Thursday, March 04, 2010

Out and Hyped: Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me


Music journalism doesn't exist anymore. "Reviews" are actually more like commentaries than they are criticisms. There is no reason to review music anymore, because everyone has a computer. Nobody needs to read somebody's attempt to explain how something sounds, because we can just hear it for ourselves now in less time than what it takes to read a review. If you want to know what Joanna Newsom sounds like, you don't need me to tell you. Here. Just listen for yourself and you skip the middleman altogether. Congratulations and welcome to the 21st century.

So the question is: is there a reason to write about music? We might as well dance about architecture, right? Well, first of all, I'm all for dancing about architecture. Can't find anything wrong with that... But more importantly, the death of music journalism has made someone like Joanna Newsom all the more interesting.

The playing field has been leveled. U2 or Taylor Swift fans should find Joanna Newsom's music repulsive, but this is not always the case. And this is because Newsom, when all else fails, is different. She crafts music our ears haven't heard before. And instead of refusing to hear it, those of us who actually care about music let it play.

Newsom is musically daring, undeniably skilled and sexually enticing. That's the most you'll get out of me in terms of "critical" analysis of Have One on Me. Personally, I enjoy the music. But some won't. But we've gotten to a point at which people only dislike something if they just don't personally connect with it. The concept of cool doesn't exist anymore in America. Now that anybody can be a reality star or YouTube sensation, we don't respect our elders anymore. Even this, it's a blog post. Have you noticed with how much authority I've been speaking? It's all made up. Nobody gave me this authority, but why shouldn't I take it for myself?

So goes your own opinion. It has a greater value than ever. Blame the internet, blame postmodernism, blame whatever you want--we are our own critics now. We can listen to Joanna Newsom and not have to care if somebody disagrees with our opinion of the music. If we love it, we're entitled. And if we hate it, we reserve every right to do so.

This post is basically Dylan Peterson reacting to the good feelings he got after listening to the new Joanna Newsom album. If anybody else enjoyed it, let's discuss the things we liked. If somebody didn't like it, we can talk about that too, I'm open to all interpretations. But if you don't like Good Intentions Paving Company, come on, stop having bad opinions.

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