Where Did All The Critics Go?

“Time was you knew where you stood with pop critics. There were certain bylines in the pop press that you could trust with your life, and more importantly, with the future health of your record collection. What strikes me about pop criticism of late – and this afflicts the broadsheets as well – is the tyranny of received opinion. What gives here? Maybe writers are too hidebound by the notion of providing their readers with glorified consumer guides rather informed criticism. Maybe the sheer doggedness of the reviewer’s task dulls the senses, precludes reflection and encourages the quick response. Are there so many mediocre albums coming out that, were reviewers to be honest, their negativity would send readers scurrying to the news section in search of some light relief?”