Critics. Part 2: What Will Happen To The Old School Critics? Actions. Louder. Words.

II’ve often wondered why criticism doesn’t evolve into creativity. If someone’s feels they know better than the artists who create the music we listen to, why don’t they put that knowledge to use and give us the album we’re missing? Don’t get me wrong.

I have strong opinions of music. I reviewed albums and I do like critics too (and not just as much as they like me!). I like anybody who feels passionately about music and enjoys waxing it about their Velvets rarities, but what I’ve no time for any more is people who rubbish albums they got for free and take all the enjoyment out of what is still meant to be fun, life affirming, entertainment.

Critics may shit all over your favourite band’s next album but will that stop you lining up for tickets and sneaking off work early to nab an afternoon shower before having drinks before going to the show? No f–king way. So, does anybody really need to read that review. Does it matter? In my opinion, less and less. Especially since, as I outlined in part I, people are listening to their friends recommendations over what even an online magazine says, these days.


Typewriter on Flickr

I’m not panning talking about music, mind you. Commentary on art can be interesting and people who feel passionately about the music they love is all there is, really but at a certain point, you’ve got to get in the game. You’ve got to create. I have great admiration for a friend of mine, who started life as a critic, but recently finished an album because he said “I just realized it’s one thing to critique music but another thing altogether to make it“.

Maybe he got to a point where he was sick of picking holes in other people’s music and decided to fill those holes with his own creations or maybe he always wanted to record his own music and only now, that pretty much anyone with a couple of hundred euro can make an album, could he make it happen. Whatever the reason, the important thing to me is, he evolved in the direction of doing, rather than reviewing.

In a world where the ability to write and record your own music is at your fingertips, I think it’s fair to ask why would anyone want to spend all their time simply writing about other people’s music. I say, get in the game. Money where your mouth is. Quit resting on your knowledgeable laurels. You think there’s nothing good out there, don’t just bitch about it, go create something good, as you see it. It might just be what the world’s waiting for. Actions. Louder. Words.

So, you may ask, why can I also being found writing reviews. Well, as of my few heroes Lenny Bruce once said “I’m a hustler. As long as they give, I’ll grab.” As long as they pay me to review albums, I’ll happily give them my opinion on them but I do so having shut up and put up myself and, to be honest, if I was you, I’d ignore what I say in my reviews, unless by some disturbing coincidence, we have the same 1806 albums in our iTunes.

Niall James Holohan is an independent musician, songwriter and occasional DJ from Dublin, Ireland. He performs both as a solo artist and as the front man of critically acclaimed rock outfit Readers Wives. He tweets @ReadersWives