The futility of writing about music is not hard to grasp. Even a music journalist is almost constantly confronted with the pointlessness of lending words to music. What is the use of an independent music journalist today?
In the past, a music journalist was the bridge between the artist and their audience and their words could mean the difference between a buy or a no-buy. Nowadays anyone with a device and WIFI can post their opinion online and a contemporary music review is as much as a user review—written without any meaningful content, without constructive arguments and without consequence.
In the independent blogosphere there are as many bridges as there are opinions, and the role of the music journalist needs to be reassessed. The value of the written music review lies not in its rating of an individual record, but in its function as a part in the curatorial role of a media outlet’s collective output. The role of the independent music journalist is to engage in enlightening music in all its facets.
First of all, enlightening music stands for music that shows an original line of thinking—music that engages. Meanwhile the objective of enlightening music is the promotion of the enlightening music, but also offering a perspective that may help artists grow in their trajectory.
A review that is enlightening music is a love letter and a word of encouragement to the artists, as well as a letter of recommendation and an explanation of what to listen for to the fans. This new review is not about good or bad ratings, because it contains constructive criticism and instils a sense of wonder by revealing (some of) the artist’s intent to the listener. As such, the only bad review is the one that is badly written.