Do people expect critics to be some kind of consumer guide? Is there some weird idea that an individual music fan should speak for some sort of hive-mind, rather than for themselves? And in speaking for the hive-mind, are writers simply drifting toward some sort of safe and agreeable world where there's only one correct review? Or do people really think that the entire editorial team of a publication sits around and listens to a record, then comes to a decision on the score and sends someone off to write that review...?
Anyway, I mention this because I saw objectivity mentioned in this piece about 0/10 reviews and have never gotten my head around the idea of writing about music from anything but a personal point of view, especially now that the web allows for multiple reviews and comments and discussion on a site (not that many places do it). http://thefourohfive.com/news/article/what-is-the-point-of-a-0-10-review
Are there comparable types of critical journalism that should set a standard? There was an interesting point raised by Simon Price from the Independent on Twitter yesterday about the lack of a Mark Kermode for music at the BBC, and how film critics tend to get free reign to share their opinion and relate it to film in a wider context, much more than music critics ever do. Growing up reading gaming magazines, I think I've only really ever loved this no-holds-barred school of writing. All my favourite writers at Melody Maker, and that I've discovered going back through rock-writing archives (Kent, Bangs, Klosterman, Meltzer, S.Thompson, etc, etc...), have always been about one person's opinion, and sometimes attempting to understand the success by deconstructing or the experience by throwing themselves under the tour bus... I worry that there's a whole generation that has grown up reading short reviews in Metro and Which? and wanting to organize music into some agreed filing system.... And - fuck me - maybe this is what some music fans want?