New Criticals

The critical flaws that can be clearly seen are present in the transition of styles from critics of old to the critics of new. In the article “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism”, Jean-Luc Comolli and Jean Narboni state,

“There can be no room in our critical practice either for speculation or for specious raving. It must be a rigidly factual analysis of what governs the production [. . .] and the meanings and forms appearing in it, which are equally tangible.”

With that statement in mind, the critic must be reminded that they are not to feel and like the album, but to note and understand the feeling that the album produced - once again on the album’s stated terms. One could easily see the distinct differences between the reviews of the 1980s (Rolling Stone, NME and Smash hits) and those of recent (Pitchfork, Spin, Stereogum, etc). Though both eras saw music criticism in the wrong light, only the 1980s reviewers have the advantage of not have an assumed a priori, i.e, no one to compare the artists to besides their peers: the albums were incidentally listened to within their proper context.