Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Books on Tape / Dinosaur Dinosaur / Rating 7.1

rock music body-modded toward ambiguity in the age of elective sonic surgery.


One might assume that because PFM writer Brian Howe made our favorite PFM writers of 2005 we might go easy on him this year but we are all about the tough love here so I assure this isn't the case. But (and you knew there would be one right?) his Books on Tape review reminds why we like his work so much.

Over the past few years I began to wonder if robots wielding a thesaurus had become the new Pitchfork staff but Mr. Howe assures me that at least one human over there actually pays attention to the record he is reviewing, actually listens to the music, and has a human response to said music…all besides actually knowing how to write about it.

Each paragraph in this review has a little something I like and for starters the opening paragraph talks about the art and while I know some people might be saying who cares, some of us record nerds actually care about the WHOLE package a compact disc or record has to offer and it is nice to read a few lines about it.

The second thing that pleases me is in just two paragraphs we get to the meat; what the music sounds like and I can honestly say I get a sense of hearing what this record sounds like without hearing it, something a good music journalist is suppose to convey in his or her work. I appreciate when a writer has a chemical reaction with a record and describes a unique end result to the reader. This gives a record 100x more personality and at the same time reflects a sliver of personality of the person describing the record to you. Again this isn’t rocket science but for some reason too many music reviewers forgo this basic formula.

I swear this will be the end of my cooing…the last paragraph of this PFM review doesn’t sum up everything with a neat bow and make me wonder why I had read the whole review because the real point of the review was finally reached in the very last sentences. Brian’s last paragraph actually connects to one before it and completes the whole review. I know this seems like a simple concept but for some reason so many writers miss this.

I don’t want to get my hopes up but if this brief and to the point review reflects even 10% of what PFM has to offer this year, 2006 might just be the year PFM pulls themselves out of the bad writing hole.

What? I am trying to be positive here and no I haven’t gone soft. I want to remind people we aren’t always about blowing shot gun sized holes into every review PFM posts.

My one and only point of confusion with this review is a 7.1 rating doesn’t scream buy this record but the body of the review placed a much more positive spin on the music and led to me believe it was worthy of a higher rating. If I had to guess what the PFM rating would be from the review itself I would have gone with an 8 and having Djed /listened to/ and liked this Books on Tape record quite a bit last year, I too would have gone with an 8.

* This just in: I don't think I have EVER thought this before but all 5 reviews posted today on PFM are all pretty damn right on. If they keep this up I might have to find myself another hobby.