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Welcome class.  Today we will be learning about the four basic types of reviews that any given album can garner.  Consideration of and adherence to these different review styles will help you to decipher the true nature of a reviewed work or art.  We will consider the great variety and richness of these different styles, and some of the general problems of how art critics understand and write about art.  After acquainting yourself with the finer points of these styles simply scroll to the review that you like best - the opinion that you, the infallible reader, wants to hear - and proceed.
The Too Good To Be True Review

“Blueprints for Descent is straightforward, sincere and compelling, an unembellished gathering of bewitching pop-folk melodies and genuinely earnest pronouncements on the downsides of life and love, echoing the quiet despair of Nick Drake and the tempered yearnings of Duncan Sheik.”

“Hannan's voice is incredibly pure, his delivery so entirely natural and guileless as to sound almost naive in its sheer, audacious candor.”

“Hannan chooses to wander through landscapes of detailed metaphors, captivating assertions and humble storytelling, wringing truths and observations from his lucid tales of strife, suicide, religion, romance and longing.”

“…an example of honest, unsullied personal artistry in pure tangible form -- a vibrant illustration of the singular elegance of simple craftsmanship.”

                                                    - Daniela Maestro, splendidezine.com, April 2003
The Impressionistic Abstract Review

“When embarking on his debut CD, he took with him into the studio the elegance of classical music and the mystery of the hymns.  Listening to Blueprints for Descent is like hearing a symphony performing a Greek tragedy using folk music.”

“…something powerful and dignified in song after song that deals with darkness and pain.  Gracefully done.”

                                                      - Jennifer Layton, indie-music.com, June 2003
The Bourgeoisie Endorsement Review

“For most people with a pulse, Blueprints for Descent is nothing less than morbid.  This album makes Chris Issac’s Forever Blue look like a Brittany Spears album.”

“…somehow his blend of heartfelt lyrics and subtle acoustic accompaniment seem to be a perfect fit for a mellow afternoon of sipping coffee and chatting with friends at a local bistro.”

                                                               - JAK, leftoffthedial.com, March 2003
The Brutally Honest Review

“…by the 40 minute mark, I was beginning to wish that there were some way of shortening this disc.  Part of this is due to some of the songs which seem to go on and on.”

“…if this album were shortened up, the guitar work mixed a little louder, some of the vocals re-recorded, and a little more tempo variance happened from song to song, there would likely be a good album in here.”

                                                                 - Alex Klages, tollbooth.org, April 2003
The full text versions of any of these reviews:

- SplendidEzine.com
The Phantom Tollbooth.org