Jewish Music Blog

April 9, 2006

Links and E-mails

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 8:23 pm

Sameach posted a special free Pesach song, entitled Mah Nishtana, by the cryptic ‘Yossi’ and Yerachmiel Ziegler. I reviewed Yerachmiel’s album here.

Avremi G., THE man for all things sheet music, writes that he will I”YH be releasing a new 2006 Jewish wedding book after Pesach, and he will also possibly update his website and add new features such as the ability to purchase sheet music online.

A producer of an album I recently reviewed commented that he feels my reviews ruin the artist’s parnossah (livelihood). I e-mailed the producer back, and have yet to receive a response. I have received similar e-mails in the past due to reviews on my website, and I tried to be accomodating to the artist by removing the review at their request. (In my opinion, the removal itself causes more harm than just leaving it up.)

So this leads to the following questions: Are my reviews useful? Would you rather be left with reviews of the type lamented by BloginDm here and here?

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11 Comments »

  1. Reviews are reviews, plain and simple. You’re NOT the PR front of these record companies. Keep it up.

    Comment by Daniel Goldman — April 10, 2006 @ 9:19 am

  2. Just to clarify – it wasn’t the record company, but an isolated producer of an album.

    But yes, I totally agree with you, hence the blog.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 10, 2006 @ 10:07 am

  3. Aryeh,

    I understand that producers may be upset by some of the reviews that you have done. However, they have to understand that there should be some sort of accountability for their work.

    L’mashul, if I open a restaraunt that is serving unedible food, I will probably receive negative reviews in the papers. The reason my food tastes so lousy is becauce by cutting corners and trying to save money, I have not put in the time or effort to raise the standards of my restaraunt. I can be upset by other people’s negative reviews but I don’t have a real argument against it.

    The same applies with jewish music. If producers continue to put out albums that sound as if they were recorded, mixed and produced in one afternoon, they have to understand that there will be some accountability.

    In all honesty, you are actually doing a tovah for the artists who have put in the effort, by complimenting their albums. Everyone knows that your comments are sincere, based on some of your more negative reviews for other albums.

    Bottom line, as a consumer, I enjoy knowing that there is a jewish music reviewer who is willing to tell it how it is. What good is accomplished by the other reviewers who consider even the lamest CD to be “amazing!”

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by mitch117 — April 10, 2006 @ 11:55 am

  4. mitch-

    Thanks for your support!!!

    I’m sorry I had to delete your previous post (mine as well) about AKA-pella – all I can say is that it was due to Sameach Music’s very reasonable request.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 10, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

  5. Is the policy you stated in that post true? If not, you should correct the record. If yes, why delete the post and comments?

    Comment by Anonymous — April 10, 2006 @ 1:33 pm

  6. There is no “policy”.

    I hate to sound like I’m avoiding the question, but all further questions should be directed to Sameach Music.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 11, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  7. Hey Aryeh,

    I personally enjoy your reviews. As I mentioned in a different post, I really find them to be descriptive and honest. That’s something that is not so easy to come by in the Jewish music review world.
    One thing I truly respect about your review writing is the way you inform the reader that these are only your opinions. You are aware that musical preference is completely subjective and your writings are based on your own, subjective views.
    What might help stop the complaints from those who have found your site to contain, loshan horah (is it? is it not? thats not for me to decide) would be if you were to stress to your commenters the importance of keeping their comments a bit generic, avoiding any direct insult to the musicians under review. I know that that is a pretty difficult task, but it might be worth a shot. Who knows.

    Comment by josh — April 18, 2006 @ 1:18 am

  8. The term you avoided was Loshon Horah; which in fact a bad review is.
    There is no way getting around the fact that as frum Jews we are not allowed to give our negative opinion about anything (restaraunt or album) that is not detrimental to everyone who will go to the restaraunt or hear the album. (So it would not be Ltoeles) If a review will impede someones ability to make a parnassah, then you will have alot of accounting for in olam haemes.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 1, 2006 @ 7:53 am

  9. Anonymous,

    If an honest review prevents someone from making a purchase that they would have regretted, then that is considered toeles and is not Lashon Harah (as long as the intent of the review is to be honest and not negative).

    If, on the other hand, someone publishes a “review” that makes the album out to be something that a quick listen establishes that it is not, and people buy the album based on that review, and later wish that they hadn’t, then I’d say that the “reviewer” is guilty of geneivas da’as, lifnei iver and possibly indirect hezek (or something like that).

    Go Aryeh!

    Comment by Anonymous — May 10, 2006 @ 4:36 am

  10. A good honest and in depth review (and unbiased) is something which in general has been lacking in the Jewish Music world, and I see no problem with it.

    If it helps people spend their hard earned money in a more descriminating matter, so much the better.

    Jewish producers who are banking on gullible purchasers buy their work without listening should be ashamed of themselves.

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by PsychoToddler — May 10, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

  11. Thank G-d for almost all new albums put out, one has the ability to go to their local seforim store and hear as much of the album as they would like on the “listening stations”.
    One can now make an informed decision. If they like it, they buy it, if they don’t, they don’t.

    If a negative review causes a potential customer to overlook a specific album, who now does not even bother to listen to it, I believe that is loshon horah.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 16, 2006 @ 12:08 pm


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