Friday, February 23, 2018
How Not to Review an Album
When I took over the journalism class (because the teacher was retiring), I was told that hopefully the counselor wouldn't add any students for those last two weeks.
Alas, she did.
Jason needed something to do, but all the articles had been assigned. So, I flailed about for something to give him. I hit upon the idea of a review, as the movie reviewer had been absent for days. But he wasn't into movies. However, he was into music.
(I've read the school newspaper. Several issues, in fact. So, I know they occasionally have an album review. It wouldn't be out of place.)
Jason wanted to review his own music. He couldn't comprehend why I would object to that.
But eventually, I got him to understand that he could review any other album by any other artist he liked.
So, for three days he worked on his review. Once he finished it, he submitted it to me.
It had the usual grammatical errors. Those I was expecting. I was also expecting that I might not have heard of the artist or the album. (I hadn't. He reviewed Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho.)
What I didn't expect is that he didn't actually review the album. He put together three paragraphs that are obviously cobbled together from that Wikipedia page I linked to. Nothing about what the album sounds like. Nothing about what he thought of it. Nothing that sounds like an album review.
He had no idea what I was talking about when I gave him back my notes.
I attempted to explain what I meant by an album review, but it was like I was speaking to him in Greek. He didn't get it. So, I searched out some examples of album reviews. I gave him a link to Rolling Stone's page of album reviews. He balked until I explained I just wanted him to take a look and use those as examples.
A couple days later he resubmitted his article to me. He had added a paragraph on the end about the music.
While I would really like to just copy and paste what he wrote, copyright and all attaches, so I won't. Suffice it to say, he wrote a sentence saying what kind of music it was, and not saying a whole lot more.
Hopefully the new journalism teacher can get a better album review out of him. I tried. I really did.