Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ethics and The Review Process: Have I Been Taken Off the Promo List of A Label for A Negative Review?

OK I am not mentioning names here. But I have the distinct impression that a major label has bounced me from their promo list because of one negative review I posted months ago. It was ultimately positive about the group, just negative about the particular release.

If the blog and journalism world is not going the be the corrupted handmaiden shill of the music industry, the intellectual and factual independence of reviewers must be guaranteed. When I decide to review music it is often for more than one reason. I may like the music, I may like the artists, I may find that the music illustrates something about the current scene or the history of music. One thing that is not a fait accompli, is that everything be positive. It is not my function here to promote music as a promoter. If something is promoted as a result of positive words, it is incidental to what I do, which is talk about the music itself.

I generally cover things I do appreciate on one or more levels of course. But I will not become the publicity arm of a company on these pages. If I have been taken off the promo list of a particular (major) label, then I wonder about the ethics of that label. "Do good reviews only. Don't do good reviews and you will be silenced." This is not good. Of course if I am mistaken, then I will get some new releases in some fashion, and I'll continue to cover the label with the same, I hope, objectivity. Thank you.

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