Can you capture the essence of an album in just 140 characters?
Can you capture the essence of an album in just 140 characters? Leonieke Aalders/flickr
In 2012, Spin magazine plans to review 1,500 albums and mixtapes exclusively in 140-character tweets on the @SPINReviews Twitter feed. The music magazine recently abandoned its 80-word reviews for the new Twitter format.
Though some critics say the new format is killing the art of the music review, Spin senior editor Christopher Weingarten argues that the change is a response to the evolution of music criticism. He says that in many cases, 140 characters is just enough.
"I think it's unfair to think that every album is a special snowflake that deserves more than a blurb or a putdown," Weingarten tells NPR's Neal Conan. "Some records don't deserve more than a sentence."
Weingarten has been reviewing albums on Twitter since 2009, when he reviewed 1,000 albums on his Twitter account @1000TimesYes. He says the new format will allow readers to get involved on the level they prefer.
"Some people are rabid downloaders and spend entire days torrenting records. Other people just want a recommendation or two. I think this new system allows for both of those people to come to Spin magazine and find what they want."
Here, Weingarten and Conan discuss the future of music criticism and the thrill of reviewing by tweet.
Album reviews from listeners:
Kanye West's College Dropout
Kanye West's "College Dropout": Soulful backpacker questions the conventions of hip-hop and society; perfect in its imperfection.
Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
"Nebraska" is a beautifully solitary ghost, haunting you through the barren wastelands of the Midwest.
ELO's Out of the Blue
ELO out of the blue. Why albums were created and anything but blue.
Well worth smuggling into the house in your parents' Pat Boone album cover!
MGMT's Oracular Spectacular
Psychedelic English majors playing majorly English psychedelia.
Run DMC's Raising Hell
Run-DMC's "Raising Hell": The blueprint for modern-day rap and hip-hop music. Music that digs into the drum of your soul and inspires.
Paul Simon's Graceland
Any album that still makes you weep all these years later deserves a mention: Graceland. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes.
Grateful Dead's American Beauty
Grateful Dead - American Beauty: A trip through your American culture. It truly is an American Beauty.
Radiohead's Kid A
Radiohead's Kid A is utterly brilliant. An emotional journey that is not to be missed.
Led Zeppelin's Led Zepplin 1
Led Zep 1 had me Dazed & Confused. Through Good Times & Bad Times the music Shook Me. I still Can't Quit my Black Mountain Side.
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's — album conjures magic: picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees & Marmalade skies.
Prince's Purple Rain
THE soundtrack of the late 1980s. When Doves Cry makes your heart beat. Darling Nikki invents the PRMC, and Purple Rain makes your arms sway.