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Unitron View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Reviewers Block
    Posted: 21 Apr 2015 at 6:23pm
Have any of you wanted to write reviews, but just had writers block? I've been feeling like this recently. Dead
Oh, so it's bring my own? Bring my own what? FUN?! - Ludichrist
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2015 at 6:38pm
I found I've had to stop reviewing music because I only ever have the motivation to review things I really like, and it makes me look kind of unprofessional LOL

actually I don't have much motivation to write anything lately, probably university's fault
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bartosso Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2015 at 7:14pm
Yes, that happens. I'm not a prolific reviewer, I write approximately one review a month. That's mostly because I'm not a native speaker so upon finishing a review I feel completely burnt-out, my head and eyes hurt from all those grammar checks and all. I've actually started reviewing music to practice my English and it's still my main motivation. Also, if you see a mistake in my review, feel free to let me know :) 
I usually want my reviews to be interesting/entertaining regardless of my attitude towards the album, but well it doesn't always work out. I'm just trying to make up for the lack of professionalism Cool 

Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

I found I've had to stop reviewing music because I only ever have the motivation to review things I really like, and it makes me look kind of unprofessional LOL

actually I don't have much motivation to write anything lately, probably university's fault

I gave up on the idea of professional reviewing entirely. I'm just trying to have fun and write something good. We don't remember these times, but music used to be about ideals, emotions and art, not about ratings, false objectivism, TOP100 lists and whatnot.

I'm personally glad to see people like you Colin, giving mostly very high ratings to stuff they like because what may appear as unprofessional to some, is actually, at least to me, a refusal to approach something you hold dear with cold, soulless calculation. Hope it makes sense ;d



Edited by bartosso - 21 Apr 2015 at 7:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2015 at 7:30pm
Originally posted by bartosso bartosso wrote:


Originally posted by Triceratopsoil Triceratopsoil wrote:

I found I've had to stop reviewing music because I only ever have the motivation to review things I really like, and it makes me look kind of unprofessional LOL

actually I don't have much motivation to write anything lately, probably university's fault

I gave up on the idea of professional reviewing entirely. I'm just trying to have fun and write something good. We don't remember these times, but music used to be about ideals, emotions and art, not about ratings, false objectivism, TOP100 lists and whatnot.

I'm happy to see people like you Colin, giving mostly very high ratings to stuff they like because what may appear as unprofessional to some, is actually, at least to me, a refusal of rating something you hold dear with cold, soulless numbers. Hope it's not too much of an overinterpretation ;d


I completely agree, I give things a lot of high ratings and only write reviews because I enjoy it. If I didn't enjoy writing reviews, I wouldn't write them. I've always loved writing, besides reviews, I also write comics and a humor short story series. Maybe I should share a few of them on here sometime. Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DippoMagoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2015 at 8:56pm
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Have any of you wanted to write reviews, but just had writers block? I've been feeling like this recently. Dead

Yeah, that happens to me every once in a while. It can be especially frustrating for me sometimes, because I get around 3-5 new promos per month (my choice: I could technically take more than that if I really wanted to, but I don't like to get myself overloaded,) so obviously I like to review every album I take on, but sometimes I'll be trying to write a review and nothing will come out. I find I always struggle to get the first couple paragraphs done, but once I get going, the rest is usually a breeze to get through, and that's when I start having fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2015 at 9:11pm
Originally posted by DippoMagoo DippoMagoo wrote:

Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Have any of you wanted to write reviews, but just had writers block? I've been feeling like this recently. Dead

Yeah, that happens to me every once in a while. It can be especially frustrating for me sometimes, because I get around 3-5 new promos per month (my choice: I could technically take more than that if I really wanted to, but I don't like to get myself overloaded,) so obviously I like to review every album I take on, but sometimes I'll be trying to write a review and nothing will come out. I find I always struggle to get the first couple paragraphs done, but once I get going, the rest is usually a breeze to get through, and that's when I start having fun.

Same here, it always seems to be that first paragraph that's the hardest for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2015 at 2:07am
I've gone quite long times between reviews sometimes due to feeling burnt out on them. I'm trying to pace myself more this year (I haven't reviewed or even listened to half as much stuff as I normally have by April). This is easier said than done, as I get a lot of promos from a lot of different sources. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2015 at 3:05am
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Originally posted by DippoMagoo DippoMagoo wrote:

Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Have any of you wanted to write reviews, but just had writers block? I've been feeling like this recently. Dead

Yeah, that happens to me every once in a while. It can be especially frustrating for me sometimes, because I get around 3-5 new promos per month (my choice: I could technically take more than that if I really wanted to, but I don't like to get myself overloaded,) so obviously I like to review every album I take on, but sometimes I'll be trying to write a review and nothing will come out. I find I always struggle to get the first couple paragraphs done, but once I get going, the rest is usually a breeze to get through, and that's when I start having fun.

Same here, it always seems to be that first paragraph that's the hardest for me.
 
That´s why I use a formula that basically says:
 
1. Introduction: Trivia about the album, maybe it´s place in the artist´s disco and other anekdotes about the album and the artist.
 
2. Description of the music
 
3. Musicianship, sound production
 
4. Conclusion
 
It´s a simple formula, but since I started using it, I´ve never had trouble with writer´s block. There´s always something to say, even about the most generic sounding releases out there. Sometimes my reviews are very short, because I don´t think there´s much to say about a release, and sometimes releases are more interesting, or I know more about the artist and their recording history, which typically results in my reviews being longer and more in depth.
 
I know some people prefer to read more personal subjective reviews, and that´s just fine, but I write the types of reviews featuring the elements I want to hear about if I read reviews. Which is also why I very seldom do track by track reviews. Those usually bore the shit out of me, and I´d much rather read reviews which are less in depth and give me more of an overall understanding of what the album is about. Hence why my own reviews typically provides the reader with an overall description of the album, rather than an in depth description of every musical detail. It´s a very conscious writing decision.


Edited by UMUR - 22 Apr 2015 at 3:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DippoMagoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2015 at 3:24am
I use a similar formula, except mine has five parts to it: I tend to go intro, music description (comments on musianship and production usually end up here as well,) vocals (almost always do a full paragraph on them, unless it's a really famous singer, in which case it would be redundant) songwriting, and then end with a quick summary/recommendation. Everything from that second step onward is usually easy to do, but I find if I'm writing about a band that's either making their debut or that I haven't heard much of before, the intro section can be tough, because I struggle to find anything interesting to say about the band themselves, but I don't just want to say "this is x album by x band" and call it a day, so that's when I tend to overthink it, and either get myself totally stuck, or come up with some weird and awkward opening, just so I can move on to the fun stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2015 at 3:37am
One other thing I usually do is to pretend that the reader don´t know the artist (which is a bit hard when reviewing artists like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica). That usually gives you a bit more to write about. It may feel redundant to those who know the artist, but to those who don´t it can be valuable information.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adg211288 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2015 at 4:35pm
Originally posted by UMUR UMUR wrote:

1. Introduction: Trivia about the album, maybe it´s place in the artist´s disco and other anekdotes about the album and the artist.

Same. Subconsciously stole this method from you. 

I try to vary my intro when I can, but often that's something I find is easier said than done. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2015 at 2:00am
Yeah intros are hard, hence the formula to get started instead of staying stuck in the first paragraph, when you´re itching to write somthing about the actual music.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 2015 at 3:03pm
I used to be a newspaper reporter, and you can't afford to get writers' block or deadlines start whistling past at a great velocity. A news story is quite different to a review, in that it's factual rather than opinion in content, but the method can be quite similar.

My editor hated my method of writing, but it worked for me: fuck the introduction, do it last! Especially in news stories, it paid to get down the guts of the info you already had, like quotes, statistics and the like. Beef out your paragraphs, fix your grammar, then write the intro and tie everything together. 

My editor was of the opinion you write your intro first and then hang everything else off it, but I always used to find myself going back and altering the intro to suit the rest of the story, but then neither of us had actually been to journo school, so who knows who was right?Smile

As for review block, it is similar to what I'd get writing features or profiles once the morning's deadlines had been met. Stick down a few key words or descriptive phrases, and if the magic isn't coming, go and write something else. I used to use reviews and opinion pieces as my "something else", but even posting on message boards or doing e-mails can help. I used to find the main problem would tick away in the back of my mind, then something would pop into my head and I'd find a solution to the block. 

I also found if I was bored with writing something, the reader is probably going to be bored reading it too, so if you're getting sick of something, shelve it and then look at it again later with a clearer head. It could be you have written yourself into a corner.

Hope this helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2020 at 8:43am
I found this old thread, where a couple of us talk about how we write reviews, and I revived it because It would be interesting to hear from some of the reviewers who have joined us since 2015...tricks, formulas, ideas for writing...etc.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2020 at 11:56am
The way I approach writing has changed over the years, and especially regarding music. I found that my writing has a much more natural flow when I started writing about music as if I was just having a conversation and describing my love of something and how it sounds. It allows me to have more fun and let loose and not worry about leaving anything out. 

Edited by Unitron - 02 May 2020 at 11:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2020 at 12:21pm
The same thing still stands for me. If you get stuck, write something else. I can think of probably half a dozen albums I could be reviewing at any one time. These days it's more about finding the opportunity to do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BitterJalapeno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2020 at 10:49am
I'm very new here but for the small amount of reviews I have submitted, I feel I am using a mixture of all the approaches described above. I agree that a natural conversational tone makes a review easier to write/read as it is just like discussing a beloved album with a good friend over a pint. I can definitely appreciate the lack of motivation to review an album one dislikes as I haven't even considered doing that thus far. I guess I should do some negative reviews also as that would only be fair to the cause...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vim Fuego Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2020 at 12:24pm
Negative reviews can become a bad habit though. Sometimes I have to stand back a bit and look at something I can review in a positive light because I've just ripped several different things to shreds. Sometimes you have to turn away from the darkness...Evil Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2020 at 2:13pm
rather than reviewers block, nowadays I occasionally experience "reviewers unblock" where I actually atypically feel like writing reviews LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 2020 at 2:21pm
Originally posted by Vim Fuego Vim Fuego wrote:

Negative reviews can become a bad habit though. Sometimes I have to stand back a bit and look at something I can review in a positive light because I've just ripped several different things to shreds. Sometimes you have to turn away from the darkness...Evil Smile
 
I don´t enjoy writing regative reviews, and I don´t consciously seek out bad quality albums, but sometimes I stumble upon them, or sometimes when going through an artist discography (which I often do from front to end), there is a turd or two in there, and for the sake of completeness I´ll write a review although I can´t stand the album in question. Sometimes the same applies when I review an unknown artist who has sent me a promo or I find something on Bandcamp that I decide to review.
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