The Friendly Critic vs NME

First, read this review from the NME.

From stripper to chart-topper via reality TV stardom, (1) Cardi B‘s story is enthralling and she knows it […] It would be impossible to divorce her story from this debut album, because in a way, the story is the album (2) […]

(1) Fucking awful start. Never start a review with a sub-clause. Never start a review with lacklustre hyperbole that serves to both sensationalise and bore simultaneously. So lazy, so dull. So meaningless.

(2) Read this sentence. Read it twice. Read it, and mourn the passing of proof readers as a breed, of music criticism as a viable alternative.  Read it, and ask yourself “why the future imperfect tense?”. Read it and ask yourself why the writer didn’t simply type “her music is her art” (or something similar). Read it and ask, why the use of the word ‘impossible’? Nothing is impossible. Of course it’s fucking possible to divorce Cardi B’s story from her debut album if you choose to do so. It is up to you – the listener, the observer – to interpret the music as you choose fit. Again, this is pure simply lazy hyperbole, badly thought through and even more badly edited. I have nothing against sensationalism, nothing whatsoever. I FUCKING LOVE SENSATIONALISM long as it isn’t taken to racist, misogynistic, Katie Hopkins extremes. But this dull hackery? Oh lady.

After her breakthrough single ‘Bodak Yellow’ dethroned Taylor Swift from the Billboard Hot 100 summit in September (3) […] But though she guested (4) on Bruno Mars‘ recent R&B hit ‘Finesse’ […]

(3) Finally, some information – although it could have been much better phrased, and far more interestingly too. Might have been better to sidebar all this information, place a few leads and trails in to other singers and tracks too. Not Taylor Swift.

(4) Guested? As Elmore Leonard says, don’t substitute other words for ‘said’ when ‘said’ is the word best suited. Unnecessary. I have cut the rest of this paragraph as it contains more mundane hack description, most of which feels lifted from the other 52 or so reviews of Invasion Of Privacy, links readily available at Wikipedia.

[…] she’s endlessly daring, comparing her breasts to Beyoncé‘s twins on ‘Money Bag’ (5) and asking Rihanna and Chrissy Teigen for a threesome on ‘She Bad’ […] The way she flips from righteous fury to plaintive desperation on ‘Thru Your Phone’ […] is thrilling and palpably emotional. (6)

(5) You are a writer, a critic. Words are your tools, your lovers, your weapons. Words are all you have to express yourself with so please do not misuse them. How is asking Rihanna and Chrissy for a threesome “daring”, how is comparing your breasts to  Beyoncé’s twins “daring”. Jumping out a fucking plane without a parachute is daring, taking an air rifle to Trump’s security entourage is daring, not asking for sex in song in a line that will only be lauded for its content not intent.

(6) Oh man, where should I start? Where do I start? Why “righteous” fury? Does the righteous add anything to your understanding or appreciation of Cardi B’s new album? Is the desperation really plaintive, or is that just one of those overused lines you see dotted around everywhere, especially in reviews of ‘Thru Your Phone’? Palpably emotional? For fuck’s sake! Emotional, in what way?

[…] “My little 15 minutes lasting long as hell, huh?” she boasts nonchalantly on final track ‘I Do’. On this evidence, it’s going to last a lot longer yet. (7)

(7) Do not ever attempt to summarise at the end of a 300-word review. Do not ever attempt to summarise! Why not? THIS IS WHY NOT! I have glanced through about 10 reviews of Invasion Of Privacy, and every single one of those 10 reviews of Invasion Of Privacy have ended with this exact same fucking phrase. Or thereabouts.

Hacks. Hate them or hate them, you have to hate them.

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