Knifed & Spooned

Knifed & Spooned is a publication dedicated to the review of record reviews published on Pitchfork. Pitchfork reviews are each disseminated before being assigned a numerical value on an arbitrary scale, which we prefer not to divulge. Contributions are made by journalists, editors, established artists and readers like you. This site does not review records and should be viewed only as meta-commentary on a singular phenomenon of popular culture.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Review of Jessica Suarez’s Review of the Curtains Calamity 4.9

A friend once told me, “try skipping the first paragraph of every review you read, and see if you’ve missed the writer’s angle”. 4 out of 5 times it’s just gristle. Jessica Suarez gives us the skinny on what The Curtains’ Chris Cohen looks like in his press photo and why he can’t creatively bare children.

Post gristle, we get a lean review that teeters between well-rendered specifics (“palm-muted bass” and “staccatoed guitar down strokes”) and the inarticulate (“the simplicity does get simplistic at times”). I never get the impression she doesn’t have an ear for detail, but Suarez fails to incorporate her observations into a coherent direction. Her review of the Curtains’ Calamity reads as fragmented and underwritten as the album she’s writing about.

It’s not just unfortunate, but uncharacteristic of her best work. Suarez’s excellent track reviews prove her ability to use her ear in a way that lends to the depth of her writing. She is more than capable of picking up subtle details, but I don’t see her relating them well to a particular context, here. Maybe, the reader could better connect her observations if her thesis wasn’t also the last line of her review.

--Robin Graves


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