Saturday, August 23, 2008
Nowadays, I tell myself that I don't care too much about objectivity in album reviews and all that; much more important things to worry about, no doubt about it. But still. One of the problems that comes with assessing an album is knowing when to stop the needle, as it were, and confidently say that you understand it. Christgau says it's his gift to know when that point is, and that's something to be really admired. I find it's very easy to think you've understood an album (or an artist) only to be proved wrong several years down the line. I can think of several albums which I've already judged in my head, but where there is a nagging feeling that there's something unfinished, that there's the possibility that there is more to be unearthed. What prevents me from repeated listenings at that point? Time, most obviously, and the fact that it's usually with albums that I find merely adequate; the probability of being rewarded in the endeavor of listening again thus appears rather slim. For the moment, then, I'll just have to assume that for every one misjudged album, there are two whose essence I get with time.