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Popular Music, Lists, And Grades

I was writing about the worst pop stars of all time, the usual suspects, The Boss, Jay-Z, Sting, when somebody noted how they hated lists. Me, I like lists and I like grades, because of one huge reason: it helps organizing opinions in a world of information overload. When somebody is reviewing 50 albums and 50 singles a week, music gets lost in the shuffle. There is too much going on and it is easy to miss stuff even if you haven’t missed it. By which I mean, you forget what you’ve loved because even your favorite albums get forgotten. Lists remind you, they pinpoint your opinion.

Now, maybe nobody gives a damn about your opinion and if that should be the case either write or don’t but if you choose to write at least attempt to not be oblivious to anything, at least try to give this imaginary reader a way to find what they want to hear.

If you read the new album reviews (43 of them to be precise), you’d notice that in a week with new releases by Sleater Kinney and Young Thug, country singer Dylan Scott’s tribute to Keith Whitley An Old Memory, what this tells you the reader, is don’t believe the hype. Sleater- Kinney (produced by St. Vincent) isn’t as good as you’ve been told it is. Oh, it is OK, and clearly “Hurry On Home” is nearly as great as “No Cities To Love” but that doesn’t constitute a masterpiece at all. My hope is that a reader could check the grades and do themselves a favor and check out Dylan’s album without, necessarily being a specific country fan.

 

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