"Music journalism eh? Hardest game in the world."
Well, no offence to The Fast Show but its unlikely that Paul Whitehouse's old man character would be able to pull that story off. Lets face it, for as much as we may try and big up the importance of journalism and reviews, they're not really that important are they?
Fans will feel a review is good if the stated opinion praises the band or mirrors the fans own beliefs. Similarly, press agents and P.R. staff will think a journalist is great if they are favourable to the band but will treat them like the scum of the earth if the review is on the unfavourable side. This all means that music reviews don't really serve much of a purpose, if successful, they merely reinforce the readers own opinions or the aims of the agents behind the act and they're rubbish if they decry your favourite band.
It wasn't always the case, back in the 1970s, magazine like the NME had genuine debate about music and its impact and the work of journalists like Lester Bangs were so exciting that films have been made in his image. That's proper journalism, the ability to affect people rather than offering post-purchase dissonance.
So onto the review of Kaiser Chiefs with their latest single 'Everything Is Average Nowadays' and its quite hard to fathom it out. Are they being tongue-in-cheek and does the band have a grasp of irony that is not often credited to an arena-selling band?
How can a band that openly admitted to jumping on the garage-rock revival that occurred in the early part of this millennium with the ill-fated Parva sing the line "and everyone is following the craze" with any inch on sincerity? The Kaiser Chiefs claim to be playing the music that they truly believe in now but why should that be taken with any honesty?
Given that they'd failed before and changed their style, whose to say if their cheeky Britpop-aping style hadn't taken off what genre they would have came back with now? Just think, if the nation ignored 'I Predict A Riot', we might be witnessing this bunch of Leeds minstrels coming back with a handful of glo-sticks and jumping on the Nu-Rave bandwagon that's shifting some units (of the NME.)
Theres an air of familiarity to the track, the verse bopping like an early 1960s upbeat number is bound to catch the ear of radio-pluggers but the way it nags as though you've heard it before grates quickly. Ricky Wilsons vocals remain the same, that trying to convey emotion but conveying the sound of a man in pain, perhaps the pain of looking into his own soul and acknowledging that this just isn't good enough fuels that pain?
In short, this is the blandest, most insipid track of the year so far and the song title either means it must be the biggest whoosh of all time or the band has zero percent recognition of how far they have crawled up their own backsides.
So...music journalism, hardly the hardest game in the world but you know something, heres the rub. This sort of mass-market, pleasing everyone (but stunning no one) needs to be stopped and hopefully by getting a bit of debate out there can energise a few other people into action.
If you like this song, then get vocal about it, let other people know about it and try and justify why it should be bought it in its droves and avoid the quick chart, quicker drop fate that surely awaits it.
If you hate this song, get even more vocal about it and remind the world that the Kaiser Chiefs are evil bandwagon jumpers who were willing to stop at nothing in their attempt to sell loads of records and make loads of money to, who knows, perhaps fund illegal goat-herding activities in Africa.
These two sets of people aren't the ones who this review is aimed at, lets face it, the majority of people on hearing this song will just think "aye, its alright" and as soon as its finished will forget all about it.
Don't you deserve more than that? Even if you aren't spending any money on it, the fact that its on the radio or a video channel is preventing something better being on and the opportunity cost of this track is a better one being ignored.
So c'mon, why should you just accept everything being average nowadays? Why shouldn't you look for more in life, so you have a chance, rise up against the bland banality of this act and make your voice heard.
In this writers opinion, this track is rubbish, so rubbish its forced them to rant and rave about it. When you consider the nonsense of the title and the sentiments conveyed within the track, well enough is enough. Good God, even that 'Ruby' track stomps all over this effort.