Do Music Reviews Matter To You?

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Arcade Fire’s new album, Reflektor, was the target of mercilessly negative reviews. But did any of them change the way people feel about the band and its music?

By Robin Hilton (npr)

Last week’s for the new record, Reflektor, sparked a conversation here in the All Songs Considered office about the weight of a writer’s words, and whether those words have any real effect on a band’s level of success (success in this case being album sales, or otherwise building a fan base).

Twenty years ago (or maybe less), a negative review in print could kill a band. One out of five stars (or a two out of 10) meant no one would buy the record and few people would turn out for live shows. In some cases it was the difference between a band getting picked up by a label or remaining forever unsigned, living mostly in oblivion.

These days, I’m not so sure negative reviews have as much of an effect. If someone wants to know whether or not they like a record, they’ll probably just listen to it online somewhere. It really depends on the band and where it is in its lifespan. A stellar, four- or five-star review for a new or emerging artist could be huge for them. It looks good in press releases and ads. Pull quotes end up on album cover stickers, and the otherwise casual listener might be more inclined to check out the music. For bigger, more established artists, such as Arcade Fire, a bad review probably isn’t going to change what fans think of the band or its music.

Regardless, more than anything, reviews — good or bad — get conversations going. Like Oscar Wilde said, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” and last week everyone was talking about Arcade Fire. Even though many of the reviews were shockingly terrible (and in some cases, I think, ), even the casual listener is probably going to check out Reflektor just to see what the fuss is about.

But what do you think? Do you even read reviews? If so, do you decide what to listen to or avoid based on what you read? Are there any writers you particularly enjoy or trust more than others? Tell us in the comments section.

Thanks!

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

STREAM Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’

Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs in New York City. Photo:  Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Win Butler of Arcade Fire performs in New York City. Photo: Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The band’s epic double disc is available on YouTube

After a promotional rollout including surprise shows, teaser videos and Saturday Night Live, the wait is over: Arcade Fire’s new album Reflektor is available to hear in its entirety. An official YouTube stream became available today, set to footage from the 1959 film Black Orpheus. “It’s one of my favorite films of all time,” Win Butler recently told Rolling Stone.

In his recent review, David Fricke gave the album four-and-a-half stars, calling it “the best album Arcade Fire have ever made.”

Reflektor is out October 29th on Merge. Stream it below:

Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Full Album Teaser – Official)

Published on Oct 24, 2013
http://www.arcadefire.com
Get ‘Reflektor’ on iTunes http://smarturl.it/reflektoralbumit?I…
Amazon http://smarturl.it/reflektoralbumamzn…
Arcade Fire Store http://smarturl.it/reflektorafstore?I…

0:00:00 Reflektor
0:07:34 We Exist
0:13:17 Flashbulb Eyes
0:16:00 Here Comes the Night Time
0:22:30 Normal Person
0:26:53 You Already Know
0:30:51 Joan of Arc
0:46:22 Here Comes the Night Time II
0:49:07 Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)
0:55:23 It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)
1:02:02 Porno
1:08:05 Afterlife
1:14:02 Supersymmetry

Arcade Fire’s Brooklyn shows bought out… by scalpers!

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Remember those bad old days when scalpers screwed LCD Soundsystem fans and Pearl Jam even tried to sue Ticketmaster? Seems all like ancient history, right? Well, looks like things haven’t changed all that much after all, as evidenced by what just happened with Arcade Fire’s upcoming shows in Brooklyn.

About one minute after tickets went on sale today at noon for the October 18th and 19th gigs at 299 Meserole Street in Brooklyn, they were sold out. Fans who had pre-ordered the album got in on advanced sales yesterday, but anyone hoping to snag tickets today were likely out of luck. Unless, of course, you were a soulless scalper.

As Complex points out, 120 available tickets for the Friday show are already going for $175 to $2,000 on Stubhub, with 103 up for Saturday at $199 to $1,500 (as of this posting). See for yourself:

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The band is going by the moniker The Reflektors for the gigs, in recognition of their upcoming fourth album. But the only thing these shows are reflecting right now is how greedy some people can be, and how much fun they can suck right out of what should be a really special show. Hopefully these jackasses don’t try to mess with Arcade Fire-featuring Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit show, because that’d just be a low blow.