Help! My album got a bad review
After spending months writing and recording your record, creating artwork and getting CDs pressed, you send your prized album to music journalists and editors, ready for fans to devour. You can’t help but imagine the promising quotes of greatness and guarantees of future accolades, destined to head up your latest press release. You pick up KerPlunk! magazine, full of excited anticipation: “Naff vocals, poor song writing, and the lyrical eloquence of a chav brawl.”
Your heart sinks a little, and then the anger kicks in. Who is this music journalist anyway? What do they know about your genre-defying blend of hip hop and Baroquian fugue? But before you buy every issue in your local shop and write a strongly worded letter to the editor, bear the following in mind…
1. If it’s a big, well-known publication, then the journalist must know at least a little of what they’re talking about…
2. And if it’s a tiny, unimportant publication, who’s gonna be reading it anyway?
3. A bad review is more memorable than an average review. Some readers will actively seek out the stuff that gets bad press. You’ll at least get some decent hits on YouTube and MySpace.
4. And a bad review is better than no review at all.
5. Sending a ranting email/letter to the editor or journalist will only result in you losing all credibility. Especially if they publish your tirade.
6. If you’ve sent out a CD for review, then expect a review. If you want 100% guaranteed praise, send it to your mum’s house.
7. Maybe your album really is terrible?
So, what can you do about it? No one likes their work being criticised, but if you thrust yourself into the ears of others, opinions will come flying back. Take note of their comments; can you improve?
Make sure you approach journalists and editors with the correct information in the preferred formats. Realise that there are some people out there who don’t like The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson or Guns ‘n Roses – yet still these artists are massively popular. You’ll never win everyone’s vote. But then you only need a majority.