For a good critic, listening to a recording should be like a skeptical stroll around the new-car lot, not an unwrapping frenzy on Christmas morning. Listening alongside fans on social media, racing toward a verdict, too many writers seem to be getting swept away in the lovefest.
This establishes a hasty and formidable wave of acclaim, and to speak out against it at a later date is to out yourself as a hater, a contrarian, a click-baiter or a troll. Somehow, we seem to be growing more comfortable with this grody polarization of taste. Disagreement is now perceived as a demonstrative act instead of a natural and necessary position.
Rockism, poptimism and music criticism: a Washington post story on internet-incubated insta-love and the failings of critics to be critical is discussed in a Grantland podcast triggering a WaPo response-podcast and all in all forming a chunk of my weekend pop culture consumption.