Last week was a first for us. We received a tweet by an author who was unhappy with a review of their book that appeared on our site. They called it “rude,” while acknowledging that it “clearly is not for everyone.” We went and re-read the review in question; we wanted to make sure it was not inflammatory or personal in nature. What we found was a smart, funny, informed analysis from the reviewer, who clearly did not like the book in question. In fact, the quote from the review we used on Twitter speaks of the “narcissism” of the “uncounted strivers in every other car on the freeways of LA.“ It further questions the Kardashian path to fame and stardom and the attendant “shift from private shame to public pride.” Clearly, this is not simply “this book sux; I hated it.” Far from it.
So that is fair game, in our opinion. In fact, reviews like these are everything AllMusicBooks stands for. As a free community of fan-based rather than paid reviews, we offer honest and thoughtful appraisal from your peers, (i.e. FANS of the band), of the thousands of music books that are available. And while we do receive occasional review copies that we make available for reviewers and in contests, there is no quid pro quo that a good review, or in fact a review at all, will be delivered. That is entirely up to our community.
It should come as no surprise, however, that when one offers up their art for public consumption, there will be detractors. No one likes criticism but, fair or not, art and its value has always been subjective. Just ask Picasso (“What a genius, that Picasso. It is a pity he doesn't paint.”) or Andy Warhol (“You’re a killer of art and a killer of beauty.”) Even the Beatles were not spared the critical slings and arrows, described in 1964 as “appallingly unmusical” and “destined to fade away.”
Certainly, the reviews on our site (and some of these books, for that matter) are not “art,” but we offer them up for your consideration and amusement and as opportunity for discussion, discovery and exploration. After all, one man’s Pink Floyd is another man’s Sex Pistol.
So keep ‘em coming. Keep ‘em smart and informed. But above all, keep ‘em passionate and from the heart. It’s only rock’n’roll but we like it.
You can review the original review referenced in this post here
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