A consensus appears to be forming. According to three leading music publications (Rolling Stone, SPIN, and, ugh, Stereogum) Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the best album of 2010. Additionally, it is a matter of when rather than if indie taste maker Pitchfork awards the same honor to West, given that Dark Fantasy received a perfect score of 10.0. Thus, with all the praise that is and will continue to be showered upon Dark Fantasy before and after the end of 2010, I believe it is worth evaluating the mass critical reaction in addition to the album. Much like the self-perpetuating nature of groupthink, the music news establishment is loosing its independence and creativity to general consensus.
Posts Tagged ‘Pitchfork’
In case you are not up on your country’s news, last week Arizona signed into law the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants by making the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and giving the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally (read more here). As politicans and citizens weigh in on this issue, a few musicians have also engaged themselves in the debate, as well as formulating the proper means of political dissent.
Along with irreverent humor, pointed criticism at easy targets is my favorite form of comedy. Chappelle’s Show’s The Playa Hater’s Ball and Maddox’s “I am better than your kids” consistently crack me up, and I frequently check the satirical blog Hipster Runoff. In a similar vein, today I stumbled across RipFork*, a website created “to hold music critics to the same scrutiny and abuse that they dish out to the ones actually playing the music.” It seems that the author and creator of the site is a former music writer who disapproves of many current music critics. Take, for example, this review of Jakob Dorof’s review of “Transference” by Spoon (featured on one of my writing hubs, Tiny Mix Tapes): (more…)
Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
– Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review
Believe what you will about statistics and their ability to communicate information, but I am easily impressed by graphs and percentages. That is why I am fond of the article “Pitchfork // A Statistical Look at Their Ratings” from the music blog Part-Time Music. The author does a solid job of conveying that the influential music reviews at Pitchfork follow predictable statistical patterns. It is now making the blog rounds, so check it out before some other mathematically inclined music blogger disproves Part-Time Music’s research.