As a musician, I’ve heard (or read) a select few reviews of my own performances. It is not news to me that these critics are often totally wrong and more than a little biased. While I’ve never gotten a terrible review, I know that these “professionals” have been completely wrong in their opinions on more than one occasion. What makes these people think they know the world of music so well?
Just recently I came across a clipping from a 1974 newspaper on KISS’ Facebook page. The review read: “I hope the four guys who make up the group, whose names do not matter, are putting money away for the future. The near future, because KISS won’t be around long.” Obviously, this man couldn’t have been more wrong. KISS has been a mainstay in the rock music scene for forty years now. The band has sold more merchandise than any other musical act in history and boast a 2014 Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction.
I feel this particular critic, like most others, was simply expressing his opinion and had no knowledge of the musical world to back up his claims. Had he any knowledge of marketing a band, he’d have known KISS was bound for success. The band’s make-up and theatrics are less of a gimmick and more of a marketing strategy. People flock to the unusual and different. KISS gave music fans exactly what they needed in their heyday. This critic merely wrote a slanderous review based on his own opinion of their musical stylings.
Many of the professional music critics I’ve met have no credentials. Aside from writing for various newspapers or websites, these critics have no musical education and no knowledge of the industry itself. Most of these men are merely music snobs. These snobs tend to trash anything they dislike and praise the music they enjoy. I feel that this should not be the job of a music critic. The critic can state whether or not they enjoyed the music but should not be allowed to make wild claims about the fate of the band or musician.
It seems there is no end in sight for the way critics are allowed to write their reviews. These individuals continue to push whatever opinion they wish with no repercussion. I am all for free speech but to blatantly slander a band or musician is uncalled for and unprofessional. Critics should be qualified and knowledgeable. Instead of professionals, we often get amateurs with fancy titles.