THE TRUTH ABOUT REVIEWS AS I SEE IT
Recently, more than one person has commented that
Jareeda is "too nice" when it comes to reviews. It isn't that they
want to read something negative that tears someone or something down, it is that they feel an
all positive review isn't realistic. No one can like 'every' cut on a recording or every performance in a video, etc.
Well, I encourage feedback from readers, but sometimes it takes me a while to figure things out and sort them
through. For many weeks I have been asking myself, "Why is Jareeda "too nice?" As I was putting this issue
together, I realized some things that I want to share with you.
First of all, I rarely do reviews because of the
demands on my time. When I do choose to do a review personally, it is
because I absolutely love something. So, my reviews are always glowing. I rely mostly on submissions from other
writers and staff members for the bulk of my reviews, and the same is probably true for them. If they are inspired to
write something, it is because they enjoyed what they are writing about.
Another thing to mention is that all reviews are totally
subjective to the person doing the review. I learned this many
years ago. I had a friend that was raving about a new movie she had just gone to the theater to see. She went on and
on about how it was the "best movie" she had ever seen. At that time, going to the movies was an expense I rarely
allowed myself, but I was so inspired by her wonderful review, I treated myself to a night out. It was the worst movie
I have ever seen! What a disappointment. What I learned is that she obviously had very different tastes then me and
that if she loved a movie, I would hate it and vice versa. So, I could still use her as a resource, just in a different way.
A few years after that, my student Deena and I had a dance engagement for a group who was paying
us pretty well. When we arrived at the place, it was enormous filled with hundreds of people, and there was no stage.
We quickly accessed the situation and decided to both dance at the same time in different parts of the room so that
more people could see the dancing. She told me she had brought her favorite piece of sword music
and wondered if
we could use it while we both danced with swords. It seemed fine to me, so I agreed. While that piece of music
inspired her to dance, for me, the only thing it inspired me to do was plug my ears. It was the most
piece of music I had ever tried to listen to, and there I was in front of hundreds of people trying to dance to it and
keep a smile on my face.
One of my favorite pieces, to me is mystical and moving, but to others sounds depressing. So, like I said, reviews are
subjective depending on the person's taste who is doing the review. So, while I may not like every cut on a new
release, someone else might like the one I don't and dislike one that I love. In a
review I try to highlight my favorite
aspects of something.
Now there are some things that are not subjective and should be commented on. For instance, I once drove many
miles to attend a show. The dancing was creative and inspiring, the music wonderful, the stage decor magnificent.
But, between each dance, the house lights were turned off and the audience sat in complete darkness for 1-5 minutes
while preparations were made for the next dance. It seemed like we sat in the dark for hours, and it was awful! I felt
that while the dancing, music and stage were great, the
organizational aspect left a lot to be desired.
My suggestion is
to find someone who has similar tastes to you, whether it be a friend or a writer of reviews and go by their
assessment of something you are interested in. Don't believe everything you hear whether someone is telling you
they loved or disliked something. You might miss out on something that really, truly lifts you up and excites you.
Subscribe to Jareeda!