Critique Anonymity Unfair

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hitwriter
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Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hitwriter » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:26 am

While I can certainly respect some of the reasons TAXI allows their reviewers to remain anonymous it really does myself and other TAXI members no great service to do so.Let the reviewers id be known so the member can discern for themselves whether the opinion is one that should be respected.Did it come from a well known producer? A hit songwriter? An established publisher with a winning tracK record? Or did it come from an ex label A&R staffer with an accounting degree?As a professional songwriter with Country chart success (Daron Norwood - Bad Dog No Biscuit - Giant Records) and catalog signed with major publishers in Nashville I find some of the reviews I have received absoultely clueless.(Regarding the time from my chart success in 1995 til present, I took almost 8 years off from songwriting begining in 1997 from the music business to attend to other matters)Though I have had a fair share of forwards since joining, I will no longer leave the the critique check box checked, nor will I be posting any reviews on this forum for open debate.I have other sources for opinion on my work from professionals I know by name and respect. To receive opinions from nameless individuals offering no credintials has forced me to disregard and devalue their critique... especially when some of the songs in question have actually been on hold with major recording artists and or now currently being pitched with hit music publishers.This is business filled with rejection for several reasons. Hit songwriters have their work rejected daily! The song might not fit the artist, not right for the listing or pitch, etc.. They do however understand the craft and the song itself remains polished and professional.I joined TAXI looking for new opportunities to pitch my catalog, not as a novice writer seeking opinions on my skill sets.Should you reconsider your policy and allow the reviewer to reveal their name and resume, I would be happy to submit any of my published and self published work for their review to be made public.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by davewalton » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:37 am

Quote:While I can certainly respect some of the reasons TAXI allows their reviewers to remain anonymous There's only one reason... disgruntled Taxi members in the past have harrassed the reviewers at their work place as well as tracking down their home phone numbers and addresses. That's a reason I can respect.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by Casey H » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:02 am

Quote:While I can certainly respect some of the reasons TAXI allows their reviewers to remain anonymous it really does myself and other TAXI members no great service to do so.Let the reviewers id be known so the member can discern for themselves whether the opinion is one that should be respected.Did it come from a well known producer? A hit songwriter? An established publisher with a winning tracK record? Or did it come from an ex label A&R staffer with an accounting degree?As a professional songwriter with Country chart success (Daron Norwood - Bad Dog No Biscuit - Giant Records) and catalog signed with major publishers in Nashville I find some of the reviews I have received absoultely clueless.(Regarding the time from my chart success in 1995 til present, I took almost 8 years off from songwriting begining in 1997 from the music business to attend to other matters)Though I have had a fair share of forwards since joining, I will no longer leave the the critique check box checked, nor will I be posting any reviews on this forum for open debate.I have other sources for opinion on my work from professionals I know by name and respect. To receive opinions from nameless individuals offering no credintials has forced me to disregard and devalue their critique... especially when some of the songs in question have actually been on hold with major recording artists and or now currently being pitched with hit music publishers.This is business filled with rejection for several reasons. Hit songwriters have their work rejected daily! The song might not fit the artist, not right for the listing or pitch, etc.. They do however understand the craft and the song itself remains polished and professional.I joined TAXI looking for new opportunities to pitch my catalog, not as a novice writer seeking opinions on my skill sets.Should you reconsider your policy and allow the reviewer to reveal their name and resume, I would be happy to submit any of my published and self published work for their review to be made public.But then what would be the average life expectancy of a reviewer? Imagine their life insurance premium rates!! Casey

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by sgs4u » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:17 am

As far as my own well-crafted songs go , other people's opinions(whatever their credentials are,) always give me reason to wonder how I could make a song/recording better. If you are sure that screeners' critiques don't help, you have attained a much higher level of confidence in your own material than I have. Cheers to you!And I hope to be where you are someday!steve

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hummingbird » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:26 am

Quote:While I can certainly respect some of the reasons TAXI allows their reviewers to remain anonymous it really does myself and other TAXI members no great service to do so.Let the reviewers id be known so the member can discern for themselves whether the opinion is one that should be respected.Did it come from a well known producer? A hit songwriter? An established publisher with a winning tracK record? Or did it come from an ex label A&R staffer with an accounting degree?As a professional songwriter with Country chart success (Daron Norwood - Bad Dog No Biscuit - Giant Records) and catalog signed with major publishers in Nashville I find some of the reviews I have received absoultely clueless.(Regarding the time from my chart success in 1995 til present, I took almost 8 years off from songwriting begining in 1997 from the music business to attend to other matters)Though I have had a fair share of forwards since joining, I will no longer leave the the critique check box checked, nor will I be posting any reviews on this forum for open debate.I have other sources for opinion on my work from professionals I know by name and respect. To receive opinions from nameless individuals offering no credintials has forced me to disregard and devalue their critique... especially when some of the songs in question have actually been on hold with major recording artists and or now currently being pitched with hit music publishers.This is business filled with rejection for several reasons. Hit songwriters have their work rejected daily! The song might not fit the artist, not right for the listing or pitch, etc.. They do however understand the craft and the song itself remains polished and professional.I joined TAXI looking for new opportunities to pitch my catalog, not as a novice writer seeking opinions on my skill sets.Should you reconsider your policy and allow the reviewer to reveal their name and resume, I would be happy to submit any of my published and self published work for their review to be made public.Having personally met Taxi screeners such as John Braheny, Pete & Pat Luboff, Michael Anderson, and others, I have nothing but respect for what they have to say. Any screener is constrained to review submissions according to the specific requirements of the listee -- meaning great songs that don't fit those requirements will be returned.Taxi also says "The comments and numerical scores on this sheet are meant as helpful, objective information and are not used to determine whether or not a tape should be forwarded. Each listing has unique criteria and submissions are considered with those in mind. This is just one person's opinion, albeit an informed one. There are many informed opinions on any given work. So, pro or con, don't let it change your life!"I personally value the critiques. But to each his own
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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by jchitty » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:17 am

Quote:True, but after receiving reviews that go against the track records of some of my material (holds with hit artists) I begain to question the validity of the reviewers credintials.How connected were they really to the Nashville country music scene?Why are they no longer in Nashville? What were their job descriptions?A rejection is OK, no problem... but a review that trys to tell me how to improve on a well crafted song?I have already stated that I will choose now to leave the box unchecked.Yes or No is enough.If you can't formulate the reviewers resume in reference to your own opinions and those in the industry you know and respect, then the review really serves no purpose.Just my own opinion... I posted it here as a curiosty with no malice or bitterness. Just to question the model being used.Hey, hitwriter. I can understand some of your feelings. I don't always agree with some of the critiques I receive. Some the reviews I've gotten make no sense, while others never have anything new to say....it seems they use recycled critiques or something. However, every once in a while, you'll get a good critique from someone who really cares, and those are the ones that are worth it. If you read the brochure though, they do name some of the people who critique your songs....they just don't let you know what their 'number' is.... there have been death threats against the screeners, so I can understand why they assign the numbers.I've been pitching since last September, and believe me, I know how hard it is when you believe you have a good song, and it doesn't get a foward. I am very confident about my songwriting abilities, but I've learned that just because you think a song is a sure fire hit, well, that doesn't make it a hit. Or just because you think you deserve a foward, that doesn't mean you will get one. Sometimes, it's hard to see our own flaws as writers....we can't step away and take an objective look at our songs. Now, there have been times I thought I was rejected for totally ridiculous reasons, but if nothing else, the rejection will make you a better writer. Even though their critiques will disappoint you, they will also challenge you. I won't name one of the names in the brochure, but I know for a fact that one of the critiquers wrote one of my all time favorite country songs, one of the best in my opinion. Of course, I don't know if he's ever screened one of my songs as I don't know his number. So TAXI's screeners have a lot of credits to their name and are well respected by the industry from what I understand.And like it or not, those folks are the 'gatekeepers.'

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by arkjack » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:42 am

Given the dynamics of this business, I agree with hitwriter.... I don't really want a name.... but a summary of credentials for the screener would be desirable.... even though its not an opinion that will change my life, it does make me consider changes to my material for the next submission.... and like hit.... I wonder if I take a critique with a grain of salt, or a chunk... or a rock ... or even a boulder.... It is also the subjectivity... needing to write what is an "undeniable" hit.... well .... people deny potent realities everyday.... so is a screener's job to come up with a cookie cutter list of reasons to deny hit status to a submission..?? Coincidently, I've always had a great respect for the writers of the songs on the Nashville charts.... but in the last two weeks.... I heard a couple tunes on the playlist by some big names ... I was like "what the ffff......????" how did that song wind up getting cut??? If I was a Taxi screener I would say that song is a piece of ssss.......C'mon.... don't get me started..... ArkJack

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by jchitty » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:45 am

Quote:I do not honestly believe that every reviewer has the credintials that would warrant me rewriting a song or songs that have had solid professional interest.Thanks for the input.Well, that's a fair observation....looks like TAXI employs mostly heavyweights if you read their brochure, but you might get an 'intern' for all you know. Maybe that is a question that M. Laskow could answer.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by jchitty » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:59 am

Quote:Given the dynamics of this business, I agree with hitwriter.... I don't really want a name.... but a summary of credentials for the screener would be desirable.... even though its not an opinion that will change my life, it does make me consider changes to my material for the next submission.... and like hit.... I wonder if I take a critique with a grain of salt, or a chunk... or a rock ... or even a boulder.... It is also the subjectivity... needing to write what is an "undeniable" hit.... well .... people deny potent realities everyday.... so is a screener's job to come up with a cookie cutter list of reasons to deny hit status to a submission..?? Coincidently, I've always had a great respect for the writers of the songs on the Nashville charts.... but in the last two weeks.... I heard a couple tunes on the playlist by some big names ... I was like "what the ffff......????" how did that song wind up getting cut??? If I was a Taxi screener I would say that song is a piece of ssss.......C'mon.... don't get me started..... ArkJack I think you have a good point about giving a summary of each screeners' credentials, although TAXI might say it would reveal too much about the screener.Some of the stuff coming out of Nashville isn't that great, I agree. I've heard that if you're a major star, you can get away with it because you have a proven track record, and people are going to buy your songs even if you sing out of a phonebook....so when an artist cuts a not so great song, he's pretty much assured people are going to buy it anyway. Also, if you're an established songwriter, you can get away with a not so good song because a major artist will cut it as well. Whereas a new songwriter like myself has to write a monster hit to even be considered.....we don't have that track record that would convince Nashville to buy what we're selling. But then again, it's all subjective. I love songs that everyone hates, and vice versa. I know, it stinks though! Payin' the dues, payin' the dues.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hitwriter » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:08 pm

Quote:Given the dynamics of this business, I agree with hitwriter.... I don't really want a name.... but a summary of credentials for the screener would be desirable.... even though its not an opinion that will change my life, it does make me consider changes to my material for the next submission.... and like hit.... I wonder if I take a critique with a grain of salt, or a chunk... or a rock ... or even a boulder.... It is also the subjectivity... needing to write what is an "undeniable" hit.... well .... people deny potent realities everyday.... so is a screener's job to come up with a cookie cutter list of reasons to deny hit status to a submission..?? Coincidently, I've always had a great respect for the writers of the songs on the Nashville charts.... but in the last two weeks.... I heard a couple tunes on the playlist by some big names ... I was like "what the ffff......????" how did that song wind up getting cut??? If I was a Taxi screener I would say that song is a piece of ssss.......C'mon.... don't get me started..... ArkJackHeck, the song I had a hit with would qualify as a non-brainer. But it ain't rocket science either.The bottom line is we all are writing to sell advertising of some sort. At radio, on tv and even in film where commercials are run before the film which also includes product placements and eventually DVD sales and to television.Without them, we'd never make a dime.Another point... reviews will always be subjective, but most commercial songs are well crafted whether the "critics" aprove of the character.If I knew my reviewer worked with indie artists at a botique label and I pitched a song like "Achy Breaky Heart" then I might understand better why they wanted more depth in the lyric writing! I am enjoying the responses...

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