Who The Hell Am I?

I’m not a critic.

Yes, I’ll do reviews. Yes, I’ll talk about themes and ideas. Yes, I’ll spout musical opinions off like a broken fire hydrant, and yes, I’ll say stupid shit.

Yes, I’ll critique, but I’m not a critic.

I haven’t nearly the experience nor collection to start cloistering myself in an ivory tower from which I can start dissecting an album before it plays. So I’m not a critic nor do I want to be. Popular culture and my own mental gymnastics have twisted and transformed this image I have of the critic. It’s false and dumb and a trap. No critic ever would or should fall into it and if they did, they aren’t a critic — they’re a hack.

My tastes are my tastes and I’m not going to judge music I don’t find interesting. More often than not, if don’t like it then I won’t listen to it. I like to think of it this way: “Why would someone buy cantaloupes based off the opinions of a man who never tasted cantaloupe?”

So with that said I have only three genres that I cannot find interest, much less enjoyment: Post-1982 metal, club rap and bastardized country. So if you’re looking for someone who reviews those three subjects, I don’t apologize–I just recommend Google.

My musical taste palette includes many a style; so many in fact, that listing off my favourite artists is easier — so here’s a short list to help familiarize:

  • Led Zeppelin
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • Tame Impala
  • Eskimo Joe
  • Warpaint
  • The xx
  • Eric Clapton
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Allman Brothers Band
  • The Grateful Dead
  • Santana
  • Jethro Tull
  • King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
  • Foals
  • The Cure
  • Pearl Jam
  • Sonic Youth
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
  • PJ Harvey

And that’s just the rock side of things; along other genres it gets even longer:

  • John Coltrane
  • Fela Kuti & the Africa ’70
  • Miles Davis
  • Art Blakey
  • Carole King
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Q-Tip
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Common
  • J Dilla
  • The Roots
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Jamiroquai

Two things strike me about these lists: one, my listening habits are the embodiment of eccenctric; and two, I suck at top 10’s. I go until I can’t list any more. Thankfully I don’t plan to make many numbered lists (oh shit, nevermind). Still, I’m not here for the lists; just to collect, summarize and recommend.

I’m not a critic. I’m a writer.


I also write for Atwood Magazine

Follow me (that’s weird to type) on instagram and twitter as @benjamstoo