Thoughts on Pitchfork?

I know this is a very hipster thing to converse about. And I am not sure if this has been a thread, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on Pitchfork? I believe they can be biased at times.


  • sucks if animal collective wont be there. no jk, I like the lineup a lot.
  • I think he means the website, not the festival organized by the website Sagey. Pitchfork, Pitchfork, Pitchfork... I like it as a reference guide and a news site, but I generally do not trust the reviews, ESPECIALLY if they're negative. They do tend to be biased though as the score is attributed to only one writer, so you have things like Fevers and Mirrors originally having a 5.4 score on Pitchfork then the reissue gaining a 9.0. What the fuck indeed. Generally when Pitchfork does assign its BNM label it's good music. I usually check to see what other sites say as well though. But really, no website is completely reliable and as the Panda man himself has said "Get your head out from those mags and websites who try to shape your style. Take a risk just for yourself and wade into the deep end of the ocean." So like the music you like and dislike what you feel like. p.s. My favourite site is Tiny Mix Tapes, the ones I find the most reliable and unbiased. Check it out if you haven't.
  • I meant the website. And I am a "she" Clawed.
  • I know you're a girl, sorry! I just automatically typed he because you don't have a feminine name. So what are your thoughts on the site Aslan?
  • Oh, okay Clawed! And well, I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. I sometimes go there to see whats new but I rarely read their reviews of things because they never seem to take into account the artistry. If the critic doesnt like the genre then its automatically terrible. But I do read some of the interview they have on various musicians. Pitchfork provides an easy way to tell whether a band has made it in the indie world, not by their reviews but by having them in interviews and mentioned on their website.
  • in the early days of my AC fandom i didnt really like HCTI or campfire songs, but i read the reviews for them from pitchfork while listening to the albums and fell in love. both describe the album so beautifully
  • I do find they are very accurate when reviewing AnCo (and Deerhunter), but that could just mean I am biased because I love AnCo. The whole of Pitchfork seems to be partial towards AnCo, hence them having the best album of 2009. But most other times I read things and I am like: whut? did I just listen to the same album. And they give unnaturally high ratings to a lot of mainstream garbage (and by garbage I mean Lil Wayne). they make no sense.
  • if the anco comes out with a new album I'll probably be earnestly reviewing it on pitchfork. I like the concpet of the website. I might try to get more involved soon
  • Just curious, did anyone else here feel erky when Pitchfork gave Bon Iver a 9.5?
  • didnt read that one. dont know about bon-iver-bon-jovie,strabberrybonbon bruce springsteen i think abojut your love gurl maddness damn my hair is grey
  • i think bon iver's first album deserved a 9.5.his S/T deserves an 8.4
  • I felt as if the Bon Iver album was like an 8 or something and since reviews are opinion. But when you think about it, PF always overates albums so that way they can get some buzz around the internet (MBDTF)!
  • I was surprised because I was pretty underwhelmed by the album, and Pitchfork's reaction to BI's first album was "meh, decent." You're probably right about creation of buzz Fishy. IMO My Dark Twist Fantasy was deserving of a 9.5, 10 is a bit much. I don't think reviews get the concept of 10/10 - 100% perfect in every way. Maybe it's just my opinion but no album should ever be rated 5/5 except maybe Pet Sounds, Sgt. Peppers, Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, etc.
  • Bon Iver makes me want to eat my own elbows
  • I'm with you on that Doc...
  • edited May 2012
    I can't tell if that is good or bad thing MoonDog. How you serious were you about that Nicki Minaj you actually like it a little bit? Admit to us if it is so! (six different two letter words in a row)!
  • Thank God, I thought it was just me. I cant stand Bon Iver. The only song worth listening to imo, is For Emma, but they pretty much all the songs I have heard sound the same to me. And Nicki Minaj is not that bad, but then again she's not that great either. She has moments...
  • When bumping Nicki Minaj in a mini van downtown you can like her music at times. I never listen to that much Boniver! I prefer the Foxes Fleet!
  • You dont need to. You listen to one song and you have heard them all. I only listened to them understand why everyone was going crazy over them. But I am still confused. And I like Fleet Foxes too! but not as much as I love of Montreal.
  • I dont know what to think of pitchfork, I agree with some of their stuff but at the same time I really enjoyed some stuff they didnt like, like young prisms In Between was pretty good for me. But I guess we cant agree on everything.
  • I don't really like the way they do their reviews. Some of the reviews they do can be good at times though. I also hate when they turn their back on bands and artists that they helped out. But if they turn their back on Japandroids when the new album comes out, I'mma have a problem with that.
  • I don't like reviews. They mess with my mind. I have never listened to a Bon Iver album but Skinny Love always makes me cry out of nowhere.
  • bon iver is just pretty music to chill out to. this is actually a really good song though
  • Btw Fishy - not serious at all. I was just fishing for outrage since I know a lot of people here HATE her. I don't think it's a good or bad album, I like some of the songs, I really dislike Starships. Putting Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded against Pet Sounds? Hahahaha....
  • edited May 2012
    How could P-fork give Danse a 3.9? Hey, how should I know if one really likes Nicki Minaj? (I think other boards would've got really mad at you for saying that though).
  • That's another mystery to me. That and why they made one of Justin Timberlake's songs as the song of the year. And they gave Floating World by Anathallo a 3.5 - one of the most important albums of my teenagehood.
  • Down There not BNM?
  • Seriously! I didn't get it for couple of months because all the reviews were just - it's ok. Then I got and listened to it and I no longer trust critics. Screw em. I don't think they mentioned Cemeteries in the Pitchfork review.
  • Opps never mind, just checked it and they called it a standout - "Portner's on that same boat later on during Down There's standout "Cemeteries", his voice reverberating off the reflecting pool of the hushed production: "Looking back on/ Old days"."
  • edited May 2012
    Pitchfork is to music what IGN is to video games. The fact of reviews is they're opinions, and everyone's opinions differ. What I appreciate about Pitchfork is they actually attempt to critique music from an objective standpoint, but I see some of you consider that biased. I personally like a lot of music that I think objectively sucks (radio pop), and I also dislike plenty of songs that are objectively rock solid (select played-out classic rock cuts). To each his own. - - - - From the review for Bon Iver: "Instead of something that scans as "folk," the music here is more like rustic chamber pop with an experimental edge that makes careful use of arrangement and dynamics. And rather than being tied together by a central theme of loss, Vernon has fully shifted into a more impressionistic mode; these songs are broader and more musically sophisticated than those on For Emma at every turn." I couldn't agree more with those sentiments. - - - - From the review for MPP: "What they've constructed here is a new kind of electronic pop-- one which is machine-generated and revels in technology but is also deeply human, never drawing too much attention to its digital nature. It's of the moment and feels new, but it's also striking in its immediacy and comes across as friendly and welcoming." Same deal here; so spot on. - - - - From the review for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: "This isn't the same resourceful prodigy who made The College Dropout or even the wounded soul behind 808s and Heartbreak. Instead, Kanye's Twisted Fantasy incarnation cherry-picks little things from his previous work and blows them up into something less than sane. The expansive, all-encompassing nature of the album is borne out in its staggering guest list which includes mentors Jay-Z, RZA, and No ID, along with new charges like Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Kid Cudi, and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon." Again, couldn't agree more. Pitchfork knows music and from my perspective doesn't cater to any specific genre or sensibility. They're brutally honest and have immense depth of understanding and knowledge of music and its coinciding producers. It's all they do, and I can see how some people consider them biased, but to me that's a huge projection totally indicative of the reader's personal bias against their thoughtful, complexly constructed opinions. In short, I haz Pitchfork boner and like McDonald's I'm lovin' it.
  • edited May 2012
    I mean of course your opinion is going to coincide with Pitchfork's some or most of the time. It's just all in the chance that they feel the same way you do about that song/album. They said "Cemeteries" in Down There was a standout track of the album, which I couldn't agree more with even though a lot of people preferred Heads Hammock or Lucky 1 or something. It wasn't because me and Pitchfork was right, it's a matter of opinion taking some objectivity into account. And the Pitchfork - IGN comparison is iffy. IGN is a lot more straightforward than Pitchfork, they even have a chart to show why the gave the rating they gave. Pitchfork's system is the most cryptic revewing system, besides of course Robert Christgau. Don't get me wrong, I like Pitchfork, I find it to be one of the most useful music sites on the internet. I especially like the layout.
  • Pitchfork is better than most other reviewers though in my opinion. I mean look at that Spin list! Yay for objectivity!
  • edited May 2012
    Agreed. My favourite still is Tiny Mix Tapes - check 'em out!
  • I have checked them out, they are pretty good for a lot of reviews, but I still like the P-fork news and there other features. I think you said you like the features on Pitchfork too. I like the u-tube vlogger Anthony Fantano and his Needle Drop reviews. I disagreed on his reviews of Down There and Tomboy but he seems like he is a huge fan of buying music and since it is one guy he is always consistent. Cal Chuchesta! [img][/img]
  • I like Anthony cause he's honest, I don't always like his deduction of reasoning though. He's way too subjective for my taste, and maybe too subjective as the most popular music reviewer. He's really good for a second opinion, and a consumer opinion. I haven't seen his reviews of Down There and Tomboy, but I bet I'd agree with you.
  • edited May 2012
    The IGN/Pfork comparison relates strictly to the two sites' specialty focuses - each is highly objective in the approach to reviewing their respective media types. IGN recently gave Ninja Gaiden 3 a brutally low score despite the game's decent sales, because as a piece of electronic entertainment it's absolutely terrible. That doesn't mean it's not enjoyable; it means relative to other video games it's lackluster. Same deal with Pfork - they'll rip apart catchy tunes at the drop of a hat if the artist's integrity is absent or the musical foundation is weak (among other points of focus). And I should've noted I'm agreeing with their reviews from a critique standpoint. I write reviews for all types of media, mostly video games, movies/TV, and music. Even when I don't particularly like a song on a specific album I often tend to agree with the criticisms (positive and/or negative) that Pfork dishes out. A lot of folks get caught up in their own bias and project that onto the reviewer because they're unable to distinguish how they feel about the album from a personal perspective versus how the album stacks up relative to other media in that domain. "It wasn't because me and Pitchfork was right, it's a matter of opinion taking some objectivity into account." True dat.
  • I mean, I don't want to pick on just Pitchfork, this is also a lot of other review sites. I hate Popmatters! Least favourite review site, they're like a bunch of pubescent girls. OMG I love this album, 100%!! This album sucks, what fags - 20%. If you catch my drift. Pitchfork is still my number 2 review site next to Tiny Mix Tapes! That's really cool that you write reviews, I've always wanted to do that, but I can't get my head around being objective for an album because I like albums because of the way they sound essentially! Plus I don't know a ton of older music that influences the music of today.
  • I always feel like I'm very critical when I'm talking to you BC, I'm sorry! I guess you just bring out the critic within me. I hope that doesn't sound terrible.
  • Is it even possible to review music in a objective way? Would you ever want it to be reviewed objectively?
  • It's impossible to be completely objective when reviewing music, but I think the best reviews try to balance it out. They pull the scope out to compare it to other music, the only way to rate music is by its peers. The pull the scope in to rate the music in of itself, the emotion it carries, etc. I'd like to see if a review system could be made to compare music completely objectively, but I'd have no clue how it could be down. How do rate the warm feeling Air France or Beach House gives you? How do you rate the solemn honesty of James Blake or Avey Tare?
  • (First comment besides my intro thingy!) I love Pitchfork - there it's out. That said, I don't necessarily rely on their ratings in all cases, especially when other sites give an album, say, an 8.5 average and PF dishes out a 6. Also, I've majorly disagreed with PF's reviews in the past. My most negative comment is that it tries to be too 'cool' sometimes. Ex. Giving Kanye West a 10 on his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy? I agree that it is a brilliant hip hop album, completely and wholeheartedly, but the review sounded like it was conforming with the other sites. Also, Coldplay is awesome, and PF in my humble opinion gave in to the stigma around them among critics and said they suck. About the 'objective reviewing' thing - a music critic can't be completely subjective in a review, but being subjective is being human, and you can't have a review that is in the majority 'objective' I think. What would the criteria be anyway? Edit: UprightBC you like MBDTF? Internetz high five!
  • edited May 2012
    "It's impossible to be completely objective when reviewing music*, but I think the best reviews try to balance it out. They pull the scope out to compare it to other music, the only way to rate music is by its peers. The pull the scope in to rate the music in of itself, the emotion it carries, etc." *anything And I totally agree. AND I welcome challenging dialogue, claudeavecvin! It's what creates an engaging conversation so long as nobody's hurling personal insults at one another. :D I'm open to new ideas and don't think I've got it all figured out, although like you I am very opinionated about certain subjects. Also major love for Air France, Beach House, and James Blake! The whole reason I got into writing reviews was because I grew up reading Electronic Gaming Monthly. I felt their writers were superb at explaining the positive/negative qualities about any given game versus all others in the industry, giving me - the reader - a clear cut reason to buy/avoid a particular game. So MoonDog, I do appreciate objectivity, which to me looks like comparing a given product against all others of its kind to have existed. It is, as claudeavecvin said, impossible to be 100% objective but the best critique writers do well to avoid lauding the subject of a review solely because he/she finds it enjoyable. Mzrokkks, hi5!!
  • can't stand that damn nerd guy! hate him HATE HIM!!!
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