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A real shame, I always enjoyed the reviews there
which are actually just personal life stories
I read most reviews that go up on the site and can’t say there have been more than 3 or 4 share-y personal anecdotes this year..?
Definitely reviewed the best range of music of any website.
The amount of people that would do this for free for the exposure too... seems like a bit to much of a waste.
I'm not sure how many people read them and, if I'm honest, there's certainly areas I'd rather preserve if budget cuts are going ahead.
Readership is huge. Bear in mind the BBC's international reach and the respect its opinions carry overseas compared to domestically. It's a massive SEO magnet, too. But sadly its popularity has no bearing on the decision to cancel - it's purely financial, and without wanting to speculate too much cutting this service loses one job, mine, whereas trimming the budget of a few other projects to maintain a reviews service, even on a reduced budget, would probably result in far more personnel losses. So, from a purely human resources perspective...
as the album reviews & blog are the only BBC music sections I visit on a regular basis. The whole BBC music site needs a bit of an overhaul really. I mean they haven't even bothered to update the link on the music homepage from Sound of 2012 to Sound of 2013. Surely there's loads more chaff they could get rid of before ditching the album reviews.
Only ever read your sites reviews and the odd DiS / Quietus thing nowadays.
Sucks. Got anything lined up?
that's got nothing to do with music though, does it? (Though I am naturally sorry for people losing jobs)
Reviews always seemed to be overwhelmingly positive about every album though.
90% + of BBC reviews, within the last 12 months at any rate, were tied to broadcast - i.e. coverage of an album was commissioned to complement a DJ or show's support of the act or record in question. Now, it's going to look A Bit Shit if that DJ, or those associated with said show, saw the review, and it was utterly trashing the record. So there has to be a balance. Negative reviews were published, many of them, but I certainly encouraged my writers to find positives in what they were reviewing. The key to BBC reviews was that the listeners of the music being covered were never made to feel that they were somehow inferior to those with broader, or more niche, tastes. Criticism has to be constructive and conveyed in clear terms, focused exclusively on the music at hand rather than associations, scenes, typical audience, etc. It cannot, at the BBC, be: "Oh dear, this is another boring album from a boring artist for a bored listenership"... because, right there, you're discriminating against a potentially massive audience. So you see, in short, it's always better to lean towards the positives than dwell on the negatives. And besides, it makes for a happier place to learn about new music.
Yeah I was thinking this was probably the major difference from most magazines
Toughest break for you, though :(
but it does rather highlight the fact that BBC music reviews are too compromised to be valid compared to more independent opinions.
that at least attempt to look for positives, even if they ultimately fail. I really hate overwhelmingly negative reviews of obvious targets, where you get the sense that the reviewer went "OH NEW KINGS OF LEON ALBUM? HAHA I'LL TAKE THAT, I COULD DO AN AMUSING RANT AGAINST IT."
This is a real shame.
Always liked your reviews, hope you land on your feet :(
it worked for 6music. im sure lots of people would sign it.
Sweveball thought: Perhaps Amazon could sponsor a reviews site and provide the BBC with the reviews for free? I know after the BBC gave Ed Harcourt's new album a good review Amazon ordered an extra 400 copies because the review would be running on the page where you can buy the record.