There was an interesting post on NPR's jazz blog about the hesitancy of jazz bloggers and critics to post negative reviews: "...widespread phenomenon among jazz critics and publishers. Very few, if any, are willing to go on record saying that a record outright fails. (For the record, I have never written a bad review either, and certainly have no plans to.) So why the hesitancy to call a spade a spade?"
It is a worthwhile thing to discuss - some critics like Downbeat's John McDonough have no problems calling musicians out for what they feel is a dog. On the other hand, it seems like certain reviewers for the Allmusic Guide or Allaboutjazz never post anything that is not sunshine and rainbows. In my case, I'm a fan, not a musician, and I lack the musical training to really criticize the music on anything more than an emotional level. So I tend to focus on the visceral impact of the music, while possibly (or probably) missing deeper musical truths that a more well trained ear could pick up.
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