Song Reviews

Everyone does CD reviews.

That’s great and makes sense when there is an overall narrative to the CD—taking, for example, Mark Bishop’s Fields of Love or the Kingsmen’s Big and Live Again. But most of the time, Southern Gospel projects are collections of ten individual songs.

It’s the song that fascinates me most—and, honestly, that’s the area where I have the best background to provide insight. I’ve never produced an album, but I do have a songwriting background.

I’m contemplating rolling over the reviews column to mostly song reviews.

I won’t totally stop reviewing CDs—for example, I will honor the five or so existing commitments sitting on my desk—but I am inclined to give this a try.

It is an experiment. Is this something that would catch your interest, or something that would not intrigue you as much as full album reviews?


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26 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. For me personally, I would rather read a review of a cd. It helps me when I go to buy one. I don’t buy just a song… though some people do. That said, I’ll still read the reviews on a song as well, at least the first few.

    • I would agree with that.

  2. I personally would love to see song reviews, and they would interest me just as much, if not more than album reviews.

    However, I think album reviews serve a significant purpose for people that come to this, and other, blogs. They want to know whether or not they should buy the CD. You said you wouldn’t eliminate them, so that’s good.

    Each are great, but both are better!

    • I agree with Brian – Each are great, but both are better!

    • I agree with Brian. Song reviews would certainly interest me, but CD reviews also have their purpose.

  3. Why not do individual song reviews within album reviews (or even song-by-song reviews). Perhaps an extended “featured song” review if only a couple songs from a particular CD catch your ear, in addition to the CD reviews themselves.

  4. I’m with Kyle.

  5. This discussion is all good and well, but not quite to the point at hand.

    I don’t deny that CD reviews are valuable. They certainly are. But everyone else is doing them. And I’m not the sort to assume that just because everyone else is doing something, it also makes sense for me. 🙂

    So . . .

    Is there anything that I bring to CD reviews that other reviewers don’t? There’s plenty of ground to believe that there’s a need for CD reviews, but is there a need for mine?

    🙂

    • And as I said, I’ll still do some here and there. I just don’t know if there’s a point in me doing them regularly. 🙂

    • I’ve told you this before, Daniel. But for me personally, I have really appreciated your CD reviews. During the time I have read your blog, I’ve found that we have an extremely similar taste in music, and I have become interested in artists and groups that I more than likely wouldn’t have without your great reviews.

      However, I would love to see some more in-depth song reviews from you. I greatly appreciate you knowledge and perspective and would enjoy hearing your detailed explanation of songs.

    • Your blog is the really the only one I read so I would miss CD reviews.

      • Now that is an interesting and valid point.

      • I’m with Paul on that one, I rarely read other SG blogs; yours is the only one I read consistantly and would miss the CD reviews. That being said, I think picking out 1 or 2 songs out of the CD and doing a more extensive review within the review would be very interesting.

  6. I say you should do the song reviews. For one thing I buy songs more often then albums. Plenty of other blogs have cd reviews.

  7. Kyle has the same idea I had, review the CD’s, but do it song by song, or comment on your favorite songs. Then, if you want to highlight a song, you could link to it, or maybe do a year end best songs of the year review.

    • I don’t have the time to do in-depth reviews of twelve songs per week – or, at this point, even 3. 🙂

      I have done song by song reviews of projects I am totally blown away by, but that takes enough time that I’ll probably reserve it for those projects. 🙂

      • Slacker. What else do you have to do? (Tongue in cheek.) 🙂

  8. Should be interesting!

  9. Let’s face it, we live in an Itunes world where people are purchasing songs ala carte. The reason why Itunes and MP3 players are so popular is because people dont buy entire albums anymore, generally speaking. I would find song reviews to be very interesting. Go for it!

  10. I’m just going to throw this question out there: Where would the songs come from? What I mean is, would you wait until a song is released to radio before reviewing it? Or, would you have a newly released cd & pick a song or two from it that caught your attention – whether they’ll ever be released as a single or not? (In which case, would they even be available on iTunes or what have you…?)
    And…how do you review a song? “Love it.” “Don’t love it.” The end.
    I’m not trying to be difficult – just curious about the execution of the concept.

    • The songs would come from anywhere and everywhere, whatever caught my attention that week. A high ratio of new stuff, though.

      • I hope you throw in SOME older songs though, and not just the current ones. I am at this moment thinking of song titles that I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on! 🙂

      • I have a couple of specific ones in the back of my mind. 🙂

  11. Greg said kind of what I was thinking. All the same, I think I would miss CD reviews. At least I’d want to know whether you considered the song that you were reviewing representative of the rest of the album, or something like that!

    If the song you were reviewing was available somewhere as an individual download, it would influence my buying decisions even more than CD reviews, because of affordability. If I had to buy a CD to get it, but wasn’t sure whether I’d like the rest of the CD, then it would be pretty much just a matter of curiosity.

  12. Here’s my deal: there is no southern gospel radio station where I live. So, when the groups talk about releasing this or that single – WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE HEARD IT short of buying every album that exists? I get very frustrated often because I love southern gospel music but find it VERY hard to buy. For example, the store for The Greenes has been closed so I can’t buy any mp3’s or DVD’s. So, where do I go? UGH! If I am missing out on an internet radio station that plays all the latest SG music – please tell me!