Monday, October 09, 2006


I thought today was going to be a pretty run of the mill day. Having made my usual journey to work, listening on this occasion to the latest three Nevermore albums (how downright amazing is this band?) on shuffle and arrived in the office as normal. First thing's first, check emails for lame queries from stupid people. None. Not bad. What I did have was something I wasn't expecting at all. An email forwarded from Vikki.

You might not think this particularly strange. We are, after all, partners at Jukebox. And on the face of it, no, a forwarded email from Vikki isn't something to bring the Earth to a standstill. But the contents took a second read before I could fully comprehend what was going on. The message was from someone at Fire Records, regarding Vikki's latest review of the new CD by Virgin Passages. Apparently this person, who we believe to actually be a member of Virgin Passages, doesn't feel we have the right to give something a negative write-up. And as such the one-star review Mandalay received didn't go down especially well. His chosen method of expressing his disappointment was to email Vikki explaining that he felt that people who don't understand music and don't like a CD shouldn't review it. Where he got the idea that reviewers don't publish bad reviews escapes me at this point. Equally how he came to the conclusion that we don't understand music, given the frankly unparalleled range of styles we tackle on Jukebox, is equally bemusing. Apparently, "no sense of timing or key" and "barely tuneful" aren't accurate because, and I quote, "it's about deconstruction". So perhaps what she should have said was "it sounds like crap, but it's OK because they meant it to". Dress it up as pretentiously as you like, but if it sounds like disjointed rubbish, reviewers are going to say so.

This clearly came as quite the shock to him. He evidently isn't prepared for bad reviews. Yep, you read it right; he's sending CDs to reviewers and isn't prepared for bad reviews. Genius, huh? He even offered a quote regarding the music from someone else. It came from a website I've never heard of and went "it's like a constant LSD trip". I am assuming for the sake of argument that this was a compliment and that is why he quoted it. To me, that statement suggests incoherent nonsense. I've not heard the CD, but that would certainly seem to fit with Vikki's analysis.

One of the (many) things Vikki pointed out about the album was that the vocals are almost indistinguishable from the music, meaning the whole thing may as well have been instrumental. The guy in question replied "we can't do that?" Well, yes, of course you can, it just sounds pointless and boring, so why would you want to?

I can only imagine what the future holds if he is going to react to every bad review he receives in the same manner. He's in for a very stressful time in the music industry if he's going to cry over every negative word journalists have to say. Apparently, everyone who doesn't like this guy's music is an "idiot". What a pro.

"Don't damn me when I speak a piece of my mind"