Ariana Grande's Yours Truly Reviewed on Pitchfork's Front Page?

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At one point, Pitchfork, the music website, prided itself on introducing readers to new, interesting music. It was a gatekeeper, critiquing and analyzing songs for a discerning audience. But at some point, its mission statement must have changed.

This week, it has a review of Ariana Grande's new album, Yours Truly, on its website's front page. We don't like to bag on our own. It's wonderful that a Boca native like the young Miss Grande has found success on television and with appearances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but it is upsetting to see Pitchfork profiling her brand of radio-ready pop.

We're not sure what Pitchfork regulars like to read about these days; is it an album by a Nickelodeon star who relies heavily on Autotune?

It is not to say that the review on Pitchfork by Andrew Ryce was poorly written. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ryce is spot-on with his analysis comparing Grande to a Mariah Carey knockoff while calling the majority of the album a waste of her talented voice. He could probably write an interesting, pointed review of an Alvin & the Chipmunks record too, but what would be the point?

Pitchfork is not the only media outlet guilty of letting down their audience of music snobs. Readers of the New Yorker and the New York Times are mistreated to smart critics like Sasha Frere-Jones and Jon Pareles using ten-dollar words to laud 99 cent songs. It almost seems a practical joke the way they attempt to wax poetic on the sophistication of Lil Wayne. It's an attempt to stay relevant with what's "hip with the kids these days" while showing off the intellectualism their publication's readers have come to expect. These think-piece reviews on common music end up being neither relevant nor hip nor intellectual.

It is insulting to Pitchfork's readers to bring Ariana Grande to their attention. And it doesn't do the pint-sized pop singer any favors introducing her to people pining for the next Tom Waits album. If Pitchfork is going to waste readers' time with Ariana Grande, better to include hashtags and keep the review to 140 characters or less, like the esteemed Twitter critic GrandeAmaze, who says much more succinctly, "My love for Ariana Grande is bigger than Nicki Minaj's ass ‹з".



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7 comments
MartinFaction
MartinFaction

Hi there—I found this piece when I looked around for other people who were sort of stumped as to why Pitchfork included this in their review roster. I'd written a blog post about it not long after the review appeared [note: the URL is a little sweary but the content is SFW]: http://bit.ly/1brwR3f

I'm not particularly a fan of Pitchfork as a taste-making arbiter, etc., but I do enjoy their interviews from time to time, and I find their reviews to be generally worth reading, if not always in line with my own opinions. But I agree with you that people like Sasha Frere-Jones and others vaguely in the "poptimist" camp have really (and perplexingly) done music writing a disservice by aggressively shoehorning pop product into the context of music craftsmanship.

Which is another whole debate, but I just wanted to include a link to my Ariana Grande post and give you a thumbs up.

readerwriterrants
readerwriterrants

What kind of stupid review is this? Ariana does NOT use autotune AT ALL. She is the probably THE most talented singer to come onto the music scene in years. You obviously don't know anything about her or her music. What an ignorant article.

lilwayneisthebest
lilwayneisthebest

Dear Sir or Madam,

I didn't bother to see who wrote this abomination of an article.  Your view on Yours Truly, although highly disagreed upon by myself, can be argued.  However, I can not sit idly by while you insult the best rapper alive.  Firstly, Ariana Grande is an up and coming star whose trajectory toward success will not even be slightly affected by your heinous critique. The girl can sing, period.  As a wise man once told me, haters gon hate.  Furthermore, your misguided view of Lil' Wayne are despicable.  Lil' Wayne is a visionary who saved hip-hop from annihilation.  Calling him a gentleman and a scholar is an insult to his integrity.  How dare you disrespect the best lyricist since Tupac!?!?!1. The fallacious arguments made in this article have shocked me to my core.  It will be several weeks before my appetite returns to normal.  I hope this was the goal you set out upon when you wrote this article.  If so, bravo fellow human, bravo.

P.S. Ariana Grande is fucking great.

gossiysi
gossiysi

Please deactivate. You make me sick to make such a hateful article. It's not just any nickelodeon star sweetie it's ariana fucking grande who's debut album went to number one and she's the 15th to ever do that. Not only does she have much more vocal range than Demi Miley and Selena but she's actually selling more , excluding Miley ,in the last months or so. Maybe you should get your details first because you clearly are the worst type of person.

gossiysi
gossiysi

You make me sick. Ariana's voice is actually much better than Selena s and Miley's and demis so you need to re evaluate(.and is currently selling more than Demi and Selena ) And it's not just some any nickelodeon actor it's a girl with a number one fucking album because people obviously liked her music. I pity you because you had to make such a hateful article. Please deactivate

mtthari
mtthari

I had never heard of Arianna Grande before. But after reading the Pitchfork review, I watched one of her videos--and is Pitchfork kidding?! It's disposable junk for 12-year-old girls. Hopefully, the review was a belated April Fool's joke.  But if it's Pitchfork's attempt to cash in and go mainstream, the site will quickly find out that music lovers who've made it successful have elsewhere to go. And 12-year-olds don't read reviews.

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