• Reviewing the Reviewers
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Reviewing the Reviewers
on: June 10, 2018, 15:14:19
Since most of the posts on this forum are songs for review, I've found myself enjoying and looking forward to the reviews given by @M57  I know there has been some controversy, but when I see one of his reviews I just have to listen to the song.

Is there any reviewer on this forum whose reviews that anybody else particularly enjoys reading?

Vince
 


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 18:45:49
I am always looking for reviews from @MichaelA . He always go deep into a song and its production. His reviews are thoughtfully nuanced and honestly critical....in the best of ways......spiced with his unique perspective on music and life in general.

 8)
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 18:54:15
this is a great topic @Vince
(in a review about best topic starts, this would get my vote  ::thumb::)

but i have to get back on which reviewers' reviews i like best..... ::) :P...mhhh...

great question
I lost it...ages ago


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 00:20:46
Thanks Steve,  @Leonard Scaper . for appreciation of my reviews. But in reality I only go in depth some of the time. With newbies and less experienced musicians I generally just try to give encouragement. Yet I am always particularly keen to put a bit more effort into reviews for kitcheners who have commented on my own songs too over the past year, as that's a two way street which works for me. I do like to see people giving and taking so that some of the core members here help improve each other - that is what gives me most satisfaction on here.


Unfortunately, due to my maybe flawed but forthright nature, I have been a little too outspoken on here at times. Maybe like the valued but not-enough-seen @M57, and now I can see that some kitcheners are swerving my topics, replies and songs.


So I decided to have a few weeks off from here recently, but now am back in maybe a more reflective mode, and happy to help all contributors, but especially those who can be bothered to 'give and take' as @Mar T. always says, and help build our community, which is based - or should be - on mutual support.


Anyway, it is great that @Leonard Scaper mentioned me, but I think almost every member on here actually owes him a debt for the tireless encouragement he gives to members both old and new. And he is one of the main reasons I stick around - the voice of reason on here, but such a positive influencer. If we had annual awards for things like going beyond the call of duty, then he should win hands down What a great champion of new music he is, no matter what the quality - he always empathises with the creators, whether they are fumbling beginners or seasoned experts.


I also like @MrBouzouki for his sometimes surprising insights, @Jim when he is around for excellent insight too and @Bill from November Sound for opinion from such a seasoned musician. @Dutchbeat is the most gracious host and continuous encourager, especially of newbies. But @Zedd has helped me very much too, as she seems to have an instinct for what I am doing being either just OK - you have to read between the lines - or very good for me! Thank you Karen. And thanks to all mentioned!  ;)
If you like novels with a musical theme, why not try 'Sixth Beatle - When Music Changed The World', easily found on Amazon and Google. It is amazing, although as the author I may be biased!


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 01:32:59
We could start a 'the reviewer of the month' series... Would that be a good idea? I'd love to see everybody who gives more than taking will get rewarded this way.. It's soooo valuable to review our fellow kitchener's work.. When we all give a bit more than we take we'll maintain and build this community with ease!! Who's in for this kind of reward? Let us know!!

Cheers fellow kitcheners/friends!!


Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 05:25:12
Well @Dutchbeat , I must admit that @Vince is quite masterful with his topic starting skills .... but .... did he ever start a topic about "gatoons" ?  :blackgrin: I think not. I should get second or third or fourth or at least fifth place in topic starting, don't you think?

Now as far as reviews go I always look to see what @LePlongeur writes! It's so outside of the box, so funny, so confusing and cool! I mean this as a compliment because to me it is just fascinating. I never know what he's going to say next.

I like to listen to songs of others and encourage people to write. I especially love the songwriting challenges/competitions as I think it is so special the way each person tackles the same subject with such varied results. I generally don't need or want anyone to review my songs.
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 17:53:41
Great topic indeed! Thanks for bringing it up @Vince !

There are quite a few excellent reviewers in the kitchen imo. And @M57 is probably also my favourite of them all.
It‘s not easy to find the right tone when it comes to pointing out flaws and mistakes, and not all of us want to hear those pointers. But I think it‘s even more important to give this kind of feedback than just telling everybody how great they are. Honest feedback on how our music is heard by others makes us better than just praise...

I love the „reviewer of the month award“ idea @Mar T. ! ;D

Cheers,
Mark


Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 19:02:17
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 02:15:15 by M57 »
This is just an observation, but I find the term "reviewer" to be a misnomer.  It implies that judgement is involved, and that is the opposite of what I try to do when I post to someone's offering. Yes, much of what I write is subjective. That simply can not be avoided, but ultimately my goal is to help the song-writer.

Wow, my ears are burning - Thanks for the shout-out @Vince @MichaelA @Mark Luto

..but not-enough-seen M57..

There are a few reasons that I am not  a more frequent contributor..

a) I know my commenting style or whatever you want to call it raises eyebrows and even hackles at times, but honesty trumps just about everything in my book - so I make it a point to comment on songs that appeal to me with the thought that I may have more nice things to say. Regardless, if there's something that could use fixing, something that's not working, I'm going to point it out and do my best to explain why and what I might do to fix it. I think I'm pretty consistent about that.. I do my very best to include a suggestion with every criticism. @Mark Luto made a great point in the last comment on this thread, "Not all of us want to hear those pointers," so I have to be OK with the fact that some people will be displeased about some of the things I say. Also, and this may seem back-asswards, but the better and more experienced the musician, the more critical I try to be. I assume that everyone is here to better their craft - If your music is really really good, I'll try to hunt for something that I think will make it excellent - and barring that, I'll just gush. Experienced musicians and composers should have thicker skin - It's part of the job description.  Bottom line - I'm picky about who and what I comment on precisely because I really don't want to be "that guy."

b)I know it's meant to be fun, build community and all, but "Competitions" are anathema to me. It probably goes back to when I was a student of the classical guitar in college. Juries decided my grades, and when I looked at the classical world I noted that the path to the top was paved with competitions. So when I see the word, I run.  Long story short, I don't even open any posts that have the word 'competition' in the title, probably for fear that I might want to comment on it - and that would make me a judge.  I'm going to estimate that precludes me from listening to close to half (and possibly some of the best) music posted on this site. I've lived my life that way ever since. I've never even been to a "battle of the bands" before either.  Weird, huh?


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 21:54:35
So I've written thousands of reviews and nobody was waiting for that?  ;D ;D ;D

Great thread, and I like the names of popular reviewers showing up here, perfect. I agree that the reviews in general are tending to not contain enough criticism. Criticism doesn't have to be 'negative'. One can criticize in gentle ways. But sometimes it hard to anticipate what kind of feedback people are looking for. So I'd suggest all posters to give us some hints about what kind of feedback you're looking for.

Lately I've not been reviewing a lot in-depth like in the first days when I joined. At those times we needed to put in extra effort 'giving' energy to the community in the hope everybody would pay-it-forward to others. 
Last months I've not been adding much criticism into my responses (it's part of my role to make people feel at home as well). My responses (with or without criticism) are always honest btw, most of the times I like what I hear. Should someone want a critical review from my side, feel free to tag me and exlicitly ask for criticism. And maybe others in this thread are okay with that as well..

I agree with @M57 that writing feedback is about what the listener experienced when listening, so it's always subjective (and not judge-mental (is that even english?)), but can contain very useful 'points' for the writer to reconsider choices he/she made when creating a song. So in this sense reviews/feedback should always be useful and be considered a gift. A review is someone taking time to listen to the poster's creation. How nice is that!

@Mark Luto ah okay we got a +1 for a reviewer of the month title expiriment. Others interested in introducing this reward?

Good discussion, please continue kitcheners!! Interesting..

Cheers!
:mart:


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 19:45:20
Jeez thanks @MichaelA for the mention... glad you find value in my reviews as I must confess I really struggle with them as I don't rate my analysis of what I'm hearing as my ears are just not that good.. probably getting better as I mix more but I'm always interested in reading reviews of those with better ears than mine. I still review as much as I can though even if I groan sometimes at the somewhat simple and inane observations I'm posting because I think reviewing is important and I'm always very happy to receive straightforward reviews myself.


Would agree with all of the mentions above. And yes @M57 I do always read your reviews and have had some very welcome ones from you on a couple of my songs. I post here to receive advice on how to do better so I really want to hear what people have to say good and bad as it's invaluable to me in improving my skills.. So another fan of your in-depth and considered reviews.


@MichaelA always seems to point out things I routinely do that I'm not even aware of so I'm also interested to read what he things of my songs both solo and collabs.. and usually in a very poetic way :)! @Mark Luto and @Leonard Scaper too tend to "get me" or my music similarly as does @Mar T. who routinely gives his interpretation of the lyric, which I find interesting as I rarely post the context of the song so it's always interesting to hear what he hears, and it's often completely not what I was writing about - I actually love when that happens as obscure works much better for me!! And really Lenny does go above and beyond and I think reviews every song posted which is quite something really when you think about it.


And all mentioned previously and posting on this thread... including @LePlongeur speaking of obscure in a good way. I do love to read what he's thinking! Always interesting and engaging..


Interesting topic for sure!


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 22:00:57
Well, @Mar T.   I certainly wasn't thinking of having a competition on reviews. I've been thinking it over and I know participation, networking etc. means a lot in this day and age, but a competitive review of the reviewer, to me, takes something nice and special to someplace else. It's hard to explain . ..

I do like the song writing competitions because they make me take control instead of the song controlling me. For example, if I was hired to write a song for a movie, could I write a song about the movie (like P. McCartney's "Live and Let Die") -  or just put up a song that has nothing to do with anything? I have no idea where a song comes from except from someplace inside me.

 I guess peer reviews are an imperfect system allowing for how many of our peers at the moment feel like reviewing, for whatever reason. Now, if there was a Razzie award for the worst review of all time, I could put my hat in the ring  ;D

Vince


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #11 on: June 13, 2018, 09:33:59
Thank you @Bill from November Sound and @Zedd for the mention.
I must admit that I don’t have a favorite review-person yet. I’m sure that I will eventually develop a taste for that.
I think that organizing the feelings of the listener is sort of the best you can do as a song writer or artist.

I am not very much interested in tweaking software mix downs since that is more often than not a spur of the moment thing. If you listen to MC5’s album where they cut the entire bottom of the sound, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Let’s use our creativity in reviews as well.
Even if we’re ‘only in it for the money’ a little bit of humor now and then, probably only spurs us on to the next song.
Just my opinion.

And a great thought to start this topic @Vince !!
Kind regards, Gus


Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 12:58:54
Well, @Mar T. 

I do like the song writing competitions because they make me take control instead of the song controlling me. For example, if I was hired to write a song for a movie, could I write a song about the movie (like P. McCartney's "Live and Let Die") -  or just put up a song that has nothing to do with anything?
Vince

This is a good point - Competition is necessary because anything of 'value' gets monetized. Writing for a purpose becomes a necessary skill in that world, and I have always been impressed by people who can create "competitively." I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that I've spent my life rejecting that paradigm ..probably sour grapes on my part.


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Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #13 on: June 13, 2018, 13:45:36
@M57 Hey Mark,

I understand your concerns about competitions and juries, and it is your personal decision to keep away from them. But on the other hand, at least in our civilisation, life is about competition. Whenever someone wants to get a job, or take a political office, or even keep his life partner, or remain a member of the band, he or she must be good enough to convince the others of himself or herself.
It's hard sometimes, but it's not all bad. And it is not necessarily a question of being better than others, but of improving oneself.

For me, the Kitchen competitions (or challenges, as we may call them in the future) are stimulus for my creativity. I like to be given tasks. And when such a task results in a song that others like to listen to, that's of course great. But it's by no means about outshining others, but rather about being part of this community and having fun together.

I wrote more songs thanks to these competitions than I would have written without them. And I learned a lot from them. For this I am grateful to the kitchen and its inhabitants.

I'll make you a suggestion: Wait until the voting is over and then listen to the contributions. You will hear some great songs, and the participants (if they are lucky) may benefit from your expertise. I admit that this proposal is not entirely selfless... ;)

Cheers,
Mark


Re: Reviewing the Reviewers
Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 19:05:00
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 22:45:39 by BLACK MIRROR »
We really enjoy reading any review about our music, particularly if it came from people who are experienced in music, interested in sharing, and with good intentions like all those who are here in the kitchen, Leonard, M57, Dutchbeat, Zedd, MichaelA, LePlongeur, Mar T, … This is a great and endearing family and every word that is distilled from conscious listening, whether pleasant or not, it is a gift for me. We usually end up so exhausted with our own songs that we are unable to listen beyond a contaminated mind. When you kill yourself improving a particular or insignificant detail, and then someone here mentions it and this means that detail works and someone really appreciated it, it's absolutely gratifying.
Regarding to @M57, since he is the initiating object of the post, I agree with @Vince, I enjoy very much his notes whose straight honesty amuse me, although I often disagree with what I consider to be overly orthodox or excessively formalist even sometimes a little outdated.. :) He is really hardworking reviewing and that means a deep respect and dedication with their mates. So we deeply appreciate and look forward to him too.

Cheers,
BM
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