Introducing CD Interviews

Several months ago, I did a reader survey. One of the questions was which columns you found most useful, and which you found least useful. There was a general consensus that most of the columns are interesting and useful. The one column that received a mixed reaction was CD reviews. Many readers don’t find them all that useful.

If you step back for a moment and think it over, it makes sense. In other genres of music, artists are coming and going constantly. This genre’s headliners are often constant for decades. When an artists comes out with a new recording, you don’t need a review to help in making a decision whether to purchase it.

One reader (hat tip, Dustin) suggested an interesting alternative: CD Interviews. These would feature an artist’s own insight into a particular recording—to quote from his comment, “an inside track on how groups select songs for their albums, why they chose them, what they were trying to accomplish, what they envisioned their music to do both creatively, spiritually, or if it was just time to bust out another project.”

This was too good an idea to let it slip by. So the column will launch tomorrow, with Gerald Wolfe’s insights into the new Jubilee Christmas A Cappella EP.

There is still merit to occasional CD reviews, perhaps to provide historical context for a new release or to highlight the significance of a landmark recording. There is also merit to a review when there has been a significant stylistic or personnel change in a group. So the CD Reviews column will not entirely disappear; reviews will just be less frequent.


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18 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. This is a great idea!! I think this will also give insight into an artist’s personality, and there are some “characters” in southern gospel music. I am looking forward to hearing why artists choose a specific song over another. Gerald Wolfe is a great place to start!!

  2. Oh yeah, I think yankeegospelgirl did this for EHSS’s Glorious Day. I love the idea!

  3. I like this idea and would read the whole interview unlike the cd reviews. The artist is why I buy their music.

  4. Love it! I think it will be much more interesting!

  5. This will be great. I’d still rather read CD reviews than just about anything else on this or any other site, though. I guess I’m just different. 🙂

    • I totally agree, Brian; I love the cd reviews, too. And for the reason mentioned above — the artists are always going to say that “this is the best project we have ever done,” and they will continue on gushing about it. I mean, that is naturally what they’re going to say and do b/c that is their bread and butter. So, although I like hearing from the artists, nothing they say is going to influence me to buy their cd. On the other hand. Daniel’s reviews sway me. He knows of which he speaks, and he hasn’t led me astray yet! (You’re welcome, Daniel. LOL)

      • Well, OK! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve heard enough encouragement in that area that I won’t completely quit doing CD reviews. In fact, I happen to have one scheduled for next week, a commitment I’d made prior to starting this feature.

  6. I think it is a great idea as well and will be looking forward to it.

    I do have one prediction though. Every artist will say something like this, “Daniel, I think this album is the best recording we have ever done.”

    DKO

    • Yes, that might just happen. 🙂

      • Until the next one they do anyway. Artists, they all the same! 😀

      • If you ask an artist a question they’ve received for the 737th time, they’ll give you the same answer they gave the last 711 times.

      • Thats what I like about you Daniel. You’re smart enough to come up with new and unique questions.

      • Well, once you realize what I said just above, you realize that you pretty much have to!

      • Not everyone is though!

  7. I think CD reviews may be very warranted with a line-up change. Many times the new member(s) is/are different from the departing member and a CD review may offer perspective as to the positive side of what the new member(s) bring to the project.

  8. The thing I love about this idea is that it gives readers a “behind the scenes” look at the song-selection process, etc.

    To echo Davy’s comment, I’d just caution that you don’t go into it with stock questions because all we’d get is stock answers. I’m not too concerned about this though because I know the importance Daniel places on good writing and not becoming stale.

  9. I think this is a great idea. We like to think of our favorite artists as friends or family. This should just add to that.

  10. I also love what the Musicscribe gang is doing with their “Conversations” series…