Dear purveyors of fine music and listeners thereof
The world of online music criticism has changed a lot since I made my first tentative steps back in Summer 1999. Back then there was the excitement of being offered actual physical CDs to review, which were often carefully prepared with a covering letter, a bio and – if I was really lucky – even the odd sweetie (I should now point out that I never took bribes). Now, though, I come home from work and am faced with 50+ e-mails and Facebook messages from independent musicians, PR agencies or random mailing lists. I realise I can cherry pick through these but to be honest my thirst for discovering new music and being passionate enough to write about it has diminished in recent times.
This isn’t a reflection of the music on offer, more a realisation that I’m now at the time of life (having just turned 41) that I’m more inclined to listen again to all the music I have enjoyed in the past rather than spend hours per week sifting through SoundCloud and Bandcamp sites searching for the next big thing and then analyse it in my slightly awkward way. I’ve always known there are better, more articulate writers out there and they can also write about music within a short time of the release date. In my current situation, I’m struggling to write about an album within 6 months of it being on general release!
I expect I will still write about music in some form but I just haven’t decided what form that will take yet. Perhaps it will be via the means of dance or even a vaudevillian puppet show. So a (possibly permanent) break from taking on new reviews seems like the best option. Until then I will do my best to finish reviews I’ve already committed to.
I would like to thank all the musicians, label reps, PR people and the readers of my blog (not to mention the original Leonard’s Lair http://www.leonardslair.co.uk site) for your support over the last 16 years or so. It really has been an honour to write about your work and to introduce it to people who might not have otherwise listened to it (there must be at least one of you out there!). I’ll still keep my ears alert for new music but just not with the same diligence as before.
All the best