Thoughts on The Needle Drop

I found Anthony Fantano¬†from his Have One on Me review. On the one hand, there are many worse things to do with your life than dedicate it to music, especially great music. But on the other, calling yourself “the internets busiest music nerd” is a little off-putting. I get a general air of someone whose tastes are a mile wide and inch deep. Though I may be wrong.

Also I think reviews that are essentially taxonomic, i.e. comparative or emphasize the history or biography or region of a group are in some ways inhuman and wrong. He’s not the only one who does this.

It’s hard to use any sort of tangible language to describe what it feels like to move through a song, but I think trying to dig in with your bare hands, to put the qualitative experience of a song into language as best you can is the right thing for reviews to do.

It strikes me that most reviews nowadays are 90% taxonomy/10% attempt to describe the experience.

Ys, Have One on Me

Just for fun. Graded songs on Joanna Newsom’s last two albums, Ys and Have One On Me:


1. Emily: A+
2. Monkey and Bear: A+
3. Sawdust and Diamonds: A+
4. Only Skin: A+
5. Cosmia: A

Have One On Me

CD 1

1. Easy: A-
2. Have One On Me: A+
3. 81: C+
4. Good Intentions Paving Company: B+
5. No Provenance: A-
6. Baby Birch A+

CD 2

1. On a Good Day C+
2. You and Me, Bess C
3. In California A
4. Jackrabbits D
5. Go Long A-
6. Occident D

CD 3

1. Soft as Chalk C-
2. Esme D
3. Autumn C+
4. Ribbon Bows C+
5. Kingfisher A-
6. Does Not Suffice B