David quoted the New York Times, the BBC, and me. Does that seem strange to anyone?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining. It’s quite an honor to have two such impressively credentialed commentators let me do the talking. It just seems a bit odd that they didn’t do it themselves. It makes me wonder how Fox News might approach arts commentary:
“Some guy in Northern California thinks Renée’s album sucks. We don’t particularly care whether or not it actually does and we don’t want to alienate any potential viewers by taking a position on the subject so we’ll ask you a barely related leading question that allows us to sneak in a completely unverified statement as if it were fact: Should Obama have endorsed the record by inviting her to perform at the Whitehouse? Call us now and tell us your views.”
Maybe this is how music criticism works now. Maybe the nation’s critics have followed my mother’s advice, and aren’t saying anything unless they have something nice to say. Maybe I should do the same. Maybe that’s unfair: Maybe David’s trying to give a balanced report of a record that has polarised listeners1. Maybe somebody at Decca’s PR department has naked pictures of everybody, and that’s why it was so hard to find a negative review of the record from a major news outlet2. Maybe somebody at Decca’s PR department has naked pictures of me too. I didn’t hold back, so I guess we’ll find out now3.
1 …into the two distinct groups of “don’t like it” and “don’t know any better,” because the appreciation of music is completely subjective unless you disagree with me, in which case you’re wrong.
2 Unless you count The Awl as a major news outlet. They went to town on it.
3 NOBODY wants to see that.