Music reviews require a delicate balance of summary, analysis, and criticism. Like any other art, writing takes practice to master. Here are three tips for creating a well-written, insightful, music review.
- Take notes. While you are listening to the album or song, make sure you take notes. You would be surprised how quickly you forget first impressions by the end of the performance. Your notes don?t have to be super detailed, but you do want to write down anything that stands out, including things you like and don?t like.
- Avoid the emotional. When you say that you ?love? or ?hate? something, it doesn?t really tell the audience much about the subject of your writing. It really says more about you than anything else, and since the review is not about you, it is wise to avoid these words altogether. This does not mean that you can?t talk about the emotions present in the performance. You can even discuss how the piece makes you feel as long as you back it up with why it makes you feel that way. Music reviews should be critical and every opinion must have an explanation behind it.
- Don?t write anything you wouldn?t say to the musician?s face. As mentioned in the last point, stick to constructive criticism, not emotional response or personal opinion. Before publishing your review, ask yourself, ?would I say this to his/her face?? If it is truly constructive criticism, the answer will most likely be ?yes.? Always assume that the artist will read your review. If you are writing a review of a YouTube musician, chances are he or she will see what you?ve written and may even respond. Remember, a negative or nasty review can stick with an artist throughout the duration of their career. If the purpose of your writing is to help fans with finding new music online, there is no point in publishing a particularly harsh review.
Too often, the people behind popular online brands make the mistake of treating their competition like, well, like competitors. But in the new digital economy, it’s important to establish meaningful connections with other people in your field. The more you link, retweet, share, comment, and write music reviews, and follow other YouTube musicians, the more people will do the same for you.