One day I told a friend of mine I felt I had the perfect pedigree to be a rock critic:
1. I’m a failed musician
2. I’ve got a good music culture
3. I use the language not too bad
Amused, he answered that such a presentation made him want to read my reviews. Duly acknowledged.
1. By way of failed musician, obviously that’s relative. Would you say that about anybody who plays an instrument without turning it into a job? Learning music, constraining yourself to it for years, is already a success in itself, irrespective of talent and aptitude you may have for that. It’s a cultural openness which gives keys to understand and appreciate what you hear, nay to understand and appreciate the world – no less!
2. By way of music culture, obviously that’s relative. I’d like to know all music releases and to hit right when I mention references, influences, resemblances of the artists I write about. But I won’t. On the one hand, knowing 'everything' would compel me to deepen 'nothing', and I find it dreadful. Everything in these pages circles around the genres rock, folk, pop, blues and French chanson. On the other hand, I’d lose you if I’d name-drop about unknowns that’d leave you cold. So never mind, I am me, with my (p)references, my feeling, my way of saying it and of showing it.
I also won’t play the regular specialist rock critics with their own vocabulary, their own codes.
3. By way of using the language, obviously that’s relative. I don’t mean neither to produce big literature nor to have an inimitable style. But I make it a point of honour to speak my mother tongue (French) correctly. It’s a long-term undertaking, started when I was a child. Plus a second linguistic work: translate personally each and every page of my website into English. Indeed, I abstain from using any automatic translator of text parts, especially because my pages are riddled with idiomatic expressions on which the algorithms just can hit a brick wall. To achieve my ends, I trust a friend that’s called WordReference instead.
With an album, the most exciting for me isn’t the first time I listen to it. And neither is when I know it by heart. The most exciting is in between, this state when I’m just taming an album, when I facing listening every day, when I notice one good song inside, then another one, and again another one. Listening again, I discover an unexpected gimmick, a sound hidden behind the melody, set to the left, or the right, an expression which qui miraculously resonates well with my everyday life, with my deep self. Whatever I do, I’ve got the album inside my head all the time, its tunes and its words. Hence the subtitle "music to live through".
I like the album format. For the work it can be. Or approach. I don’t review singles, EPs, albums during less than 30 minutes. Too little to be said of.
So, naturally, as a true reflection of a small part of my life, my album reviews aren’t sloppy. I simmer them for days, for weeks, trying not to forget anything. And to go beyond simple reviews like you can find so many on the Web, to express beyond the words what I feel. Hence the numerous section, including the famous "What it does to me" in animated GIF.