I don’t usually read the Guardian‘s music coverage, so I’d forgotten how incompetent a music writer Alexis Petridis is. I was reminded more forcefully than I would have liked by today’s review of Lady GaGa’s album, a six paragraph review that contains, generously, four sentences that mention music. Even those don’t rise above the level of “the tune of Paparazzi takes up residence in your brain and refuses to budge.” OK, fine, but why? What is it about that track that’s catchy? It isn’t, anyway, the tune which sticks in your head so much as the way the little catch in her voice plays against the cocooning buzz of the bass, and how that ambiguously anaesthetized melancholy fits with the bizarre fantasy of glamor that Lady GaGa attaches to the word “fashion.” But to get in to that would require describing music in some other way than through vague references to other artists, which appears to be the limit of Petridis’s skill.
Seriously, who is Petridis and where did he come from? Back when I lived in the UK and read the Guardian‘s music coverage regularly, I remember him appearing out of nowhere as their music editor; but I don’t remember him ever writing anything even minimally interesting.
In other “terrible things in the graun” news, Simon Jenkins appears to have written the apotheoisis of broadsheet opinion journalism: a smug, anti-intellectual column about why people should be smug and anti-intellectual.