Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Only By the Night

Generally speaking, I don’t care for music criticism. There are very few critics or sources that I can count on, let alone whose writing I enjoy. I read Pitchfork, but somewhat grudgingly. NME is perhaps the closest, but their critics are often afflicted with the same snobbish, hipster attitudes that weigh down music criticism. It’s as if some music critics don’t even like music, so quick are they to dismiss the worthy and champion the unlistenable. I wish music reviews were more similar to movie reviews, where it’s more about just liking or disliking the work, reacting to it emotionally rather than existentially. You can enjoy the Transformers movie (which, btw, I didn’t at all) without it being a reflection of your person. But god forbid you admit to liking Coldplay. Or Kings of Leon, the latest ex-indie act to lose its cool rating now that they’ve gone mainstream. The Pitchfork review could write itself. Trouble is, it’s a really good record. Maybe it’s too lazy in spots, and aside from first single “Sex on Fire” (as heard on JeffMix2008.08.24), it’s short on truly blow-you-away moments. But Only By the Night is as solid as it gets, the kind of fun and loose pop-rock album that critics will admit to liking about 10 or 20 years from now. But you shouldn’t wait. Diatribe over. B
Kings of Leon: Closer (mp3) (buy)
Kings of Leon: Manhattan (mp3) (buy)

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