Remember the time when you read a review and it praised the album, maybe they mentioned a song and your thinking, “what the”.
Once upon a time, reviewers had an opinion and some critical analysis took place. And it was their subjective opinion. And as fans we would take a chance on an album based on a review and if we agreed with the reviewer, we would put that reviewer as a trusted source.
And the record labels didn’t really care about these opinions from reviewers as they were already cooking the books and charts with the record stores and radio stations. But they got busted doing it and suddenly, the labels needed a new outlet for their payola.
So the labels started to pay people to deliver favorable reviews. And these reviewers suddenly had a nice label income coming in.
And if a reviewer posted a review that was critical of an album, well the label reps would call them and tell them how their review is killing their business and that particular release and how they all gotta work together.
In other words, post positive reviews or your record label money will disappear.
And if you kept to your guns and pointed out deficiencies on albums then eventually the labels would drop you as an approved reviewer and move on to someone else who was more than happy to be positive.
But most reviewers are music fans to begin with so they will always have an opinion for and against the new music. And it’s a shame if they don’t state it for the sake of money.
Here are the Twitter posts which inspired this post from a Andrew McNeice who runs the MelodicRock website.