When we aim to assess any type of work critically, our goal is to truly understand how and why something is the way that it is. In order to do so, context, rhetoric, opinion and many other factors come into play. Critical thinking is beyond looking at the surface level of why something does or doesn’t work to us; it is to extend beyond ourselves, usually in written form, the ideas behind the work, what influences may have come into play, where biases exist or disappear, and how this particular piece of work can impact those it reaches. Critical thinking, however, is too often resigned to academia, and while this can be useful to those who are within this realm or anyone who has an interest in it, it fails to truly capture a mass audience into thinking beyond just why something is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ This false binary is largely where media criticism, in its many forms, comes into play, and it has the capability of reaching a far larger audience, and thus, being more useful in general.
Media criticism, much like any other form, can take many paths. We write “thinkpieces” to discuss a cultural event and what it means to the audience an individual website or magazine caters to. We write reviews, which are used to their full effect when, again, extending beyond a good/bad binary. Jezebel, Pitchfork, op-ed articles on various websites and many other avenues explore the world of media criticism in ways that are truly multi-faceted in their approach to the media we consume. This is where “Apocalypse, Gorl,” my new music criticism blog, comes into play.
My name is Tre Simmons and I’ve been obsessed with music for as far back as I can remember. I recall dancing to Michael Jackson and Ciara, and traveling down the cartoonishly dark avenues of Gorillaz and the dim, psychedelic depths of Goldfrapp. What I’ve recently learned about myself, however, is that I’m really interested in why these artists, and many others, have bodies of work that are largely influential, entertaining, and encompassing of the things that are ‘right’ about music. This extends from an audiovisual standpoint, to the production and arrangement choices made across albums, all the way to the emotional and physical impact it has on the listener. Simply put, “Apocalypse, Gorl” is here to explore the nooks and crannies of why music succeeds, and where, even if I don’t necessarily like something, how it can be a medium that means so much to everyone it crosses.