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 What makes a good review? 
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
If I remember right it was between 200 and 250 words for a standard album review, 4-500 for a "feature" album, 800 words for a single page feature (and then between 400 and 800 words for any subsequent additional pages, depending on photos). Used to get paid at 2p a word and free entry to pretty much any gig going in London that could be blagged (though had to pay my own train tickets). Interviews... the tab was picked up by the record label if it was done in a pub, which meant getting annihilated when interviewing Orange Goblin! No wonder MFN went bust if they were funding OG's press tour ;)


Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:55 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Ed Blackadder wrote:
robitusson wrote:
It's about 110 words now I think.

120. Every review has a picture of the album cover next to it, and some of the longer reviews have a band photo and a 'sidebar' too.

I'm sure they used to be longer. It's the most worrying aspect of the changes in the mag that have been brought in its most recent phase. Unless I'm completely wrong and they just seem shorter.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:58 am
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Powersteev wrote:
If I remember right it was between 200 and 250 words for a standard album review, 4-500 for a "feature" album,

Ah right. This should be brought back. The fact that the fists are not fists or nuclear symbols I can handle, but seriously - lengthen the reviews.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:00 am
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
i think the assumption in all print media these days is that readers are flighty kids with a five second attention span, hence the need for thumbnails of sleeve art too small to be any use, pointless straplines 'summing up' the album before you read it, sidebars on reviews that often have nothing to do with the album (ie Top Five Musicians With A Smack Addiction), bigger print, word counts slashed etc. I've come to hate the whole system of scoring as well, to hell with fists, stars, numbers, symbols out of five or ten, it's not Come Dancing, the review should tell you all you need to know.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:48 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Against my better judgement, gonna jump in here - wordcounts are/were changed mainly as a design aspect, to fit in with new templates, offer a cleaner look etc etc. I've been a reader for yonks, and I prefer the cleaner look of now.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:45 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Could the template not have been changed to fit the word larger count?
A pretty magazine is all well and good, but I'm sure most here will agree Substance > Style

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:47 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
It's a very nowadays reckoning - that what a thing looks like is more important than what it contains. "The typesetting and design of this Kerry Katona novel is leagues ahead of this fusty old textbook by Bertrand Russell."

'Cleaner'? As if words make a page look dirty?

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:51 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Unsurprisingly, Chantler is entirely on the money here.

I'm just waiting for T to do one of those Kerrang/Rock Sound 'for fans of..' bits at the bottom of each review, so the poor dull-witted readers can easily assimilate whatever the album sounds like into some sort of pre-existing mental map of music, and not even have to bother reading the bloody review at all.

Substance > style indeed, though I'm constantly amazed at the amount of people who disagree with this, regardless of context.


Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:03 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
double post.


Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:03 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Clint Ruin wrote:
I'm just waiting for T to do one of those Kerrang/Rock Sound 'for fans of..' bits at the bottom of each review, so the poor dull-witted readers can easily assimilate whatever the album sounds like into some sort of pre-existing mental map of music, and not even have to bother reading the bloody review at all.



I think they did for a couple of issues.

The flipside is, of course, long winded reviews with no scores. Fanzines are making a comeback in noise but dear god, some of the reviews are essay length. I can't be bothered with that shit. The Special Interests magazine has it about right, no scores, reasonably lengthed (sorry shallow) reviews that are worth reading.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:08 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Chantler wrote:
i think the assumption in all print media these days is that readers are flighty kids with a five second attention span, hence the need for thumbnails of sleeve art too small to be any use, pointless straplines 'summing up' the album before you read it, sidebars on reviews that often have nothing to do with the album (ie Top Five Musicians With A Smack Addiction), bigger print, word counts slashed etc. I've come to hate the whole system of scoring as well, to hell with fists, stars, numbers, symbols out of five or ten, it's not Come Dancing, the review should tell you all you need to know.

100% bang on the money - UP UNTIL THE END BIT which is an abomination of an idea.

Mojo have it right. Specialist, highly-informative reviews - a decent length, not that much longer than Tez's actually - fists (stars) with no half-marks.

I accept that it may have been design concerns that have chopped the reviews, but it was still a bad move. Re-adjust the design and then why not have an intelligent, highly reader-respectful review of a decent length for us olds - and then put in the top-5-drummers-who-use-red-toothbrushes and bands-who-sound-a-bit-like-this for da yoof?

(btw Maximum Rock & Roll's record lows for shockingly shit reviewing and lazy-ass "for fans of.." comparisons have yet to be beat.)

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Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:19 am
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Tomochin wrote:
Clint Ruin wrote:
I'm just waiting for T to do one of those Kerrang/Rock Sound 'for fans of..' bits at the bottom of each review, so the poor dull-witted readers can easily assimilate whatever the album sounds like into some sort of pre-existing mental map of music, and not even have to bother reading the bloody review at all.



I think they did for a couple of issues.

The flipside is, of course, long winded reviews with no scores. Fanzines are making a comeback in noise but dear god, some of the reviews are essay length. I can't be bothered with that shit. The Special Interests magazine has it about right, no scores, reasonably lengthed (sorry shallow) reviews that are worth reading.

I do worry about that at times, I've started reviewing for a site recently, and one of my recent reviews was just over 1500 words, and I do wonder at times if it's too much.
But I think I'd sooner go on for too long than essentially write something that doesn't really tell me anything for the sake of keeping it short. I guess the trick is being concise.

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Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:42 am
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Diocletian wrote:
Terrorizer's reviews have always been shite - album AND live.


How far back is always? The standard of reviews during the Nick Terry era was extremely high, I thought.


Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:55 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Sorry, just noticed that Chris got there first and Diocletion partly withdrew his comment, so ignore that. Pretty stupid thing to say if you didn't even start reading the magazine until after 2000, mind, but if you can't exaggerate on the internet, what's it for?


Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:57 pm
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Porn.


Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:05 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
What thread did Diocletian freak out in?


Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:30 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
It was a weird thing... hardly a freak out, certainly not even of the Happy Rick Bellend nature. Just a couple of twatty "you're all wankers" comments, then taking umbridge at things he didn't understand (that people might actually not be being cunts at each other and just sharing a bit of banter), was gutted everyone wasn't sucking his nob for being in a shit band and left.

Moth's departure was even more unexpected (Olympics thread) and unexplained - unless posts were deleted or I didn't read it properly?


Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:07 am
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
I wonder if calling Diocletian Rick Nielsen's lovechild was to blame...

What did he freak out over anyway?

I hope the Mothman returns.


Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:23 am
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Powersteev wrote:
It was a weird thing... hardly a freak out, certainly not even of the Happy Rick Bellend nature. Just a couple of twatty "you're all wankers" comments, then taking umbridge at things he didn't understand (that people might actually not be being cunts at each other and just sharing a bit of banter), was gutted everyone wasn't sucking his nob for being in a shit band and left.

Moth's departure was even more unexpected (Olympics thread) and unexplained - unless posts were deleted or I didn't read it properly?


I don't really understand: Sol posted an interview transcript where some British TV presenter "claimed" Colin Farrell and Sammuel L Jackson corrected her. Moth said Jackson misunderstood, when a couple of us disagreed, he stormed off.


Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:44 pm
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Post Re: What makes a good review?
Colin Farrell is not worth it, at all.

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Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:37 pm
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