So if you’ve read any of my posts so far…particularly the reviews…I could easily understand if you were to say, “So who the heck is THIS guy? Some kind of armchair quarterback?”
Maybe you haven’t said that. But you could. I mean, I’m still new here. Who am I, really? What credentials do I have to critique these people, anyway? Especially when I have something negative to say?
When you’re new, that’s not exactly the best way to make friends, now, is it?
Well, first of all, I’m not going to try and defend my right to have an opinion. I have one, and so do you. None of us needs credentials to have an opinion, or to offer one. What I can do, though, is share just a little background behind what forms my opinion. So if you can bear with a few moments of pure narcissism (shared with the utmost humility, of course)…here are just a few of the details of my musical background and history:
- I am a songwriter, with a degree in Music Composition.
- I am a keyboardist, classically trained in piano. I’ve been playing since age nine–over 30 years.
- I have perfect pitch, a good ear, and a natural understanding of music theory. I can usually play a song after hearing it once.
- I am a lifelong music enthusiast, and a lifetime student of music. I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t want you talking over the car radio. When I listen to music, dang it…I’m listening to it. Studying it.
- I have played in numerous bands, directed fine arts teams in churches, and trained up and mentored multiple musicians. I’ve lived a life around music, and I have a natural instinct for what makes music good. (Remember this one–I’ll bring it up again momentarily.)
You’ll notice the following things weren’t on the list: producer, music mogul, national recording artist, or industry insider. Those things aren’t on my resume–although some of what I’ve done in churches could qualify as “producing”.
So no, I’m not a guy with connections. I’m not a music industry veteran. They didn’t call me when Paula quit American Idol (although I’m not exactly sure why they called Ellen). And when I critique a band or artist, I don’t have the ability to connect them with the big guys or groom them for the “industry.”
And for that matter–opinions are subjective. I can get it wrong. Even industry experts get it wrong. A major label once passed on the Beatles, saying they’d never make it. NBC cancelled Star Trek for the same reason.
So of what value is my critique, then–from a new guy with no real connections and few credentials?
Well, as I said (but can’t yet prove)…I have a natural instinct for what makes music good. That’s why I named this blog The Oomph–it’s a fun name for the intangible “it” factor in music. I don’t have connections, but I do know music. I know what makes it good, and how to make it better. And I know The Oomph when I see/hear it, and I know when someone has it. Even if I don’t have the pedigree to prove it.
I’m still new here. All I have to offer at the moment is an opinion, and some advice, much of which no one is currently asking for. I get that; I don’t have any delusions about my own self-importance. I’m not really a narcissist. Honest.
But I’ll say this much…if you’re an artist or band, and you accept my criticism and advice, and act on it…I believe time will bear out that I’m right.
At least most of the time.