A Critical Look at Criticism
It’s our FIFTH anniversary! That’s five seasons at fifty episodes a piece, covering nearly that many albums, topics, as well as debates over what many would consider a trifling corner of cultural discourse. Five years has taught us that music truly is a boundless medium. And so, in our album discussions—incorporating everything from literary analogies to politics, psychology, sociology, life, love, pain, sorrow, and ever more complex conditions—we strive to honor artists’ hard labor by (at the very least) participating in combined acts of analysis, brainstorming, ruthless criticism, and garrulous adulation. It’s a mixed bag, but we hope, a fruitful one.
We love music… sometimes a little too much, and sometimes in convoluted, incongruous methods. We frequently force ourselves to combat these anomalies in our closing monologues: junction points where instinct and cogitation duke it out, and where the pursuit of objectivity can seem like a fool’s errand. To be sure, putting in countless hours per week of listening, note-taking, and heavy editing, the ‘devil-may-care’ approach is generally not our way; but we are, alas, an imperfect lot, and we wish now, in our 250th episode special, to express our struggles using critical and satirical works to illustrate our point:
In this episode, we will be:
• Reflecting on the project;
• Discussing the barriers between criticism and analysis;
• Championing the merits of fact-checking;
• Discussing logical fallacies, laws, and rhetorical gibberish;
• Citing examples of specific critics and critical works, from Glenn Gould, to Pitchfork, to Yahtzee, and RedLetterMedia, where language, rhetoric, and satire have all aided the work, for good and for ill;
• Coming to terms with our own fallacies, clichés, and internet nonsense.
As always, we are incredibly grateful for our regular listeners because they’ll know best that we built our own soapbox only to share the space — to inspire public discourse, find common ground, and to encourage passionate communities of all kinds to never settle for less. They’ll know that we try to be judicious, but that at times we are also forgetful, conflicted, determined, and self-correcting. They’ll know that the Crash Chords Podcast is a show that’s in a constant state of re-evaluation, and that that, in essence, is the point of the series! To seek out new music, to try to understand it, to try our best to love it, and pass along everything we can to you, in real time.
Next week’s review:
The Clearing by Rachel Grimes