VOT Editorial: Local Album Reviews

Writing for a website, much like writing a song, doesn’t always end up the way you planned. When Vocals On Top started on April 21, 2011, I didn’t intend on it being exactly what it has become. In most ways it is much better. I’m thrilled with the amount of people paying attention and the feedback I have gotten. I didn’t intend on it being a hotbed for local music though. It has turned into a site where the majority of content can be traced right to my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. It’s not a bad thing, it just isn’t what I had in mind.

My 250 Word Album Reviews section has had a couple local acts but is mainly national acts. I plan on writing more local review now but they will have to be slightly different. I want to provide feedback on the albums and review them whenever possible and plan on doing more of that. I will maintain the 250 word structure and also “key tracks” from the release but will drop the star rating.

The star rating (.5 – 5 stars on my scale) is a great way to glance at a review and see how much the reviewer liked the record. It is also an easy way to get the wrong idea about an album if you don’t read the article. It is also difficult to weigh a local album made in one of my friend’s basements against the new Bob Dylan record; it isn’t fair to grade them on the same scale. This is why I will abandon the stars on local albums, everything else will remain the same. I do plan to add one small detail though. I will put links to where to buy the band’s music. If I review a Bob Dylan record you know how to buy it, but if I review the new Scruffy & The Janitors record, it is a little more difficult to find.

I have a laundry list of reviews to write already. Time frame is not a concern to me on this, if I get a copy of an album released in 1996 in St. Joseph, I’ll review it. I know of a couple older albums I will be writing about at some point. My local music knowledge only goes back about two years for the St. Joseph scene so I missed the boat on bands like Full Power, Seven Mile Drive and Pig Farmer. My knowledge of the current scene is much better and hopefully Vocals On Top can stay on top of it.

The album reviews will be called “250 Word Local Album Reviews” and hopefully will be pop up frequently. I have obtained several local band’s music at shows and will review what I have and try to seek out more. If you have something you’d like me to review; I love music and would like to hear it and I will ramble about it for a bit on the site. If you would like to submit something just message either Clint Wiederholt or Vocals On Top on facebook or comment below. I always welcome emails at VocalsOnTop at Gmail.com as well.

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