Monday, March 21, 2011

Comment on Criticism in General

People are always griping about albums getting perfect scores or being reviewed as "the best album ever" (see basically any criticism of Kanye's most recent album), but I have to say that I am in support of it. Think of the nineteen sixties. Can you think of ten albums that you would give perfect scores to? I certainly can. Albums didn't even really exist in earnest until the middle of that decade. And yet that's an average of one perfect album per year. What can we take from this? We could say a lot of spit about people idolizing artists and albums above their real worth, something that I can sometimes get behind, but seriously, where is the fun in that? As much as I would like to say that people over-idolize the sixties, and despite my ability to find some puny fault in Blonde on Blonde, that album is amazing. Its terrific, transcendent, a beautiful experience. If we allow ourselves to be swept up in Dylan worship, as well we should, why can't we allow ourselves to be swept up in Kanye worship? If one perfect album came out every year in the nineteen sixties, why can't one perfect album come out every year in the twenty teens? We don't have to raise things above everything else. Let's lower the standard. What makes a perfect album? A perfect album is an album that we like to listen to, a lot. We shouldn't second guess our enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is what art does to people. Let it happen.

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