Your rockin’ writer is an individual who does his own thing. Yet when Examiner asked for support for their new “List” format, it was nigh impossible not to be open-minded about it. The people at Examiner are generally pretty tolerant of your screwy scribe’s scribbles so it seemed that the polite thing to do was to try to somehow utilize their new favorite format in some way. So, with that spirit of unity in mind, your crusty chronicler presents another “list” format article.
Due, in part, to the positive reaction the series of articles on downloading free music received, as well as yet another ongoing conversation with some performers about “free music”, this time we explore some of the best websites for music reviews. After all, if you’re actually going to pay good, hard cash for your music you just might want to learn something about the music first, right?
(View the list to read the details on some top music review sites.)
The Music Review
One fan favorite of audiophiles is the website musreview.com. The Music Review includes music reviews that users find to be generally honest, hard to find and sometimes even entertaining. While it doesn’t include a lot of extra features it is not commercially-supported. As one critic put it—they are not “paid off” as some sites might be. Users can find reviews on “over 30,000 groups, bands and artists” and can search for reviews by song title or artist.
Up next is Spin.com which features news, MP3s, videos and more. The critics at this professional site might also review acts that are mainstream but often seem to prefer independent artists over those with heavy exposure. This magazine-related website is best to consult when a music fan is looking for music by artists who don’t get a lot of radio play.
Also this time around there is Alternative Press at altpress.com. This sharp website offers news, reviews “and features for fans of alternative, indie, ska, electronic, dub, industrial, punk, techno, underground, rock, ambient, and experimental” music. Users, however, say the reviews “stick to the few core genres”. Nonetheless, the reviews here are generally straight forward and it’s difficult to find a disc rated higher than 3 stars. This substantiates their reputation for grading “pretty brutally but fairly” as online sources indicate.
One certainly cannot write about music reviews online without mentioning Billboard.com, of course. While your skeptical scribe can safely say many of the articles are little more than shameless promotion, if one wishes to discover “the next big thing” so to speak, this is the place to be. While it is a major commercial site, even their harshest critics admit they have not been “bought out”. What makes the site most valuable; however, are their industry-famous charts. Following the charts may help you determine the true worth of music you are thinking of buying.
Another good website for reviews is Crediblemusicreviews.com. This is a newer website with a lot of potential. The reviews presently focus on music played on the radio but they are brutally honest. The site has been compared to Spunik and it’s difficult to find a review higher than two stars.
So there you have it, guys and dolls, a few of the best websites to find free music reviews. Yes, actually listening to music is a more direct method of reviewing it but sometimes it’s not easy to do that. Even when one does find sites they are only given sound bites. Sometimes it helps to learn more about the artists and their work. As always, if anyone has any favorite websites they consult to learn more about the music they consider purchasing, feel free to submit your suggestions. Maybe they’ll become yet another fun series here!
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.