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Old 05-12-2012, 04:20 PM   #181
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For The Clash, there's no way Combat Rock is worse than Cut The Crap.
cut the crap would be the worst if it were a real Clash album

without Mick Jones, it really does not qualify.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:53 PM   #182
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's what I'm saying. It's not the clash. Hell, it doesn't even exist in my world.


Ok, how about Elliott smith?
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:00 PM   #183
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Elliott Smith is a tricky one. Best is absolutely Either/Or, no question.one of the best albums ever. Worst is very tough...obviously Roman Candle isn't life changing, but it has charm and nice atmosphere. Figure 8, on the other hand is bloated and slick but contains some amazing songs too.

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Old 05-12-2012, 07:29 PM   #184
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Like I said, I respect the guy as a writer, and his experience is certainly worth something. He does, however, certainly have a self-righteous, self-congratulatory streak as well. And it just simply is not convincing when you to try to use him as a buttress for your opinions because he is just one voice in a sea of experienced critics.

Right...but the rest of the critics loved Pavement as well? Not Terror Twilight but definitely thru Brighten the Corners.

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This community on the whole seems afflicted by some strange sort of anti-critical reverse-elitism syndrome.
Yeah, I've noticed.

I wonder if LM also finds the Velvet Underground self-titled "going through the motions". After all, just a collection of pretty songs with little of the adventure found on the debut or White Light/White Heat.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #185
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Are you suggesting that it is somehow more legitimate to bow to critical consensus than form your own opinion? I can't believe this discussion is even occurring.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #186
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This community on the whole seems afflicted by some strange sort of anti-critical reverse-elitism syndrome.
I know we just agreed on something () but this view really annoys me. I've seen the way you two post in the movie threads and I find it extremely off-putting.

I read critics' reviews of music just like we all do here but I'm completely with iYup on this one. You can make all the arguments you like about how exalted these big-name critics are, but in mine and many others' opinions, they're just critics, they're talking about things that are totally subjective and no amount of experience or whatever makes them objective writers.

This quote comes off as pretty elitist to me, ironically.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:09 PM   #187
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Robert Christgau has his moments (I guess), but I'd like to do up a t-shirt with his bespectacled face and the caption 'your favourite band sucks'.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:35 PM   #188
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I wonder if LM also finds the Velvet Underground self-titled "going through the motions". After all, just a collection of pretty songs with little of the adventure found on the debut or White Light/White Heat.
No, not in the slightest. It has a unique and palpable atmosphere that sets it apart from other VU records. To call it merely a collection of pretty songs is moronic. But I suppose you find my opinions equally so.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:50 PM   #189
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I know we just agreed on something () but this view really annoys me. I've seen the way you two post in the movie threads and I find it extremely off-putting.

I read critics' reviews of music just like we all do here but I'm completely with iYup on this one. You can make all the arguments you like about how exalted these big-name critics are, but in mine and many others' opinions, they're just critics, they're talking about things that are totally subjective and no amount of experience or whatever makes them objective writers.

This quote comes off as pretty elitist to me, ironically.
Well I apologize for talking about films in those threads from a place of knowledge and particular formal perspective. Well, no I don't. Laz can be off-putting in his way, sure, but that's just how he is, we all know and he's like that everywhere. I really don't think I've behaved in any way on this forum in the past two or three years that should engender the kind of attitudes and reactions some people seem to have towards me though. I dunno.

Either way, anyone who wants to seriously learn about, discuss and grow intellectually about a subject, even entirely subjective ones like art, should take critics seriously. Or at least respect the fact that the majority of the ones worth their salt know a hell of a lot more about what they're talking about than the average person, which itself is an objective fact. It doesn't make them right ever, but it unequivocally does make their opinion more relevant in the realm of discussion. There are plenty of people out there who write about art, music and film professionally whose writing can be incredibly valuable, and people who read it should know enough not to take their preferences as some smug elitist play at objectivity (though there is the occasional smug elitist asshole who gets paid to brand his opinions, but they're pretty obvious from far off).
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:06 AM   #190
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I've got nothing against you, first of all. Seriously. And here's no doubt that some critics know much more about a particular topic than most. Their opinions are certainly relevant. But they don't invalidate other people's opinions. Laz seemed to be implying that LM was wrong about Pavement, citing Christgau's opinions as having some sort of objectivity. He will correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:12 AM   #191
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Either way, anyone who wants to seriously learn about, discuss and grow intellectually about a subject, even entirely subjective ones like art, should take critics seriously. Or at least respect the fact that the majority of the ones worth their salt know a hell of a lot more about what they're talking about than the average person, which itself is an objective fact. It doesn't make them right ever, but it unequivocally does make their opinion more relevant in the realm of discussion. There are plenty of people out there who write about art, music and film professionally whose writing can be incredibly valuable, and people who read it should know enough not to take their preferences as some smug elitist play at objectivity (though there is the occasional smug elitist asshole who gets paid to brand his opinions, but they're pretty obvious from far off).
I would suggest in this instance that there is a difference between criticism and analysis, with the latter being far more valuable than the former. To me, criticism is almost always about rhetoric; the more skill with which the perspective is put forth, the more likely the audience is to accept that perspective as "valuable" or even "right." And Christgau is a perfect example in the sense that he smacks a letter grade on everything, a grade which rests on the basic assumption that his experience and/or intellectualism somehow justifies that grade when ultimately he is just playing a rhetorical game. I would much rather that reviews avoid assigning any kind of score to an album and instead focus on its structure, mood, flow, etc.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:59 AM   #192
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The thing I find hilarious about this entire situation is how much LeMel loves Christgau.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:54 AM   #193
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Yeah, seriously, Christgau is a great writer. We have our differences, but his writing style is economical and refreshing, and he usually does an at least halfway decent job of justifying his opinions. Nonetheless,

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Or at least respect the fact that the majority of the ones worth their salt know a hell of a lot more about what they're talking about than the average person, which itself is an objective fact.
No amount of qualification can make this statement correct. I have no idea what you're even trying to get at here. Where does the line between "knowledgeable" and "average" fall anyway? Where do we as individuals place within this spectrum? Is there an at-home test to determine your standing? Do you have to hear 100 albums? 1,000 albums? 100,000 albums to qualify as "knowing what you're talking about," wherein your opinion cannot be canceled out by someone on the internet citing a music critic?

If we're merely using their opinions to supplement discussion, terrific, and I think that's where you're suggesting their purpose lies. But that's not what Laz did at all.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:30 AM   #194
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LM, this is really, specifically about Brighten The Corners. Because I just don't understand where you'd throw such a damning label as "going through the motions" on it. Each Pavement album sounds quite different, and if anything BTC is a refinement of whatever could be called a signature style. It doesn't have the indie noise quality of S&E, the classic stoner rock crunch of CRCR, or the DIY anything goes craziness of Wowee. I used a bunch of adjectives to describe it in my last post but certainly you can identify that it has a unique sonic palette for the band.

And I'm still stuck on your implication that a supposed lack of innovation on a band's fourth album somehow equals a negative. Music is music, no? I mentioned Katy Lied but it could also be said that Steely Dan didn't really "change" after Countdown to Ecstasy until Aja. That doesn't make the intervening three albums underwhelming. Exactly what was Pavement supposed to do to impress you.

This is why I'm dragging critical consensus into it. Not to show your opinion wrong taste-wise, but to defend against your description of the album's nature itself, as well as the band's. And having read a Pavement biography myself, I do know a good deal about the recording sessions. The liner notes on the Matador reissue also have reflections from the band members, crew, Matador reps as well that would argue against what you're saying.

Forgive me for being passionate about this as they are along with Shuttlecock my favorite band.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:25 AM   #195
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I tried to listen to slanted at work last night but the girl I was working with turned it off after summer babe.
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