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06:17 AM on 10/08/12
#1
Jeremy Aaron
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Honestly, if anyone other than Darnielle was singing lyrics such as “Every dream's a good dream/ even awful dreams are good dreams if you're doing it right” or “I hide down in my corner/ because I like my corner” it could come across as trite or cheesy, however his trademark nasal vocals sound so genuine, so endearing that you can’t help but believe in what he’s saying.

This seems awfully close to being lifted from the Pitchfork review and then simplified...

("I hide down in my corner, because I like my corner," he seethes on opening cut of his latest album, Transcendental Youth) stands a sizable and defiant distance from what's cool. His songs hinge upon lines ("Every dream's a good dream, even awful dreams are good dreams if you're doing it right") that would run the risk of sounding like the inspirational posters that lined the walls of your 9th grade English teacher's classroom if Darnielle delivered them with anything less than the tenacity of a rabid dog playing tug-of-war for the last bone on earth.

Sooooo, two people listening to the same album can't come to similar conclusions? If everyone scoured the web to make sure that thoughts similar to theirs hadn't already been expressed in a review posted somewhere, there would be a lot less reviewing going on. And to be completely fair, one of these attributes Darnielle's ability to pull the songs off to his "tenacity" and the other to his vocal quality, and there's not a single descriptor in the first paragraph that appears in the second, and vice versa.
08:16 AM on 10/09/12
#2
Jeremy Aaron
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Two peolpe reviewing an album could very easily come to the same conclusions. Every review of The Queen is Dead should mention Morrisey's lyrics are humorous and entertaining in a self-loathing but sharp way, and Johnny Marr's jangly guitar work holds every song togther. If two reviews both quoted "Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head" and "To die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die" within the same paragraph, it would become more of a coincidence. To quote a third TQID lyric, "Don't plagiarise or take on loan". And, as I just explained to Kelly, it was not my intention to accuse her of doing as such. I feel any time someone finds something written on here to be a little curious they should point it out. If, one day, it turns out a staffer did want to copy another person's work, such comments could prove to be a deterrant and even save the credibility of the site.

I've also seen "The loneliest people in the whole wide world..." and "do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive" quoted in most other reviews for the album. They're memorable and writers are going to gravitate toward that. This isn't a piece of original academic research or investigative reporting. It's just an opinion. The web is now, for better or worse, one big forum for opinion sharing. Almost everyone is a participant in providing content rather than just consuming. The end result is that there are very few, if any, truly original ideas, particularly in music writing. Common source material, limitations of language, and the concept and conventions of what a review is naturally constrain the contents of a piece. It's not anyone's responsibility to point out things that look "curious" to them (especially in this case, when the only thing in common is the source material and none, not any, of the language is the same or even similar), because the parallels are just inevitable. Because others have commented that, for example, The Gaslight Anthem sounds like Springsteen, are they alone entitled to that opinion and no one else can express it? Of course not. An accurate portrayal of their music would necessarily mention this. The fact that Darnielle's lyrics would sound overly earnest coming from another singer but genuine coming from him is similarly a sort of defining characteristic of the band. One would fault the reviewer for not expressing it in some way. Are we to suppress giving honest assessments out of fear that IP expert Steeeve Perry will find our thoughts derivative of someone else?

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