I found myself quite offended at the excuse of a "review" that is Pitchforkmedia's take on the new Metallica album, St. Anger. Let me reiterate that I don't care how they feel about the album - everyone has a right to like or dislike something. What I take offense at is the off-hand, immature approach taken to the review. On a site that advertises itself as a portal of "independent music" a review of anything by a mainstream act like Metallica is questionable, and once read it is obvious that the critic simply used the opportunity to make jokes and feel superior. Below is my response, and I'm posting it to Blogcritics because I feel that all critics, amatuer or professional, owe it to themselves and their audiences to be as fair as possible under all circumstances. (My review of the album makes it clear that I enjoy the album, but I approached it with caution and tried to be fair because I actually assumed I wouldn't like it at all. If I hadn't liked it, I wouldn't have posted a review at all, or if I had I would have been fair about why, instead of insulting readers the way this reviewer does.)
I usually take Pitchforkmedia's reviews with a giant grain of salt, because the slant is always toward "indie," which is what your site is obviously aimed at - and that's fine. I review music myself (not by profession, but on my site and on http://www.blogcritics.org,) and I admire many of the reviews on PFM because they do help to expose music that may not make an impact on the "everyman." But there are times when your reviews really embarass the efforts of legitimate critics out there. Brent DiCrescenzo's "review" of Metallica's St. Anger is one such review. It is very clear that DiCrescenzo does not care (or no longer cares, as he does exhibit some knowledge about the band's music) for Metallica and approached the music with the intent to make fun of it. A critic's duty is to listen and report without the baggage a fan - and an anti-fan - would bring to it. A good critic will listen to something and not let personal feelings, positive or negative, get in the way. DiCrescenzo was obviously unable to do this, and set out simply to poke fun at something that is easy to poke fun at. In short, he fell victim to the very thing most people associate with critics - a superiority complex.