While writing about music and reviewing it isn't nearly as daunting as creating it and putting it before the world, there is something risky about taking a stand. What if someone – or a lot of someones – descends from parts unknown and rips you for taking your stand. What if you change your mind? Your words have been released to the masses and are a matter of record- unless you're writing on your own blog that even your mom won't read (I've been there, believe me). Sometimes a review is a painting and other times it's a sketch. Sometimes you know that as you're writing it. You can feel the sand shift beneath your feet as you put word to page and other times it catches you unawares.
When I wrote a review of Warpaint, I thought of “Move It On Down The Line” as a pleasant song that didn't distinguish itself. At some point over the next year, “Move It” distinguished itself and became one of my favorite tracks on a Warpaint record that I already loved and now love just a little more.
The first time I heard “Move It,” I focused in on its Led Zeppelin brand of psychedelia. Zeppelin isn't often thought of as a psychedelic band unless or until you talk about The Song Remains The Same but they had their way of it and it occasionally surfaced. I was also taken by the echo on Chris Robinson's voice and it reminded me of some John Lennon records. What I missed then that I hear now is the way the song unexpectedly morphs from a grinding, psychedelic blues to a groove with a great hook. “Move It” doesn't have one of those memorable singalong choruses but after a couple listens, you feel that hook grab hold of you and it doesn't let go.
So, what's left for the lowly music writer to do? Honesty is still the only policy. Be bold. Be brave. Be honest. Don't hedge your bets or leave yourself an opening to come back and revise later. If you change your mind, resist the temptation to erase your initial conclusion. You've changed your mind but that doesn't mean you were wrong the first time, only that you've moved on. Express your evolution while owning up to your initial conclusion.
Oh, and enjoy the times when your change of mind brings you a new favorite song to love.