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i would have said Pitchfork til recently but now i'm swaying towards Cokemachineglow.
kinda... I don't agree with them on some things though. They don't do masses of reviews anyway, they just recomend alot of stuff thats on point.
Pitchfork hasn't been to hot in rescent years apart from the columns.
There's only one or two bits a month or so on DiS that takes my fancy which is a huge step down from being something kida cool more or less every day or so a while ago...
Coke Machine Glow is embarasing its like its writen by 6th formers, I like bits of what they cover but its rare I can read a whole review without cringing.
Resident Advisor are alright sometimes. The Quietus has some good bits sometimes. Those BBC reviews are ok sometimes.
So in short ummm kind of... not really... sometimes... here and there...
although there's nothing like a well-written review to give you that final push into purcashing an album
...it's Pitchfork. I check it out each morning to see what they have reviewed. But lately I do it more out of habit than advise. I like their lists but, yes, their reviews are tend to be over written (and in very small font).
I feel that this site has reviews which are very well-written and detailed yet to the point. One site which I find annoying is sputnikmusic.com. It's nice to know that they invite reviews from the readers but I would not recommend it if you need a well-balanced, objective and critical view-point.
I think the best way to find out more review sites, or, at least the way I found them, is through metacritic.
But the question is this: If, ultimately, music is a matter of personal taste, does the fact that most of it is available to hear at spotify, lala, jango, myspace etc., leaves a critical view-point redundant?
Generally, though, it's not a question of finding a site whose reviews you trust, and using their judgements to guide your purchasing/listening decisions.
It's more about finding a site whose pre-review filtering is up to the task. I.e. it's what they DON'T review that counts. You want a site that knows you're not interested (or not likely to be interested) in X artist or Y album and so it saves its review space for the stuff that matters.
The problem with the likes of Pitchfork (and, sadly, DiS increasingly) is that they cover too much. They have to do this, of course, if they're going to keep a large readership, but therein lies the dilemma for these publications, because the bigger they get the less they are able to be and to do what a given reader wants them to.
I want to be able to read reviews of artists I've never heard of or might have thought would have nothing to offer me, but if there's half a dozen reviews a day, I don't have the time. What happens with DiS and Pitchfork, then, is that I'm thrown back on to my existing sense of what to listen to (or listen out for) and I just end up reading reviews of bands with whom I'm already familiar, with the result that the review is likely to do little to alter my expectations, while the potentially great stuff by artists unknown to me passes by without any notice form me.
of websites with less reviews, like fact and the milk factory, which in itself probably leads more compartmentalising of listing to the same people's reccomendations over and over again.
But that said, I don't know how much stuff DiS reviews, I'd like. Simply because I don't see the obscure stuff I do know reviewed on DiS, I don't try so hard to look at the obscure stuff I don't know, wheras I would do with fact, for example.
Also, stupidly I tend to trust boomkat and norman records far more than I should do, considering they are trying to sell me things.
but personally, it takes me ages to get into a new record, and i'm sure i'm not the only one. i can very rarely judge something by a quick listen or couple of listens. so for me, reviews are still very important, cos they give you an indication of what records are worth persisiting with or otherwise
I come to this site
Resident Advisor and Little White Earbuds for electronic stuff, Passion Of The Weiss for hip hop stuff at the moment.
I do miss Stylus though as they did a brilliant job of covering everything.
I mean, when you talk about trusting a site, you're talking about trusting the opinions of at least a dozen people who contribute reviews to them.
At the moment I think Pitchfork is the strongest for writing eloquently and knowledgably enough for me to make my own educated decision. Although I think DiS has been much stronger since they took on new people and vastly increased their output earlier this year. I don't have a problem with the number of reviews, although a synopis before you click on it, (like there is on Pitchfork) would make things easier.
Cokemachineglow... is nice to read about some things you might not have heard about elsewhere. Before discovering they're being completely OTT about music that really isn't all that great.