Beefs 2010: Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes vs. Pitchfork
Published Dec 01, 2010While complaining about the quality of music reviews has become a favourite past time of many message-board-dwelling music fans, it's not often that the subject of the review comes forward to defend himself. Kevin Barnes, the frontman of the sexed-up weird-pop collective Of Montreal, however, is an exception to the rule, setting his sights on indie mega-site Pitchfork for its recent review of the band's latest album, False Priest.
Though the album received a 6.7 rating, Barnes has a long list of qualms with the reviewer and details those in a blog post titled "Reflections on My Pitchfork Review."
Here is an unedited excerpt of Barnes's post:
I learned from friends that the pitchfork review of False Priest was less than good, so I avoided reading it until tonight. I gathered from PF's review of Skeletal Lamping that we were not a darling of their blog, but I had hoped that we'd get a slightly less disappointing writer this time around and might fair a bit better. If you have read the review you'll know this was not the case. I have no problem with people disliking my music, and even negative criticism can be constructive, as long as the person delivering the message is insightful and intelligent. Unfortunately, the dude who wrote the False Priest review is clearly not insightful or intelligent, at least not in terms of his understanding of music production.
I think it's criminal for a journalist to review an album and not discuss all of the songs on the album. My dude wastes sentence after sentence on the most trivial non album related bullshit before he even dives into the album critique. I guess he was trying to preface the review by clearly illustrating his poor casting for the job at hand. ok, fair enough, you shouldn't be reviewing this album and you acknowledge that, fine, moving on.
here is my annotated critique of his critique(and i should say that i have nothing but focused hatred for this person,so anything seaming like lighthearted ribbing is purely unintentional;-)
What follows is an annotated reprint of the Pitchfork review, where Barnes attacks the writer for referring to Janelle Monáe and Solange Knowles as "divas," describing a vocoder where there is no vocoder and many other often petty disagreements. He closes out the post with the strongest quote, asking, "why does pitchfork always assign my albums to flaccid puritanical sex hating half humans?"
Though Barnes raises some good points, it also seems as if he is getting a little too defensive over this. We can't help but agree with Hipster Runoff, who suggested that "Maybe p4k should start a 'fake site' for artists to read where they just get 'smoke blown up their asses' and just get to read that their albums are 'effing amazing.'"
Furthermore, why hasn't anyone emailed Barnes a link to our False Priest review? We said it was arguably the best Of Montreal album to date and that "Barnes sounds totally and utterly in control." We'd love to read your commentary, Mr. Barnes!