What's your favourite music review?

Today with so much music available at a fingers touch. With a freedom of choice unbound by any prescriptive editorialising (apart from the robot overlord YouTube algorithms) how do you find the good stuff ?
Growing up in the late 70s,80s and early 90s there seemed to be no end of publications to pique interest. From Smash Hits, Melody Maker, Sounds, not so much NME, and later with The Face, Mojo and Select.
I’m often pulling out old copies to remind myself of past popular items and what I missed.
Recently I have been interested in the online jobs, with The Quitess doing a great service.
The Best music reviews do indeed have an element of editorialising, so much as the gifted writer breaking down content like a review for a Michelin stared restaurant - and leaving the reader hungry.

I read Mojo and Uncut but also find Under The Radar and Pitchfork useful. Guardian and Times occasionally throw up some interesting stuff but that’s about it really.

I was born in 1972, and therefore developed my musical tastes as a teenager in the 80s. Living as i did then a bus ride from towns like Stirling, Falkirk and Glasgow, music discovery came from magazines, from SLEEVES and Orbit Music in Falkirk and Radio Clyde’s evening shows.

Nowadays, most music discovery comes from picking a curated genre from somewhere like Spotify and listening to it in the car and then delving into the bands music catalogues from the tracks I liked on the playlist at home on Roon/Qobuz.

Have you read This Is Memorial Device?


So yes … curated by a robot algorithm.

Sure. But still, it works and I always find something surprising that I end up loving!

p.s. don’t knock AI robot algorithms… that s**t will cure cancer one day.

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No. I had to look it up. But now that I have, I’ll buy it on Amazon.

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One of my work colleagues buys Prog magazine and drops it over to me when he’s finished with it. Occasionally I find something of interest in there but mainly my new discoveries come from Spotify which has greatly increased my cd collection over the last few years

The Quietus

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the site i consult the most is allmusic. com. Review of the album i am interested by, credits, associated musicians…
I am also reading downbeat magazine for jazz.
For precise informations, i go to discogs.com.

Any Decent Music provides a convenient summary of reviews and collates them in to an overall score. A good starting point for new releases.

I like Pitchforkmedia because the reviews are generally well-informed and interesting even if I don’t always agree with them. They cover a lot of the music I listen to. Sometimes vehemently opinionated and rude/funny-but rather that than bland.

The Guardian and Independent newspaper websites are OK, although not that wide-ranging. The Quietus covers some more unusual stuff.

I find Metacritic et al dull; a review should be more than a score for me. If well written I end up picking other recommendations not just learning about the album in question.

NPR All Songs Considered podcast and webpage are a weekly must for me. Tiny Desk Concerts can be great fun too!


to find a review quickly, with credits ( musicians, date…) , i go to allmusic. com. It’s my reference.

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