The article appears a good review that describes the positive aspect of the album in a rather reader-friendly way. It does provide necessary information, though not in detail, such as main participants –the performer and the composer – and the verdict in the first paragraph, whereby his position becomes clear and the rest of the article coherent. The review continues with more detailed descriptions of compositional features prominent in the album, and how the performance – by an acoustic ensemble with a technical proficiency – conveys such characteristics effectively. It also comments that the album ‘is best absorbed in one sitting’ and that ‘the first and last tracks… encapsulate the release as a whole’, suggesting readers about certain ways of enjoying and understanding the album.
There seem to be, however, two things which it fails to do. One is to provide information about trivial, yet basic things, thus giving readers extra need for individual research. The release date, which some may wonder, is to be found nowhere in the article nor, surprisingly, from sellers’ website. One can only guess the date of release roughly from looking at that of review, but it can be highly inaccurate. The description of photos included, though self-explanatory, is also missing and leaves confusion as to who is who. The other is to deliver critical comments to the album. While one cannot completely rule out the possibility of reviewer being wholly satisfied with it, suggesting some possible ways of improvement, for example, might have made the article more helpful not only for readers, but also for musicians.
Nonetheless, it is apparent that Tompkins is knowledgeable about yMusic and the composer, and a coherent narrative in the absence of overly abstract or technical expressions makes it easy to follow without any second reading, which corresponds to experts’ recommendations about writing good reviews (Grossan, n.d.). Moreover, I did become interested in listening to the album to hear myself what is described in the article upon reading it. In this respect – that reviewers should make readers ‘want to hear the records he writes about’, according to Petridis (2011) – Tompkins’ review is certainly a successful one, at least for me.
Petridis, Alexis. “How to write the perfect album review.” The Guardian. August 3, 2011, accessed March 5, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/aug/02/alexis-petridis-writing-album-reviews
Tompkins, Seth. “Album review: First by yMusic & Son Lux.” Second Inversion: Rethink Classical. February 20, 2017, accessed March 3, 2017, http://secondinversion.org/2017/02/20/album-review-first-by-ymusic-son-lux/
Grossan, Ally-Jane. “How to Write an Album Review.” Writers & Artists: The Insider Guide to the Media. n.d., accessed March 6, 2017, https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/advice/819/dedicated-genre-advice/writing-non-fiction/