If someone purports themselves to be a “reviewer” or “critic“ on a particular topic, from film to furniture, I think that you the consumer have a right to know at least a little bit about them.
So here goes…
My name is Maynard Edwards and I review music, mainly because I think I know what I am talking about.
My entire living in some way, shape, or form has always revolved around playing or listening to music. I’ve worked nearly 20 years in commercial radio and playing in more bands than I care to discuss. I know how music is written, performed, produced, sold and publicized. I know it’s history intimately and I understand it at an almost cellular level. I’ve listened to anything and everything I can wrap my ears around.
You don’t need a music reviewer to tell you what’s good and what’s bad. You can figure that out on your own. You know what you like and not one soul on earth should be able to tell you differently (unless you like Justin Beiber or Nickelback, in which case please feel free to move towards the nearest exit of the planet).
So why, then, am I finding it necessary to review music and pass my thoughts on to you?
The reason is that you’re being lied to and someone owes you the truth with regard to what you choose to spend your money on. PR firms, record companies, and bands themselves are all lying to you about the music they are making available to you; and for good reason. Some of it sucks, and they know it. But they’ve spent thousands, perhaps millions, getting an album to market and they are going to convince anyone they can that it’s worth spending money on.
So someone who knows the tricks of the trade needs to come forward and give you the hot fire of truth before you click that “download” button in iTunes. (BTW, don’t believe the reviews on iTunes- the record companies hire people to write those.)
You know who lies the most? DJ’s. Your favorite radio people are the worst. They smile and tell you how great some song is because the music is picked for them by the Program Director who’s generally been coerced into adding it to the “play list” from some record company rep. Then he tells the DJ to talk it up and get people into it, and DJ’s who are so happy to still have jobs in a medium that is rapidly evaporating are glad to try to convince you that Selena Gomez is a good singer (she’s not).
They’re liars, and they know it. Most of them will even tell you that if you run into them when there’s no microphone around.
I know this to be true–I did it for a long time. I smiled and lied about how good a song was even when it was vile.
Then last year, I decided I wasn’t going to lie to people any more and I started writing music reviews for the station web site. At first, they were a big hit with the bosses who loved my honest approach.
And then Linkin Park came along. The band had just released an album that was really one of the worst pieces of crap I have EVER heard, and I wrote a very harsh review. Since I worked for a really well-known station, my review was picked up by a bunch of sources until it finally found it’s way into the lap of one of the members of the band. That member of the band called the head of the company that owned the radio stations I worked for and it was QUICKLY communicated to me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all–or look for a new place to work. I couldn’t lie any more, so a month later, I left that station, even though I LOVED that radio station. (I still do, it‘s a great station).
So now I’m at a different station, not playing current music–which is fine with me because I like older stuff anyway, and I get to pick the songs and I like it that way.
But I still listen to every new CD that comes out, and I’ll tell you: not many of them are worth your money and some one needs to at least warn you of that fact.
So my pledge to you is this: I’m going to tell you what I think about the music even though everyone else is lying to you. You may agree, you may not agree. That’s ok. But you’ll get my honest thought on it, good or bad. Some one owes it to you to say whether an artist is giving you the goods or you’re being duped by a hype machine.
Then you can decide if you want to listen or save your money for another day. Also, I may be able to turn you on to something you otherwise would have passed on, and anytime some one discovers great new music that’s a good thing.
If there’s something you want me to listen to, or you have a question about a particular song or artist feel free to contact me at MaynardEdwards@verizon.net.
You can follow me on twitter @Maynardradio and you can read all my reviews at www.shockinglytruthfulmusic.wordpress.com
Thanks as always to the crew at The Dagger for the use of the hall, they are good people here and thank you Reader for supporting them and me.
Read on and Rock on…