DISSENT IS ENCOURAGED
Motown Junkies is, when you get down to it, the extended bleatings of one rather opinionated man.
Most readers get the deal here. I write what I think, so some records get gushing praise, and some records get brutally panned. These are my opinions, and mine alone – part of the fun of doing this project is to see how they line up (or not!) with the opinions of others.
I’m always happy to hear what others have to say, and comments are only moderated for spam or copyright infringement (which is why all first-time posters need to be manually approved) – nobody will ever be blocked or have their comments censored or deleted just for disagreeing with me, even in the strongest possible terms, even if you make it personal (though if you do, then expect me to reply in kind).
By and large, most readers get this. Occasionally, though, someone will turn up on the site (usually having Googled the name of their favourite performer, or that of a friend or a relative), read one of my uncomplimentary reviews, get rather cross, and fire off a missive about how I have no right to make nasty comments for one or more of the following reasons:
- My age (I wasn’t born until well after these records were released)
- My nationality (I’m British, not American)
- My lack of musical ability/success (which is total)
- My not knowing the person in question (almost certainly true)
I don’t think any of those are relevant, at all, because talking about music is not the preserve of the over 50s, or of a particular race or nationality, or of people who know the artist, or of people who can play a certain instrument, or indeed of anyone at all, provided they’ve bothered to listen to it. Respect is not the same as reverence. Praise is meaningless without criticism.
Even my scathing reviews are never intended to be personal; I genuinely try to play the ball and not the man, and anyway if I did want to get personal, I’d always lose – as I put it to one (pretending to be) disgruntled former Motown performer, whatever I say, they made a Motown record. I am just some guy with a big mouth who talks about Motown records. Ergo, I lose. As Anton Ego says, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than criticism designating it so. And I believe that.
What I’m saying is that I never set out to be nasty on purpose, or to cause offence, but I won’t shy away from panning something I think is bad just to avoid causing offence. That’s the deal. These are just my opinions. I’d like to hear yours.
Of course, that still isn’t enough for some people, who’d be much happier if I just gave everything a high mark and wrote about how great it all is and how lovely the people involved must have been, usually with an implied or openly stated insinuation that I should defer to their opinion because they know about this stuff. If that’s you, then here’s a handy cut-and-paste freebie from Motown Junkies just for you – if you’re really so very angry over what some berk on the Internet has written about a record you really like, please feel free to imagine this in place of the review you’re cross about, and we can all just get on. Cheers!
(Written by THOSE GUYS YOU THINK ARE AWESOME)
This is, quite honestly, one of the best records I’ve ever heard. I can only imagine how great it must have been seeing (INSERT NAME OF ARTIST) in their prime, and I’m incredibly jealous of anyone who bought this record at the time – you are so cool. (INSERT NAME OF ARTIST) is/are a credit to Motown, and this is a fine example of that. In a nutshell, it’s brilliant.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
(I’ve had MY say, now it’s your turn. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, or click the thumbs at the bottom there. Dissent is encouraged!)
Feel better? Me too. I know nobody’s bothered reading this far, and most of the people who fire off one self-righteous barb wouldn’t dream of clicking on to this page in the first place, but at least it’s here for me to refer to now, I guess. Let’s get back to the site!