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Rant: Writer’s block

15/02/2011

Unlike some reviewers that never tire to pump out eloquent reviews one after another, (not intended to be a dig but rather a reference to The Death of CDs, obviously) I’ve got my limits. As of right now, I’ve got some ideas as to what I want to review, but I’m in serious doubt if I really should – because there is a whole lot of writers that reviewed the albums I want to cover before me and did it better, with more research and a stronger grasp on their English.

So, the next couple of posts here will be just this: rants on whatever makes my brain linger.

Writer’s block is one of them. Regardless, music writer’s block or blog writer’s, it’s the same thing all the time. When you feel like you have no juices in you for yet another helping of your most definitely interesting viewpoints on one album or another, or when you don’t have enough inspiration to finish yet another 25-minute long house track (yeah, self deprecation won’t bring me anywhere, like I care) – it’s all the same stuff.

But yeah, examples. Say, I want to review “Reggatta de Blanc” by The Police or “Rock Bottom” by Robert Wyatt, the former being my favorite album out of all the band’s works I have listened so far (with “Synchronicity” coming second, though that’s not really relevant) and the latter being among my favorite albums of all time. But there are also, respectively, reviews by George Starostin and Piero Scaruffi. The latter considers “Rock Bottom” to be one of the best albums of all time and lays out all he thinks on the subject in incredibly eloquent, and literate way – ultimately coming off as too scholastic or something. (Don’t get me wrong – I share his appreciation of Low, The Doors, My Bloody Valentine, The Velvet Underground and a couple of other bands, and he’s surprisingly well-groomed for your average reviewer, but his somewhat unfair and skewed treatment of The Beatles’ legacy irks me a bit. Though, everybody’s entitled to his own opinion.) Won’t delve into the former’s reviewing taste details too deeply, because I really admire his reviewing style/whatever they call it and he’s pretty much the ideal reviewer for my tastes (yeah, I’ll drag on a bit).

And, here I stand. A 15-year-old from Ukraine with a somewhat good taste in music, with an average English level, and I have to provide a perspective that would differ somewhat from theirs. Sure, Scaruffi considers “Rock Bottom” to be on par with Captain Beefheart’s “Trout Mask Replica” as the rock’s ultimate masterpiece… how can I counterpoint that? By stating the same thing in simpler terms and lowering the personal “best albums ever” placement slightly? Seriously? Sure, Starostin gives “Reggatta de Blanc” 13/15 (together with “Ghost in the Machine”, only lagging behind “Zenyatta Mondatta”. Don’t know why, the latter I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would, based on his review) and calls it revolutionary. What could I add to that review? Tap-dancing?

Maybe, the thing is that I look too much back on the people before me in general. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the audacity to state that my point of view is the one to end them all and get away with it by posting caustic reviews and such. So does the writer’s block happen when you get exposed to too much stuff that you objectively can’t top or because thinking objectively is harmful for your creativity, thinking that you won’t be able to reach the heights they did and driving yourself further into the ground because of that? You decide. I guess I’m still a midget crawling onto the shoulders of giants, afterall.

Next rant will be dedicated to the issue of so-called “guilty pleasures” and cover mine in terms of anime I’ve watched and enjoyed. More self-deprecation and hilarity will ensue. Like, expect it or something.

Sergey

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