Shut down the criticism machine, we're all done here | Bleader

Shut down the criticism machine, we're all done here


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Every so often a critic will write about a piece of music and nail it so perfectly that writing, or even sometimes reading, any more about it seems useless. In the case of Justin Bieber's new album, Believe, that critique is the work of a bunch of eight-year-old girls from Canada.

Ben Kaplan gets the byline, but he's mostly there to collect the girls' off-the-dome opinions, which are uniformly amazing. My favorite passage: "'I saw in a magazine that Justin was kissing Selena Gomez,' says Taryn Dunlop, who listens to music mostly in her mother's car. 'I like him better than ice cream, because he can last forever.'"

I've been passing this around to some friends who are journalists and/or big readers of cultural criticism, and the uniform response has been that all music critics should retire because none of us is ever going to top this review. But for all the LOLs—heightened by Kaplan's brilliant decision to bring in a teacher from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto to offer an academic viewpoint—a few different people have pointed out independently of one another that it's refreshing and sort of beautiful to see a review of an album from the perspective of an audience the album is intended for. I mean, who really cares what a critic who holds the tastes of young females in categorical contempt (pretty common among music writers) has to say about a record that's aimed at a young, female demographic? Or a critic who's on the record as wanting to punch the creator of that record in the face?

But if you're curious about what this Bieber nonfan thinks of the record, I think it should get a D-minus for not being called Beliebe.


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