There is a saying that someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure. No where is that more true than when it comes to a review.
Reviewing music is hugely subjective just as reviewing a movie or a game is. They are all mediums of art. They all have artistic merit and have the ability to evoke rich, deep emotions. As such when I review music here at Higher Plain Music, there are a few things I will focus on or ignore so it’s best to explain why.
I will not give a release a numerical score or grade. Firstly, because I genuinely would not know a “6.5” album from a “7” and that number would invariably change over time. Secondly because others get hooked on that score alone and will bypass reading the actual review – or let the review be governed by the score. Finally, I also find it really difficult to grade something very personal not only to me as a listener and as an experience – but as an artist too.
Instead I will focus on what I hear and describe it in a way that’s both literal and emotive. I will try to convey the thoughts and feelings that the music brought to me. I’ll highlight key lyrics where possible and occasionally give me own personal view on what I may interpret the sounds or words to be. However – I’ll try to leave the huge dissections for separate pieces entirely so that my views to not cloud your judgement and first listens. I usually listen to a release several times before reviewing something and so that is why I am often a little behind the release the curve – but I think I then offer a much richer review as a result.
Where possible I will describe a release track by track unless I feel it’s pointless to and as of 2016 I will now also include a recommended track as a taster for the release too. This may be my personal favourite, or the track that I feel best represents the overall sound of the release. Sometimes singles are very misleading or you may want to try a new artist and this will help.
Lastly although submissions are given for review to the site, I will always give my honest opinion and will not be biased. If something has not clicked with me, I will explain why but still offer it as a recommendation for others if you enjoyed X. The vast majority of reviews on this website are positive because the goal of the website is to promote music I genuinely believe in and enjoy. If it’s music that I flat out do not enjoy – I won’t have bought it, nor will I choose to feature it from a submission in the first place.
I hope that is a helpful explanation of how I review things. If you have an questions, please contact me directly.