Your rockin’ writer is the type who does his own thing. Yet when Examiner asked for support for their new “List” format, it was nigh impossible not to be open-minded about it. The folks at Examiner are generally pretty tolerant of your screwy scribe’s scribbles so it seemed that the nice thing to do was to try to somehow use their new favorite format in some way. So, with that spirit of unity in mind, your crusty chronicler presents another “list” format article.
Due, in part, to the positive reaction the series of articles on downloading free music received, as well as a previously mentioned conversation with some artists about “free music”, this time we explore more of the best websites for music reviews. After all, if you’re actually going to pay good, hard cash for your music you just might want to learn something about the music first, right?
(View the list to read the details on some top music review sites.)
Rollingstone.com is one site regular readers and faithful followers may have expected to see sooner. Your rockin’ reviewer has often utilized the magazine’s resources when doing research. Still, in terms of reviews, the site is belongs somewhere in the middle; hence its inclusion at the start of the second edition of this list. Truth to tell, reviews of any CD that is not very popular are few and far between. On the other hand, it’s great to be able to actually listen to some of the tunes. The latter, however, does not totally compensate for the former.
When your crusty chronicler was not yet crusty, he taught Journalism. One of the frequently used teaching aids was the New York Times. Nytimes.com’s inclusion here might be unexpected to those who know little or nothing of your penned-in penman’s personal life. Still, while this might not be a great source for reviews on really new music or indie artists, many online sources indicate it is a good source for reviews on older music and the highly commercial and very popular music. They’re also good at keeping fans current on music by more established artists.
One of the top websites for reviews is Allmusic.com. The site is known for backgrounds/bios and actual recommendations of specific artists and discs. While many websites do provide suggestions that are vaguely similar to what one enjoys, those recommendations are often limited to popular groups. This website suggests indie artists as well. It is also praised for its user-friendly search engine.
Artistdirect.com also often makes the top of the list due in part to the fact that people can buy music, read honest reviews and view videos within the artist bios. Unfortunately, the site gets docked points for shamelessly promoting highly commercial pop bands. That no doubt pays the bills but sometimes also influences their suggestions.
It should be no surprise that the best has been saved for last. In general, the iTunes Store generally takes the top slot. While this might be due in part to their popularity and the amount of time in which they have been in business. While some users report lame, simplistic reviews provided by members, the majority of the reviews are thought to be not overly biased in terms of outside influence and generally honest.
So there you have it, readers, a few more of the best websites to find free music reviews. Yes, actually listening to music is a more direct method of reviewing it but sometimes it’s not easy to do that. Even when one does find sites they are only given sound bites. Sometimes it helps to learn more about the artists and their work. As always, if anyone has any favorite websites they consult to learn more about the music they consider purchasing, feel free to submit your suggestions. Maybe they’ll become yet another fun series here!
My name is Phoenix and . . . that's the bottom line.