With a day or so to reflect on the alternating praise and criticism of a ReverbNation Crowd Review of one of my songs, I think it was money well-spent. I say that despite the fact that the premise of the review is the radio-worthiness of a song and I knew mine wasn’t going in.
For the record, it takes about 7 for a song to be considered ready for air play and mine rated a 5.2. That’s not too bad since addressing the common negative comments would no doubt put the song in range for success, and because the piece is probably more of an “album cut” than a “hit song”, that’s actually pretty cool.
Of course, the accolades that stoke the ego are nice strokes given the completely anonymous format. I don’t know where they get these folks who listen & comment on songs, apparently not even knowing they are participating in market research.
But that is the very essence of what trips my trigger on the concept. These people don’t know me and could care less about hurting my feelings. Some loved it. Others were not so thrilled and said so, many gave constructive criticism.
Most of what the reviewers said I knew beforehand, but hearing it from others is reinforcement that has forced some focused thought on the matters at hand.
- I need to learn to trust my voice and bring it up in the mix.
- It’s about time to acquire a guitar that sounds brilliant with no effects.
- I need to reconcile home versus professional recording.
- It could be time to bring in other players.
The most keyed phrase in the comments was ‘guitar playing’, and that is a great deal of my shtick. On the one hand, a good percentage of reviewers thought that my one guitar was more than one instrument. On the other, one comment said that if the thing was all about guitar playing, it wasn’t that great. And I can’t argue with that, I’m no shredder. It is a rough demo done in a single take with no overdubs. One guitar, one voice, doing it together. That’s the ‘thing’, and indeed, one reviewer remarked that I probably put on a good live show. Maybe…
It’s all what the listener knows, hears, likes, and dislikes that will contribute to their review, including the equipment used to listen to the recording. Mine is about headset-worthy and sounds good in the car, but it has none of the stuff that an engineer does to make a recording sound its best on any system.
For me, rating higher is a matter of increasing the production values of my released works. Glad I haven’t released too much yet. And this is the reason why. I know all this and just haven’t gotten there quite yet. This is also the reason why I’m not pushing my stuff on Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, etc. Frankly, it’s not ready for prime time. Could be it never will be. We’ll find out.
But I didn’t need to put someone On The Spot by asking them directly. They will only tell you what they think you want to hear. That’s not much help, and if you think about it, kind of rude.
I think if someone in your sphere is moved, they’ll let you know. Asking won’t provide actionable information or win friends & influence people. I fear many people do not know this and operate under the misconception that asking for a “qualified opinion” is a sign of respect. Maybe but putting someone in an awkward position is a funny way of showing it.
Now, if they just had an option that indicated that the artist wanted to know if the recording was “demo-worthy” rather than “radio-worthy”. There I go thinking again.