There is a saying that someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure. Nowhere is that truer 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.
As of May 2018, I have relented to requests to score reviews. I personally am not a fan of scoring art as one man’s riches is another’s trash, but sadly it helps to rank higher on search results. The scores will be reflective of my own enjoyment of the music – nothing more. 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. As a trade-off for scoring reviews, a direct purchase link has been added to make me feel better about being forced into conforming to the online world of reviews. I’m aware that sometimes people fixate on the score, but my detail will always be in the written work before it.
In reviews, I 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 a question, please contact me directly.