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SXSW Music 2014

Did the Internet kill the album review?

Essentially, this panel is a group of reviewers coming together with a relevant name in the indie PR circuit to explore whether or not the album review is still a relevant tool for musical tastemaking in the Internet age. Yes, with the explosion of the music blog-o-sphere, there's certainly no shortage of album reviews out there on the Internet, but has this surplus of musical opinion led to an increase in effectiveness as well?

In a recent interview, Jay Z said it's the immediacy of the Internet that's killing the album review. Music fans can listen to whatever they want at any given moment. If this is the case, why are album reviews still written? Why are they still read? Could it be that reviews serve a purpose other than informing someone who hasn't listened to the album being reviewed? If so, why are these functions reviews continue to serve, and how can they be focused on more into the future?

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  1. Did the Internet kill the album review, or make it less relevant?
  2. Do music reviews still have the power to turn listeners onto new records, or advance the careers of artists?
  3. What's the purpose music reviews should serve in the Internet age, what standards should they be held up to?
  4. What influence do album reviews currently have in the music industry?
  5. Will album reviews need to change their delivery, message in order to stay relevant into the future?



Anthony Fantano, Editor-in-chief, The Needle Drop

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Media
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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