What does it mean to be a friendly critic?

 Words: KitKat James and Everett True

To criticise with positives

To contribute to the general dialogue around popular (and unpopular) music


To not support someone who cares more about opinions than their own health

To encourage individual and challenging criticism, mediation and commentary, to support those who need supporting, to inform those that need informing and to champion voices otherwise overlooked

To criticise because you feel an emotional connection with the music, whether positive or negative – constructive not destructive

Unless you feel like being destructive

To support smaller artists who deserve to be supported

To not repeat ourselves

To not repeat ourselves

To champion voices overlooked in the mainstream

To stay ahead of the music game and the trend

To unlock treasure chests

To reward creativity with creativity

To reward thoughtlessness with thoughtlessness

Blurred Lines (spoken word parody)

To be prepared to be wrong
The return of Everett True | 163. Ed Sheeran
You should see how wide my daughter’s eyes go when they hear the opening notes to ‘Shape Of You’. You should see her bounce so happily from one foot to another, stopping a moment to twirl here, stopping a moment to twirl there.

You should see the happiness spread all over her body, from her eyes downward to her feet until it infects the whole room and the house, and everyone in it. (Not her brothers though. Not necessarily. “Why does Lauren like THIS song?” asks Isaac grumpily.)

I should have known that anyone Noel Gallagher slags off as “killing music” is worth investigation, cannot be discarded aside so easily. Yes. I am aware that I have been rubbishing Mr Sheeran’s sound for months now but… you know what? Pop music. It’s pop music, and it makes my daughter happy. It’s pop music and a love for pop music has never been about whether you like or dislike the songs but whether you like or dislike the context within which you experience the songs. And the context of ‘Shape Of You’ is that whenever I hear it I can see in my mind’s eye my daughter’s eyes vividly light up with happiness and damn, if that isn’t my favourite sight in the world. She hums the song to herself contentedly, abstract. She speaks upbeat. She is excited and enthusiastic and happy.

“Ah, so you do not like the song itself but the context you experience it within, so you cannot truly make this a Song of the Day,” I hear the disclaimers cry. No, no. Have you not been listening? Can you not read? Pop music has never been about the songs. It is about the gut reaction, the instinct, the enjoyment, the ferocious escape from life. I love this fucking song right now, the way it bounces along, its lightness of touch (akin to a Timberlake or someone), its cheeky beat.

I do not believe in guilty pleasures. This song is great. Have a listen.



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