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What Cool Does To Your Score

Back when Bloc Party were THE TITS:

doldrums What Cool Does To Your Score
Back when The Decemberists were REALLY NEAT

worncopy What Cool Does To Your Score
When The Hold Steady were, as the kids are sayin’, S0 l337

housearrest What Cool Does To Your Score
Spoon, MIA, Of Montreal, “Chocolate Rain” – wow awesome bitchin’ great job!

scaredfamous What Cool Does To Your Score
Lo-fi is NOW A TRENDING TOPIC ON TWITTER in our post-Gorilla Vs Bear world

beforetoday What Cool Does To Your Score

I prophesied these shenanigans in our Before Today review a few weeks back, and I plan to collect my five spot.

MP3 :::
Ariel Pink – Menopause Man
Ariel Pink – Omen
Ariel Pink – Before Today / Dazed in Dreams
Ariel Pink – Immune to Emotion

  • http://nuptse.tumblr.com Evan

    No chance the other albums “sucked hard” ?

  • kenny_bloggins

    That's a matter of opinion, but I would argue that there's not a huge difference musically between the other albums and Before Today, save for higher production value and a 4AD logo on the spine.

  • http://nuptse.tumblr.com Evan

    Yeah well I don't know much about APHG because I held a willful grudge against him after the '05 slint tour, but Nick Sylvester and Mark Richardson are, to my mind, two of the most lucid and reliable Pitchfork writers and NS's review of 'Doldrums' shows that he understands but _personally_ doesn't buy into the album's appeal, hence the “conflicted” 5.0 rating. I don't know anything about the intervening releases and don't feel like reading their reviews, and I'm not trying to stand up for Pitchfork here, they definitely are swayed by the changing climate of hipness, but I feel like just showing the ratings to make your point implicitly buys into the scoring/quantifying framework we all dislike pitchfork themselves for using and propagating. Especially since the reviews for his two 'best' records (isn't “Doldrums” generally considered his best before this one?) were penned by two pretty decent critics.

    That said, I definitely understand how annoying the Ariel Pink bandwagon is going to be (even though I'm reluctantly one of its members).

  • http://nuptse.tumblr.com Evan

    I guess what I mean is, if someone who was interested in “Doldrums” because it was on Paw Tracks or whatever saw that 5.0 and said “Fuck that” and closed the window and didn't give a shit about APHG until the 2k10 blog hype cycle came around to him, that would be a bummer, and that's a legit reason to dislike Pitchfork, but using the scores out of context to show the turnaround is also operating on that same logic. Just my two cents

  • http://nuptse.tumblr.com Evan

    No chance the other albums “sucked hard” ?

  • kenny_bloggins

    That's a matter of opinion, but I would argue that there's not a huge difference musically between the other albums and Before Today, save for higher production value and a 4AD logo on the spine.

  • http://nuptse.tumblr.com Evan

    Yeah well I don't know much about APHG because I held a willful grudge against him after the '05 slint tour, but Nick Sylvester and Mark Richardson are, to my mind, two of the most lucid and reliable Pitchfork writers and NS's review of 'Doldrums' shows that he understands but _personally_ doesn't buy into the album's appeal, hence the “conflicted” 5.0 rating. I don't know anything about the intervening releases and don't feel like reading their reviews, and I'm not trying to stand up for Pitchfork here, they definitely are swayed by the changing climate of hipness, but I feel like just showing the ratings to make your point implicitly buys into the scoring/quantifying framework we all dislike pitchfork themselves for using and propagating. Especially since the reviews for his two 'best' records (isn't “Doldrums” generally considered his best before this one?) were penned by two pretty decent critics.

    That said, I definitely understand how annoying the Ariel Pink bandwagon is going to be (even though I'm reluctantly one of its members).

  • http://nuptse.tumblr.com Evan

    I guess what I mean is, if someone who was interested in “Doldrums” because it was on Paw Tracks or whatever saw that 5.0 and said “Fuck that” and closed the window and didn't give a shit about APHG until the 2k10 blog hype cycle came around to him, that would be a bummer, and that's a legit reason to dislike Pitchfork, but using the scores out of context to show the turnaround is also operating on that same logic. Just my two cents

  • kenny_bloggins

    I hear ya, but I disagree. Pitchfork draws a line in the sand by both prominently displaying their review at the top, in different colors and larger font that the review copy, and creating a bizarre 100-metric system to 'precisely' judge an album's worth. This article is meant more to act as a mirror toward that funny and revealing trend than lending some sort of justification to the mindset toward Pitchfork's, and perhaps the typical Pitchfork reader's, logic.

  • http://deathbombarc.com brian

    opinions are so fickle. my own feelings on bands have changed so much over the years. of course, pitchfork is a site with many writers and an editor, not just one person. still, things like this seem inevitable when a ratings system exist.

    that said, i've always thought that Paper Thin Walls (RIP) had it right: you got to also have a User Rating that allows readers to create a score too.

  • stank chunkz

    Ariel Pink was always cool. P4k was just butthurt they didn't 'break the story/meme'. Now that they can relate to it via chillwave, they're all about it. Fickle.

  • http://markschoneveld.com Mark Schoneveld

    Good catch, but I do think Ariel's songwriting had made vast improvements over the years. I love the rough early stuff, too, but holy shit this new record is off the charts!

  • raduprisacaru

    A round of applause for your article post. Thanks Again. Keep writing.

  • raduprisacaru

    A round of applause for your article post. Thanks Again. Keep writing.

  • futureyouth

    BEST ARTICLE EVERRR WOW

  • RJ

    Do you think Pitchfork may have changed their mind becasue of the cleaner production though? It's hardly even lo-fi anymore….?

  • http://thingsastheyr.blogspot.com evan

    haha such a good post

  • http://thingsastheyr.blogspot.com evan

    haha such a good post

  • http://twentythreeandstilllearninghowtowipe.blogspot.com/ Stephen SF

    Going on only what was said in the P4k review, it seems like they scored it high because of the influence Ariel Pink has had on other emerging artists today…and the record's accessibility? It is almost like they reviewed his artistry as a whole rather than the record. I'm willing to bet that they would have given Before Today the same score as Worn Copy had it come out in 05. To Kenny's credit, I think this is pretty much a reiteration of what he has already stated in the post. Amazing post, by the way.

  • http://twentythreeandstilllearninghowtowipe.blogspot.com/ Stephen SF

    Going on only what was said in the P4k review, it seems like they scored it high because of the influence Ariel Pink has had on other emerging artists today…and the record's accessibility? It is almost like they reviewed his artistry as a whole rather than the record. I'm willing to bet that they would have given Before Today the same score as Worn Copy had it come out in 05. To Kenny's credit, I think this is pretty much a reiteration of what he has already stated in the post. Amazing post, by the way.

  • thesfcritic

    I've read some comments by Pitchfork in forums I participate in, and you know–I don't think they'd deny this. So to the extent that Pitchfork rides the popularity wave, Pitchfork is also the ocean that everyone jumps in to surf, while the kids that discovered the waves are just riding for the fun of it…

  • Pingback: Pitchfork Riding Popularity Wave | SFCritic

  • thesfcritic

    I've read some comments by Pitchfork in forums I participate in, and you know–I don't think they'd deny this. So to the extent that Pitchfork rides the popularity wave, Pitchfork is also the ocean that everyone jumps in to surf, while the kids that discovered the waves are just riding for the fun of it…

  • thesfcritic

    You've inspired me to try and continue this discussion here:
    http://www.sfcritic.com/2010/08/03/pitchfork-ri

  • thesfcritic

    You've inspired me to try and continue this discussion here:
    http://www.sfcritic.com/2010/08/03/pitchfork-ri

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