Lazy Journalism

As a musician you are often opening yourself up to criticism, be it in your lyrics, your live performances or album reviews.

A few weeks ago promo copies of my debut album were sent out to press contacts for review and I am now playing the waiting game; sitting waiting for those people to review it. You always know and realise that not everyone is going to: a) like your style of music and b) not like your music at all.

The one thing you do hope for (even by someone who does not like) is a well written review after listening to what you actually sent them.

Sadly this was not the case with the first review I read last week.

In Horsham, Sussex there is a paper called The Resident and within that they have a ‘journalist’ called Ben Morris who ‘reviewed’ my album.

The title of Ben’s review is ‘Pigeons album fails to take off’ – as you can tell from that it is not a positive one.

When I first read Ben’s review I was a little bit shocked at the negativity, but upon deeper inspection it was obvious that Ben had not even listened to my album at all, instead what he has done is merely comment on a few of the tracks up on my myspace page.

I know this as he only talked about two songs ‘deathstar’ and ‘mocha to go’, the latter of which is not even on the album as sits on myspace as a work in progress demo. In fact all of the songs on myspace are demo versions – since mixing and mastering the album I have not reuploaded any tracks online. Therefore they are not finished, they are not the final versions that appear on the album and should not be used for the basis of an album review.

The one thing I can’t stand with journalists is when they are lazy – for the first half of Ben’s review all he has done is pasted my press release as the opening half of his review. Now in my mind PRs are used to give the people reviewing the album a bit of background to the music – not form the basis of 50% of their review.

I do not think people should be allowed to write a review without listening to what they have been sent. I am sure that Ben wrote his review before I even sent him the album and my guess is that it is sitting there unopened.

It is obvious that Ben is not a fan of electronica and he says that I am doing nothing new with my music, that may be true – I am making music I enjoy not trying to create a groundbreaking new set of songs.

I will be writing to ben@the-resident.co.uk and asking him why he chose to write a review of a few myspace tracks and pass it off as an album review rather than listening to my album – which is just that – an album – a collection of songs properly mixed, mastered and ordered as a whole body of work.

It may be the case that even if he did listen to it he would still not like it – thats fair enough but the least he can do if offer an apology for being a Lazy Journalist.

I will scan the review and upload it so you can all read it – and make your comments on it.

4 thoughts on “Lazy Journalism

  1. Nick says:

    Hi Cat. The first review I found of my first book was a gigantic slag-off which involved the blogger – these people aren't professionals and it shows – suggesting he'd like to throw my book across the room. I really couldn't understand such a hostile attitude and of course it hurt. Somehow I avoided replying to him. Later I had a still bigger cock – again an amateur with delusions of grandeur – write reams of rubbish, and this time I replied, in a very restrained, reasonable manner – and it just gave him more fuel. Suddenly everyone on the sad little site ganged up on me! It was bizarre. I've been slagged off many times since and I just lump it and move on. So I'd suggest, much as the blood boils, to ignore it. The tosser has no clue what he's talking about, and reprinting press releases is just pathetic. He doesn't warrant the attention.

  2. Emily Fabpants says:

    The fact that some of us out in the 'real world' gave your demo album – not even the real album – a proper review, with comments on every track, makes the lazy journalist look silly. Don't reply. Not replying is best. Maybe he doesn't own a cd player and all of his music listening is on MySpace at 96/128 kbit/s. Start to feel sorry for him. He can't even do his job properly. Not even for a local rag.

  3. Amongst The Pigeons says:

    Had a few more comments about this from a local music forum:COPUS: What an utter prick. I'm of the opinion that I have no right to tell people what to listen to, but quite enjoy writing about music. I make a big effort to 'get' what the artist is doing before making a judgement, even if it does end up being negative. Don't worry about it though, the good news is nobody reads music reviews these days!GARY: Some people just shouldn't be in their line of work in the first place…this being a good example.

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