It’s often been said, don’t meet your heroes.
I’ve broken that rule and held on to it tight as can be on various occasions. Sorry and sacred I’ve been on some nights. I’ve met heroes, said my piece on their influence and other times just held the handshake and no words were shared, just vibration. The topic of heroes is a tough one and one that I could say so much about. We’ve seen so many pass on, leaving their words and music like headlights on a lighthouse for us in this often dark time. As fans, musicians, lovers of music; we are often held on a string by the melody, captured by the rhythm, and the artists become our guidance and our leading support. Leaving them a distinct honor of helping us or sharing their talents for a time. That’s our moment and we are fortunate.
My mind was led down this path of hero interaction and unfortunate passing by a simple, yet scathing, record review. A young group, who tried very hard to navigate an incredibly difficult industry and deliver a record that they were proud of, and still be true to themselves and their artistic visions. Work hard, perfect your craft, create a new piece of art, fall in love with it, deliver it to the label, they love it, they release it.
Then someone reviews it..
Do reviews really declare worth? It’s just an opinion, right? Does it help or hurt the career? Could it? Does it matter?
This review was a disaster. A major online site destroyed this album.
But it’s just a review, right?
I quickly moved my thoughts past what the reviewer was saying and onto what the band felt. Past the fans’ soon to be opinions and into the feelings of the members that worked so hard to birth these songs, only to have a reviewer bully their art.
It’s just one opinion, right?
My thoughts are simple. Reviews are a necessary evil probably. Useful for fans and listeners to give an overview or put it in some basket for placement or reference but how do the artists or songwriters feel? I get it, toughen up, take it on the chin, et al, but what if the review is ultimately hurtful? This particular review was. Does it damage the journey? Could it shatter all dreams and aspirations of their original plan? That seems like a dangerously strong and powerful responsibility, for either good or bad.
I’m sure there’s as many good as there are bad reviews, but my open heart fears the bad ones can alter the number of musicians creating music and that is a true fear. It’s certainly acceptable to review a musician or a new release but is it possible to say the descriptive qualities, whether good or bad, in a supportive and encouraging way?
Why aren’t more reviews leading with the positive tone? Speaking of the really great talent or artistry and creativity, why so
harsh and destructive? Sure, maybe there are some bad things about the artists or the music, but is it so terrible that it overshadows the good or positive qualities? I just can’t believe it does. Further, I think it’s just shock value on some level and not even really about the music. I feel to further the stack of musicians that create, we have to nurture their craft. Encourage them with our words and especially in our physical presence. Ratings and reviews are necessary I suppose on some levels but we can speak them with more kindness hopefully.
If we throw so much negative vibration, it will limit us I’m certain. Thus, less heroes eventually.
Then our problem becomes not our fear of meeting heroes or our heroes passing but that they aren’t being replaced.
That responsibility falls on us.
Buy more music.
See more shows.