Friday, April 21, 2006

Responsibility

There was a time when the main Cool Nose site used to hold some power. A review of the band would oftne be the number 2 result for a search for the band's name. About 18 months ago Cool Noise was buried by Google (who knows why). It has reappeared in very occasional months but for a while it even ranked at number 40 for it's own name.

I started this blog around 2005, just to be a quick comment to bands that I had heard their CD and give a quick first impression. It has meant that I did give some bad reviews. Suddenly in the last month or so this blog has come out of the Google 'sandbox' (some sort of filter that stops many new sites ranking in the search results). What it has meant is that the more recent blog posts rank quite well for searches. Suddenly a search for a band name reveals my post high on the front page.

And now I again have to worry about giving a bad review - or more likely not giving a review because I'm not going to lie about what I feel. If someone is investigating a new band and they click through to my post about them then maybe they will write them off just because one person, me, with a particular taste in music, doesn't like them.

A case in point is Being 747. I got their CD recently and I wasn't initially impressed. If I had blogged about them I wouldn't have been complimentary. I didn't, and as I listen to the CD for the third time, I find myself drawn to it. Suddenly from saying they sound a bit like Monochrome Set imitators, I find myself enjoying the songs nearly as much as I enjoyed those early Rough Trade Monochrome Set singles. Most good music takes time to get into, particularly when someone has sent it to you for review.

Suddenly I feel constrained again. Any comments from bands on this issue would be welcome.

5 Comments:

Anonymous K said...

I thinks this says something about the impact of downloading individual songs vs. buying the cd. Picking and choosing what sounds good to you on the first listen eliminates those songs that would become your favorites on the 3rd, 4th or 5th play. I wonder how Paul Simon would do if some of his earlier works were released today. We're becoming our own greedy record execs aren't we. ;)

And google might be even worse?

K

7:11 pm  
Blogger Cool Noise said...

I hadn't really thought of that, K. I don't do paid downloads. I just hope that people use downloads like they used to use singles - buy it, if you like it then buy the CD. In this greedy, consumerist world the physical product is the fetish. And I can't agree mors that the album, in the order chosen by the artist, is more than the sum of it's parts.

1:19 am  
Blogger Daniel Vincent said...

Sending out review copies of CDs can work out to be quite expensive, so I'd rather see a well written constructive bad review than not see a review at all.

Even bad reviews can be good ones if they are well written - "I don't like it becuase it sounds like xxxx" is great if someone is actually looking for a band that sounds like xxxx.

That said, us artists should not expect you to spend ages listening to every song you get and writing an in-depth review as you'd never leave the house :-)

1:44 pm  
Blogger Cool Noise said...

Hi Daniel

I think the problem is in well-written! Reviews get written over many plays, often one line at a time - and a final session of trying the knock it all into shape. I think you'll recognise the similarity with writing music. On the other hand, I can normally knock out a blog post after just 3 plays - knowing that it's going to be published when I finish. Such reviews can be a bit careless though. Often the problem is that it's just not my kind of thing.

It's like with my reviews of your stuff with Onion Jack - I loved certain tracks but the more ambient side of things wouldn't attract me whatever you did. I was listening to your Winter Collection again last night - for me, you singing solo songs is great (how about a whole album?) and the rest I'm not qualified to pass judgement on. I've not thought of a lot of ways of saying "it's not my type of thing" and it kind of stops me reviewing it. I could probably review it in a blog post, though - just mention the 4 solo tracks. I think I'll go ahead with something like that anyway.

By the way, did you do a remix of something by History of Guns?

3:18 pm  
Blogger Daniel Vincent said...

I most certainly did do a remix of History Of Guns. Max and I also collaborate on a project called Dead At The Wedding, which so far has produced one track in two years ("Eight Miles Down"). We've also completed two remixes, the HoG one and a Karma Pilot remix (last track on the WC2005 CD).

On the subject of reviews...

By well-written, I mean giving a reason why the reviewer does/doesn't like something. If it's just not your thing, then that's just the way it is.

I have been passing out rough cuts of the new Karma Pilot album to friends and there has been a marked difference in opinion over what makes a good tracks and what doesn't. That to me is good - the album was recorded at various creative peaks over a year, so the content is quite varied. It's quite encouranging that no-one's said that it's all rubbish :-)



A solo album? hahahahahaha

Maybe one day :-)

9:44 am  

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