5 Tips on How to Write a Music Review

5 Tips on How to Write a Music Review

This article is intended for amateurs. You should not look in it for the secrets of musical criticism and the subtleties of critical analysis of a musical work. It is all about practice, pure practice for people who like to write music reviews and want to do it better and, ideally, acquire readers and a platform for publication. Therefore, sharpen your pens, connect your tablets, and move your keyboards closer – let’s get started.

What is a music review?

A music review is a response to a certain music work intended to form an impression about it among the target audience. It requires serious preparation and sometimes can take a lot of time to write. If you don’t have time for this or don’t know where to start, you can get help. Cheap writing services provide customers with high-quality review samples. You just need to place an order on the site indicating what type of music work you need a review for.

The main data that should be indicated in the first part of the review is the name of the album, the musical genre, the data of the people involved in its creation (authors of lyrics, music, and performers), the circumstances and time of its creation, awards received, and song themes.

In the evaluation part, you should pay attention to the lyrics, level of performance, quality of music, vocals, and album cover. You can compare the song/recording to previous works by that singer or band.

A review can be:

Informative. It is written for potential listeners and buyers in order to help them decide whether it is worth listening or not.

An essay. It is a discussion about the futility of all things, using music work as a starting point.

Critical. The music work (and often the singer/author) is taken apart letter by letter: what they sing, what they wanted to say by their songs.

Paid. It is a deliberately laudatory or derogatory review of a music work. When writing, it is important not to overdo it with pros or cons; otherwise, even the customer will not like it, and they will not pay.

Personal. It is a subjective impression of a music work. You should write a review in lively, simple language; slang and jargon are acceptable (they are not welcome in all other types of reviews).

Features and rules of writing

The final form of a review is influenced by the experience, sensitivity, and taste of the author. The reason is that it is a subjective form of expression. It forms an opinion, so it must be reliable – opinions must be supported by arguments, especially in the case of criticism.

Structure and outline

Title of the review – it should be original enough to encourage reading the content.

Reporting section – information about the title of music work, singer/band, circumstances of recording, and summary of the song or songs.

Evaluation part – subjective assessment of the elements of the music work, an indication of strengths and weaknesses. This is the essential part of the review, the most developed one.

Useful phrases and vocabulary

Vocabulary related to music – ensemble, soloist, singer, choir, duet, trio, quartet, arranger, composer, lyricist, accompaniment, pop, rock, dance, techno, jazz, relaxation music, classical music, hit, single, album, record, tour, discography, sound system.

Evaluative vocabulary – excellent, exceptional, stunning, unusual, non-standard, exciting, interesting, unique, amazing, original, delightful, stereotyped, average, boring, monotonous, clichéd, inept, not very original.

Tips for writing a music review

Know your audience

A reviewer should know for which audience they write, why they selected the particular song or album, and the particular format of the review. You should know what goal you want to achieve and in what particular way. And, naturally, those who do not listen to a music work before writing a music review deserve shame. I emphasize that they should listen to the songs attentively and not rewind parts of songs they don’t like and steal thoughts from other people’s reviews.

Stick to the structure

The review should have a strict structure. The title of the text should be clear, catchy, and, at the same time, relevant to the topic of the music work. The first paragraph should have two or three introductory lines that outline the song or album you are going to talk about. The body is the main text of the music review. The final paragraph is the reviewer’s conclusions and summary. Without a conclusion, the review looks unfinished.

Indicate the general data

What should you write about in the music review? Mention the authorship, the title of the music work, and the recording studio. Write whether this is a new product or a remix and whether the music work has been awarded any awards. (rock, pop, metal, etc.).

Convey the main idea

Try to convey to readers the ideas of the music work (not necessary, but it will be beneficial). When writing, use one of the several approaches: non-judgmental analysis, observation from the outside, or critical analysis.

Write according to the word limit

A review of 300 words or less is intended to discuss the music work only. No thoughts, personal feelings, or philosophizing fit in there. You should stick to the short sentences. Use a minimum of adjectives and participial phrases. Stick to the unambiguous conclusion and clear meaning.

A review of up to 900 words is the ideal format for a calm and thorough discussion about one music work. You can talk about the place of the song in the singer’s work. For example, draw parallels, present your own impressions, and analyze the pros and cons of the music work without boring the reader.

A review of more than 900 words simply must not limit itself to the problems of one music work. Write about trends of the genre. You can compare songs or albums with similar music works and analyze the singer’s career in general. Add quotes and your thoughts. Remember that you cannot do without your opinion in a large text.

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