don't know much about books, but they know what the like) Or, is it for a more knowledgeable audience, other writers, professional readers etc. If the former, my review will be much more general. I'll give a brief description about plot and genre. I might try and put it in context by linking it to other works. Eg. If you liked book X, you will enjoy this. Or, this is by the author of... The review itself probably won't go beyond the surface. Eg. This book is happy/sad/about familes etc If it is for a more knowledgeable audience, the job is both easier and harder! I can skim over the generalities. But, it's more about delving into the over all themes of the thing, the technique etc. These guys know that this is simply my opinion, and so will be less offended by a negative review. But, and here's why it gets tricky- they will expect me to first HAVE an opinion, and second JUSTIFY it. 2./Did I like the book? Hate the book? Feel rather blah about the book (happens more often than you would think- these are the harder ones to review)? Sometimes the easiest reviews to write are about books I can't stand. However, I try to resist the temptation to outright trash anything- sometimes it's just god awful and I feel I need to warn people (50 Shades anyone???). I at least show respect for the author having the wherewithal to write the thing and get it published. Both huge achievements on their own. But if I genuinely didn't like something- and I can't simply skip the review all together (i.e someone is paying me to write it), then I will just be honest about why I didn't like it, making it clear that it is simply not my taste. But, as I said, it's the one's that make no real impact at all that are the difficult ones. You neither loved it nor hated it, it was a reasonably interesting read in the moment, but almost immediately forget once you turn the last page. I'm still learning how to write those! Anyway, that's just my two cents. I hope you enjoy the journey, cause it can be fun.

    That's so cool! Can't wait to read it.

    You're right, writing reviews is much harder than it looks. In my view it is an art form in itself.
    FWIW- when I write a review, in my case about books, I ask myself these questions.
    1./Who is the review for? Is it for the 'general public'? (i.e folks that don't know much about books, but they know what the like) Or, is it for a more knowledgeable audience, other writers, professional readers etc.

    If the former, my review will be much more general. I'll give a brief description about plot and genre. I might try and put it in context by linking it to other works. Eg. If you liked book X, you will enjoy this. Or, this is by the author of...
    The review itself probably won't go beyond the surface. Eg. This book is happy/sad/about familes etc

    If it is for a more knowledgeable audience, the job is both easier and harder! I can skim over the generalities. But, it's more about delving into the over all themes of the thing, the technique etc. These guys know that this is simply my opinion, and so will be less offended by a negative review. But, and here's why it gets tricky- they will expect me to first HAVE an opinion, and second JUSTIFY it.

    2./Did I like the book? Hate the book? Feel rather blah about the book (happens more often than you would think- these are the harder ones to review)?

    Sometimes the easiest reviews to write are about books I can't stand. However, I try to resist the temptation to outright trash anything- sometimes it's just god awful and I feel I need to warn people (50 Shades anyone???). I at least show respect for the author having the wherewithal to write the thing and get it published. Both huge achievements on their own. But if I genuinely didn't like something- and I can't simply skip the review all together (i.e someone is paying me to write it), then I will just be honest about why I didn't like it, making it clear that it is simply not my taste.

    But, as I said, it's the one's that make no real impact at all that are the difficult ones. You neither loved it nor hated it, it was a reasonably interesting read in the moment, but almost immediately forget once you turn the last page. I'm still learning how to write those!

    Anyway, that's just my two cents. I hope you enjoy the journey, cause it can be fun.

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    There's worth a full $ in there Jacqui! Unless that was Episode 8 of the Amethyst Song? :D In my case, I will keep it simple, and only write about songs I like, no one is paying, I'll do it because I do love them and have to say something about what I hear. I suppose my take will be more on the musical side but even non musicians should be able to understand what I talk about (I hope). Anyway, it's just for fun and an occasion to shine a light on good music, that's all! ;)

    There's worth a full $ in there Jacqui! Unless that was Episode 8 of the Amethyst Song? biggrin
    In my case, I will keep it simple, and only write about songs I like, no one is paying, I'll do it because I do love them and have to say something about what I hear. I suppose my take will be more on the musical side but even non musicians should be able to understand what I talk about (I hope). Anyway, it's just for fun and an occasion to shine a light on good music, that's all! wink

  • Jon Magnusson

    Jon Magnusson Sweden

    Awesome. Looking forward to read them! Nice add to Traceys great work!

    Awesome. Looking forward to read them! Nice add to Traceys great work!

  • Ghostly Beard

    Ghostly Beard

    Thanks Jon! I'll do my best to make them a good read at least! :) And yes, Tracey is amazing!

    Thanks Jon! I'll do my best to make them a good read at least! smile And yes, Tracey is amazing!

Add comment