I surprised myself reading Ian Cohen’s review of Total Loss, How To Dress Well’s latest album. The opening paragraph mentions a string of R&B and Pop artists (Bobby Brown, Ready for the World, Michael Jackson, etc) who were influential on How To Dress Well’s music; I made mental note and kept on reading.
A day or so later, as I was listening to the album it seemed odd to me that those names didn’t factor into finally listening to the album, because recently I’ve been on an 80s/early 90s R&B binge, so if you’re in the middle of North Carolina and hear a car blast Guy’s self-titled album that’s probably me. Yet, even with that connection, it wasn’t until I finished Cohen’s positive review that I thought about listening to the album.
I can’t exactly pinpoint this change in reading habits, but I know in high school, if I was reading a review I would hunt for genre names (Italo Disco or Detroit Techno) or band names (R.E.M. or New Order), and if I didn’t see what I was looking for, I’d skip over the band and the probably the rest of the review. I probably glossed over many great reviews and bands, because the author probably wasn’t accounting for a reader like me.
It might sound a bit strange to admit this, but recently I’ve noticed that my writing—especially on Tumblr—usually doesn’t account for anyone beyond myself. And, as I’ve been thinking more about who might be reading the pieces I write, it struck me that my assumed audience might be more knowledgeable or less knowledgeable than me on a specific topic. Or they could just be looking for that one word or phrase that’ll push them toward new music and don’t care about my 700 words devoted to one song, if it does not feature the handful of words they are seeking.
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- defenderofyourface said: I can’t remember, but did any reviews of the first album ever mention the blatant Beyonce-jack, or… Was it better to reference Clams or whatever the fuck back then?
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