Album: Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar
Critic: Jakob Dorof
Publication: Tiny Mix Tapes, 2010
Writing Disorders: Jargon Palsy, Infectious Punctuation, Idea Fever
Stuffiest Phrase: “a lovely cut of starlit nu-soul, enhanced by flashes of Wilsonian counterpoint”
Hyphen Foul: “keys-as-cicada-swarm”
Jakob, it’s been a few months since we last brushed words, so I hope you’ve enjoyed the time off. Congrats on getting your reviews under the ten-century mark, but you’re still throwing the same crap on a smaller bun.
Your writing’s just as awful as it was back in January because you still don’t edit. I managed to trudge through the whole thing, but I don’t read music reviews like most folks. I paste sentences into Word docs so I can study them. That’s how I roll. Riding bareback through this junk is enough to chill a man’s balls. Take this heap of words, for example:
“It’s even more the case for a band to do so not as a duo-plus-volunteer beat machine (à la colleagues like Y.A.C.H.T. and jj), but to split the meager makings among five or six real, hungry musician-bodies (ones with audibly expensive keyboard habits, to boot).”
Jakob, have you ever seen “Clean House?” There’s this black woman on it who shouts at people for holding onto too much crap. I’ll play her role this time, but one of these days I want you rocking those hips and sorting through your own cluttered sentences. First things first:
“to do so not as a”
Teachable moment here, Jakob. Strings of tiny words like those tell Internet brains to skip ahead. And what’s ahead? Two hyphens. I can’t picture most readers sticking around just to hop over word hurdles in a desperate attempt to learn about a band they can just type into Grooveshark. And come on…four parentheses in one sentence? Curves are for women, Jakob.
Let’s move on to the next glob of words:
“Generally speaking, the eight tracks/38 minutes of the album proper consist of groove-heavy, synth-poppin’ workouts that could have well been produced by James Murphy (though they ain’t), and make for topp stemning (a “great vibe”) in the gym, the car, and maybe even the local bar, as advertised on the tin.”
Call me nuts, but I think a 50-word explanation jumps orbit on “generally speaking.” When I speak generally, I say things like “That was cool” or “She’s hot” — you know, general stuff. Try it sometime. At least you whittled down a character of space with “ain’t” in there. Thanks for that.
I want to come back to Grooveshark for a second, Jakob. Maybe writing confusing nonsense about sounds is fast becoming a lost art in the Internet age, but not nearly fast enough. Case in point:
“The squiggly instro-funk of “Fot I Hose” sounds like an update of the kind of 70s jams cataloged on Cinemaphonic’s Soul Punch comp; “Verdens Største Land” ably blends Air France’s lithe synths with Vampiric afro-beat appropriations; and the opener “Grønt Lys I Alle Led” approximates the result of Jens Lekman ghostwriting a tune for Los Campesinos! post-Ritalin prescription.”
Wow. This band must be thrilled they got you to translate their music overseas. Did you get credit for “instro-funk” in the dictionary of hyphenated music BS, or is the request still pending? Maybe they can add two entries for clarity. Can’t be confusing squiggly instro-funk with the regular sort of instro-funk these days.
Quoting all this stuff is already pushing me into your preferred word count, not mine, so let’s cap things off with your discussion of the “definite missteps” on this album:
“Perhaps worst of all is the fact that this disc doubles its length in bonus tracks; they’re easy to ignore, which makes it a forgivable move, but as such it also feels like a bit of a waste”
So a bit of a waste is worst of all? Wow, better yank two stars off the board. That’s some heavy stuff right there. Really Jakob, I don’t understand the point you’re making here. Are you saying it’d be UNFORGIVABLE if those bonus tracks were impossible to ignore? Do you normally pee on music that holds your attention, or are you just fumbling for something to dislike?
I gotta go, but just for fun let’s see what comes after that last bit:
“…it also feels like a bit of a waste. At best it comes off a bit brazen and cocksure”
Not that I need to point it out, but sometimes pussyfooting leaves a stain, Jakob, so you might want to try a bit of rereading to find a bit less repetition. Besides…a bit cocksure? A bit brazen? That’s like saying your review was a bit awful.
Let’s not mince words.