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Do We Need Album Reviews Anymore?

It is an increasingly fraught environment for music journalism and criticism. Recently, on Twitter, a conversation was initiated by the writer and musician Jamie Brooks about whether music journalism was too concerned with reviewing individual albums, and thereby focused less on more holistic, bigger-umbrella approaches to covering artists and scenes.

Given the diminishing number of decently-paying options for journalists — particularly young ones — the question of how to deploy limited resources feels pointed and urgent.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about the history of album reviews as a unit of music criticism, and the ways in which the growth of streaming have perhaps permanently altered how single-artist albums are made, and what they’re intended to achieve.


Connect With Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show’s Facebook group and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Tune in, and tell us what you think at [email protected]. Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica.

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