Should You Listen To Music Critics?

Arnojya Shree gives her opinion on whether other people's opinions should affect your opinion (on music). Take from that what you will.

Arnojya Shree
16th December 2020
Image credit: Youtube @theneedledrop, WikiMedia Commons
It's as Michael from The Office screamed: "NOOOOOOO, GOD NO, PLEASE NO." But let's tone our aggression down and say it politely, never.

One of the best bits of advice that my father has given me is that "you should always listen to other people's opinion, but at the end of the day, the decision should be yours." I think that advice applies to everything in life, especially in art. I view music as a very personal, intimate and spiritual art form, which holds the capacity to change your personal life, and the world around you. Criticism, on the other hand, is supposed to come from a specialist with an objective point of view. But I feel as if a personal bias always lies underneath. It might sound a little silly, but I don't give much credibility to music criticism as I do to music reviews. As much as I firmly believe in the scope for improvement, I think music criticism could often negate its purpose by sounding too scathing, which misleads the audiences and might discourage the artists.

Criticism is supposed to come from a specialist with an objective point of view.

Another reason why music should be a personal choice is the increase in critics culture, with social websites like Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, Pinterest and Twitter becoming opinion boards for the masses. Moreover, over last year, the majority of publications have gone digital. Its effect amidst the innumerable personal critics' blogs has opened up a huge lane for more and more people to project their judgement. It doesn't matter how many times you refresh your dashboard; there's always a post highlighting the stars and rating it has accredited to a particular album or song. It is almost impossible to keep 'unsolicited critics' off your dashboard and mind. With an abundant of unwelcomed information and judgements shot with blind confidence, it, therefore, becomes critical to monitor what we, as avid fans, and generally curious audience consume. Otherwise, we might soon find ourselves losing our power to form our opinions and being led by what others have to say.

Lastly, music is as personal as hobbies get. Either you find your jamming numbers by sticking to a particular genre or artist or you, like me, let your mood do the choosing. My playlist includes an odd number of foreign-language songs along with old hits from all over the world; it's because I don't intellectualise my hobbies, especially not music. I like what I like, and other people's opinions don't dictate my choice. It is the one place where my heart takes the lead, and I'm always happy with the results.

Therefore, I think that something as influential as music which can affect your daily swinging moods to your dearest childhood memories should be sworn off from being commanded by music criticism. Music is a hideaway, a sanctuary and a healing haven which must only be touched by our internal tune rather than external impressions.

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