Album: Gazzillion Ear EP
Critic: Nate Patrin
Publication: Pitchfork, 2010
Writing Disorders: Jargon Palsy, Infectious Punctuation
Critic Foul: Using “burble” twice in one review
Funniest Line: “And even through the rawness, he rode on that beat so securely”
Nate, I’m disappointed in you. The run-on sentences, the bewildering frequency of hyphens and parentheses, the abuse of compound adjectives – all of this reflects poorly on your character. And since it’s already questionable character belonging to someone who rates artwork to the tenth decimal place, you could stand to learn a few things here.
Your biggest problem is your willful inability to write a thought out in less than 30 words. Take this sentence, for example:
DOOM united those two movements with a tour de force rendition of his characteristic hookless, free-associative pop-culture cliché-disemboweling that stands up to any of the top three verses on Madvillainy.
I don’t know why you didn’t hyphenate “tour de force,” given your addiction to the stuff, but here’s what might have happened if you’d gotten rid of them entirely. Here’s how you COULD have written that sentence to make it accessible to people who don’t finger-read their screens:
DOOM united those two movements in a way that stands up to any of the top three verses on Madvillainy.
You end up with something easier to read. And even though it doesn’t contain that hyphenated monstrosity, I’m going to guess that most readers didn’t care enough to miss it in the first place. It was a pretty dumb insight, Nate, and it says little about the album you’re reviewing. Let’s move on to some more longwinded confusion:
The EP also includes the original track, largely for completion’s sake, and a brief, shrugworthy bonus beat entitled “The.Green.Whore.Net”; it’s probably for the best that most people who already own Born Like This (by which I mean pretty much anyone who would already be interested in “Gazzillion Ear” in any context) can pick this one up piecemeal.
Speaking of shrugworthy, it took me three reads just to place that huge sentence into any context. As I’ve demonstrated before with other music critics, you’re not doing your readers any favors with a 20-word parenthetical aside crammed into the middle of a sentence. I don’t think I was alone in wondering who or what could “pick this one up piecemeal” on the first read.
“hearing his voice drop out every so often to let Yorke’s distantly twitching, wordless-murmur ambience burble for a moment sabotages the momentum.”
Dude, do you think you could have just written the word “murmur” with maybe a word to go with it as an adjective? “Distantly twitching, wordless-murmer ambience” doesn’t exactly flow when it’s used as one noun attached to a verb. Really, it’s okay — no one’s going to rat you out to the snark police if you use one word instead of five to describe something straightforward.
One more example of your bloated writing, then we’ll be done. I promise.
“But it’s Jarel’s other contribution that steals the show: ‘the Dr. Who Dat?’ mix is boom-bap that breathes through deep, thrumming digital bass, riding on zone-out synths and hi-hats that melt and freeze into crystalline sonics”
Nate, you could have just ended that sentence at the colon. That way you might have provided some ambiguity, a reason for readers to look up the song and listen. Who knows? People might wonder why Jarel’s other contribution steals the show and be motivated enough to find out why. Instead, you make what probably IS a cool song sound like the most uncool thing this side of Neptune. What’s the chance that someone is going to want to check out the album or track because of “zone-out synths” or “crystalline sonics?” I think they’d be more likely to forget about the track and fixate on how deep the reviewer’s gonads were dunked in icewater to write such silly stuff.
Oh, and you might have significantly cut the length of a 540-word review of an EP composed of 9 remixes of one song. Just a thought.
Please clean up your act, Nate. Or don’t — I’ll get sick of writing about you eventually.