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Ariana Grande's Yours Truly Reviewed on Pitchfork's Front Page?

At one point, Pitchfork, the music website, prided itself on introducing readers to new, interesting music. It was a gatekeeper, critiquing and analyzing songs for a discerning audience. But at some point, its mission statement must have changed.

This week, it has a review of Ariana Grande's new album, Yours Truly, on its website's front page. We don't like to bag on our own. It's wonderful that a Boca native like the young Miss Grande has found success on television and with appearances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but it is upsetting to see Pitchfork profiling her brand of radio-ready pop.

We're not sure what Pitchfork regulars like to read about these days; is it an album by a Nickelodeon star who relies heavily on Autotune?

It is not to say that the review on Pitchfork by Andrew Ryce was poorly written. Quite the opposite, in fact. Ryce is spot-on with his analysis comparing Grande to a Mariah Carey knockoff while calling the majority of the album a waste of her talented voice. He could probably write an interesting, pointed review of an Alvin & the Chipmunks record too, but what would be the point?

Pitchfork is not the only media outlet guilty of letting down their audience of music snobs. Readers of the New Yorker and the New York Times are mistreated to smart critics like Sasha Frere-Jones and Jon Pareles using ten-dollar words to laud 99 cent songs. It almost seems a practical joke the way they attempt to wax poetic on the sophistication of Lil Wayne. It's an attempt to stay relevant with what's "hip with the kids these days" while showing off the intellectualism their publication's readers have come to expect. These think-piece reviews on common music end up being neither relevant nor hip nor intellectual.

It is insulting to Pitchfork's readers to bring Ariana Grande to their attention. And it doesn't do the pint-sized pop singer any favors introducing her to people pining for the next Tom Waits album. If Pitchfork is going to waste readers' time with Ariana Grande, better to include hashtags and keep the review to 140 characters or less, like the esteemed Twitter critic GrandeAmaze, who says much more succinctly, "My love for Ariana Grande is bigger than Nicki Minaj's ass ‹з".



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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland

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