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RARB/CASA Forums • View topic - To Andrew DiMartino

To Andrew DiMartino

All things Recorded A Cappella Review Board.

To Andrew DiMartino

Postby H.F. » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:04 am

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Re: To Andrew DiMartino

Postby colton » Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:54 am

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Postby H.F. » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:09 am

Yeah for clarity's sake I probably shouldn't have lumped you in here. The reference, though abysmally made on my part, was to the fact that, just as Andrew has mentioned how much he hates production in one way or another in every single review( I think) he's made, you've done the same with Rap music. My apologies for muddying things.

What I'm saying here, or part of it anyway, the axe-to-grind part notwithstanding, is that the reality of the scene we're in is that most albums you review by college kids will have a very good chance of a) being "produced" and "compressed" and "tuned", and b) having some "rap-styled music" on it. So after a point, it starts to seem like you're actually trying to change that, by continuing to mention it in each review. And I don't run RARB, but I'm not certain that is your role. Maybe this is a little extreme way of looking at it, I'll concede. But when comments like

"Submit to the changing of the tides and give this record a 5 because it sounds nice, or give it a 3 because I was expecting to be wowed by raw voices and instead was bored with mono-dynamic, ultra-compressed, emotionless block sound. No surprise. I chose the latter."

are made...well, this isn't the RAW VOICES REVIEW BOARD, after all. And one might make the argument that it does a disservice to the groups submitting as well as the average reader, to expect that what you're going to get to review is "raw voices". It just isn't reality. And hasn't been since Bill was young..or (gasp) even before Bill was young :) Even in the recordings that you THINK are just raw voices...I'd bet you my lunch money they're not. And if one were to make the argument that "well they SOUND raw to me at least", I would say that a) they're generally (moreso) professionals, and b) they probably have a much, much greater budget.

As had been said many times on this forum, there is absolutely no reason to expect that a recording will sound ANYTHING like the real group. Of course, it'd be nice if it did sometimes. but the assumption, I feel, is flawed. It's cool that Andrew has seen MP live and has a frame of reference. But will that be the case for every group he reviews?
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Postby colton » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:22 am

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Postby H.F. » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:31 am

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Postby dr00bles » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:06 pm

Andrew DiMartino
Music Director, UNC Achordants 2005-2008
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Postby H.F. » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:45 pm

Well damn, if you articulated it better the first time around, I can't imagine how. I thought that was an extremely well thought out and well written response. I'm not sure I agree with your logic in all cases, but at least you have some logic to base your thinking on, and I respect that.

One thing I noticed, in comparing my reactions to what you wrote here to how I felt after reading your reviews, is that I in the former case I wasn't left feeling put off by an almost bitter, vitriolic tone...Bitter isn't the best word I'm sure, but it's the best I can come up with right this second. Perhaps your use of words like "grotesque, magical, hocus-pocus, bleed", are the difference, and I'll submit that perhaps that is for entertainment value. Perhaps it's not. But it's almost like I'm reading something from two different people. In your reviews, when you mention production, one can almost visualize you literally spitting the word out. Seriously. What you wrote here doesn't have that tone at all. So...I feel a bit awkward, and like we should give you the benefit of the doubt here, in the future at least. Perhaps it's just chance that you haven't liked the way production was used in all of your first several reviews.

Yet, you didn't really address the most glaring part of your most recent review, in my eyes - that being that you essentially admit to dropping the score of an album by 2 full points because it "wasn't raw voices". Perhaps that was hyperbole...but it does seem to walk the line. I mean, RARB reviewers are supposed to be comparing albums to the "general body of recorded a cappella" or something like that, right? If your statement was not pure hyperbole, then one could say that you essentially said that according to "the tides" the album would merit a 5, but since it didn't sound just like the group you saw live (raw voices), it got a 3. I might be reading too much into that, but a statement like that rather leaves you open to such interpretation. Know what I mean? One does get the sense that even if you were being a bit hyperbolic, that this IS indeed how you think all recorded a cappella should sound, if at all possible. And I guess what concerns me about that (if "concern" can be even used when talking about an album review, lol), is that I suspect you're going to be disappointed more times than not. And that disappointment has, thus far and at least to this reader, manifested itself, again, as disdain, at best. It's going to make for a lot of upset groups.

Of course, I make all these points, arguments...and yet really on many days I lean towards your side. I'd sometimes love to hear more natural singing. But in my opinion that would require a lot of culling that I don't necessarily support, and that certainly won't happen.
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Postby pujo » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:10 pm

Paul "Pujo" "Puck" Puckett
The Madison Project
www.themadisonproject.com
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Postby PaulPatersen » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:15 pm

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Postby dr00bles » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:25 pm

Andrew DiMartino
Music Director, UNC Achordants 2005-2008
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Postby dr00bles » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:34 pm

Andrew DiMartino
Music Director, UNC Achordants 2005-2008
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Postby matthewnym » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:09 pm

Evan Wisser
The Pitchforks of Duke University '05-'09
Music Director '06-'09
Album Producer '07-'09
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Postby colton » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:05 pm

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Postby colton » Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:47 pm

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Re: To Andrew DiMartino

Postby vandre » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:24 pm

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