Words That Should Be Perma-Banned (But We Sometimes Use) in Music Reviews


Ladies and gentleman, it is time to re-glorify the music review. Just as we sought to fight the good fight by declaring the “Words That Should Be Perma-Banned (But We Sometimes Use),” we, too, must purge music reviews of painfully common and lazy descriptions. It’s time to stop making esoteric hipster commentary and to start writing real words. Thus, after tapping the expertise of our hopelessly overworked copy editors, we’ve compiled a list of music review words-that-shall-not-be-named. Add your own after the jump.

1. Aural equivalent of . . . “It’s the aural equivalent of a dinosaur fighting Bob Barker…” How about this instead? “It’s the aural equivalent of an inscrutably mixed metaphor.”

2. the lovechild of . . . Your mom.

3. Soundscape This word is used consistently to describe any band hailing from Iceland (better synonyms include shoegaze, shitgaze, and My Bloody Valentine).

4. . . . on acid (or any other drug). This phrase describes something you think sounds “rly rly good.” But, because half of all modern music is actually created under the influence of hallucinogens, “on acid” has since lost its shock appeal.

5. Infectious This makes us thinks of ringworms and hook-warts. Yummy.

6. Angular Actually, feel free to use this word when your 5th grade math teacher starts a band.

7. Any food metaphor, ever. The following once ran: “If you’re going to cook up a rock ‘n roll dinner, you might want to start by serving a hefty slice of NYC’s own Frostitute.” Nuff said.

8. Simultaneously “But, guys, the record really is simultaneously pastoral and antagonistic.” No, no it isn’t.

9. . . . with mixed results. Boohoo, your favorite band tried something new and you didn’t like it. Better watch it or Bob Dylan is going to shank you with his 1965 electric guitar.

10. Literally Imagine if a band could literally rock the writer’s ass off? Pooping would be simultaneously angular and infectious.

11. (BONUS): Pitchfork.

Your turn. What other words or phrasings deserve the ixnay on the music reviewnay?