Criticism, when it’s offered by people who know what they’re doing, isn’t evil. It’s a force that enriches, an aesthetic helping hand, a declaration of reality that helps the best artists prevail.
-Entertainment Weekly writer Owen Gleiberman in this fantastic post on why the “Idol” judges are to blame for Pia Toscano’s premature elimination. His argument for the value of criticism is spot-on. (Are you reading this, Taylor Swift?)
The past few
weeks months have been a blur of business trips, long hours at work and rewarding challenges. Let’s play a quick game of catch-up:
Josh Kelley, “A Real Good Try”
I adore this song off of Josh Kelley’s surprisingly decent debut country album, Georgia Clay. Country music with a dash of soul tends to hit my sweet spot, especially when it’s executed as well as it is here. Ashley Monroe’s delicate background vocals are the icing on the cake.
Adele, “One and Only”
The song’s lyrics are simple and its sentiment isn’t groundbreaking – but its vocal nuances and gorgeous throwback arrangement make it an instant favorite for me. I love how the fierce tenacity of Adele’s performance contrasts sweetly with the song’s soothing vibe. Her album, 21, is a must-buy.
Preview of “ACM Presents Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country”
Such a sistership. Women bond in a way that’s very sacred. I look at Loretta up there, who’s the reason I’m in country music. We stand on her shoulders. And looking at Carrie and Miranda and Jennifer and thinking this is the next generation, and I’m just in a surreal place that’s between worlds.
-Wynonna Judd at the taping of the ACM special, a tribute of sorts to women in country music, which airs April 22 on CBS. As a country music writer, I do a lot of griping about the current state of the industry, but this quote reminds me that there are a handful of very –very– talented women in country music right now that have the power to carry the genre through its next generation. That’s a special thing, especially given the genre’s (unfair) male bias.
Kids’ reaction to Rebecca Black’s “Friday”
Is it bad that this makes me happy? Check out the incredulous look on 8-year-old Marlhy’s face at the 0:43 mark.
…I mean, really, how shocked can you be at Pia Toscano’s early exit, guys? (I refuse to address Steven Tyler, who might as well sleep through the live shows.) You’ve been consistently praising every contestant without giving any sort of assessment of the state of the competition – remember that, the competition?- other than “it’s anyone’s game.” Look, it’s great that you’re able to find something you love about every contestant, and it’s heartening that your critiques are sincere and passionate. But we need a definitive voice. We need you to take a stand. We need you to inject a little cut-throat into this race if you expect the great to float to the top.
Otherwise, why even show up?