The Review Thread

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There's usually one of these, and as I was going through and reviewing songs this morning, I noticed that it seems to be slowing down a bit. I think I recall that's pretty typical in August. But anyway, what's your personal policy on reviews? How frequently do you review? A few long reviews or a lot of short reviews? Do you feel comfortable giving constructive criticism? Do you feel comfortable receiving constructive criticism?

As for myself, I try to always return the favor of a review. So if you review one of mine, I'll review one of yours back. It can get confusing though because I know other people do that too, and sometimes I forget who started it, so there's a bit of a review battle back and forth. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. I also go into my watchlist to find songs to listen to. Sometimes I'll go look at the songs and review a couple, especially if they've been around for a while. Or I'll check out the tag cloud for interesting tags and review some of those. I tend to do more reviews and make them shorter, but sometimes I go more in depth. I'm less comfortable giving constructive criticism than getting it. I'm very comfortable getting it, and sometimes wish I got more (not that I don't like the compliments), but I'm never really sure how other people will take it.

Okay, your turn.

I try to listen and read other's songs daily. My goal is no less than 5 a day just to keep myself at a good pace. I definitely try to return the "comment favor". I try to search for people whose work I have not yet heard/read, I like taking songs off the "zong" list too. I am accepting of constructive criticism but don't really give any. Truth is, music is subjective and who am I to say something someone else needs work. I have asked for suggestions in liner notes if I feel something doesn't seem quite right to me, and I would offer if asked. You are right - you never know how someone else will take the comments. I love and appreciate music of all kinds so I can pretty much always find something positive to say.

I was averaging near 100 comments a week the first three weeks. Less than 50 this and last. I pride myself on leaving feedback that is relevant and, hopefully, meaningful. Although I realize there is value in saying "I liked your song," I have a hard time leaving it at that. One year I got a comment that said, 'Nice.' While I appreciate the thought, I'd almost rather have "Didn't care for it" as at least then I'd have made an impact of some sort.

And I say all that to say, to me there is a difference between a comment and a review. I'm not sure how many reviews I've made. But if were are just speaking about comments I have definitely dropped off recently. My intentions are to pick it back up. But you know what they say about good intentions.

The title of this thread makes it seem like it's more about in-depth reviewing/critiquing than commenting. I used to write reviews for various print and online publications, and they were in the 300-500 word range.
As for commenting, to me that's one or two sentences, but I try to make them meaningful. The thank-yous I get seem to indicate that I succeed at that. And this year I am commenting at a good pace for me - I think a little ahead of last year's pace.
I don't give much constructive criticism, but occasionally I'll make a suggestion like "I love the guitar solo - I wish it had been longer." With comments on lyrics only, I usually try to describe what music I hear in my head as I'm reading.
Every so often I'll get some good advice from others on my songs, and I might even use it. But most of my editing of songs comes from returning to them later (sometimes years later) and deciding on my own if I want to change anything.
And I always try to reciprocate - when someone listens to one of mine, I'll listen to one of theirs. When it comes to randomly selecting songs to listen to, I tend to go for people who have a rock hand for donating next to their name.

I run at the word "review" - as nothing I submit here is for "review" by anyone. I welcome comments - but I don't welcome "reviews". - as the word, to me, means professional critique - and that's not something I seek or expect from 50/90.

I always try to comment back, I may occasionally fail, but that would be incompetence, not deliberate intent.

I always try to leave a comment when I listen to a song, sometimes it's hard to know what to say, this isn't a reflection of the quality of the song, I've heard some very good songs, where I find it hard to come up with a comment, it's just, I dunno, how it is. That can happen when I'm tired, so it's nothing personal if my comment isn't very interesting.

I think it's important to be comment tolerant. People who listen to a song, and comment are doing an absolutely necessary task, here, and if somehow they fail to find the words the song creator wants to hear, then just accept the comment, was left with good intent.

Accepting comments are left with good intent is really important.