Twitter Music Reviews: Criticism As Haiku

Chris Weingarten — follow him @1000TimesYes — is credited with popularizing Twitter reviews.

You can also follow All Songs Considered and A Blog Supreme on Twitter.

Submit Your Own Reviews

Write your own short reviews of these songs on Twitter tagged #140review or submit them in the comments below.

Twitter Bird singing
lushik / iStockphoto.com

Twitter, as we've seen in the protests in Iran, is becoming something of a force for democracy. It's proving useful not only for organizing street demonstrations, but also for bringing down the walls around that most rarefied of communities: the world of music reviews. More and more everyday people are using the 140-character limitation of the forum to tweet the briefest of thoughts on their favorite — and not-so-favorite — recordings.

Morning Edition host David Greene decided to put Song of the Day editor Stephen Thompson to the test: Review an entire album in just 140 characters. Thompson rose to the challenge, but imposed his own restrictions.

"I approach Twitter as a science," Thompson says. "I think Twitter should be perfectly punctuated, should be in complete sentences. Words should be spelled out, and it should be exactly 140 characters." (You can follow Thompson's thoughts on music, cheese curds and the TV show Wipeout here.)

But can 140 characters really say anything? Thompson says they can.

"You're not necessarily going to make a grand statement," he says. "But at the same time, I like to think — I hope — that it's a little bit like haiku. I don't think anything should necessarily replace an extremely well-thought-out long-form opinion from somebody who listens to thousands and thousands of records. I'm always going to be interested in those people's opinions. But, at the same time, I want to know what my friends think, as well."

Twitter Music Reviews: Criticism As Haiku

Dead Weather album cover

The Dead Weather

  • Artist: The Dead Weather
  • Album: Horehound
  • Song: Treat Me Like Your Mother

A supergroup led by Kills' singer, The Dead Weather churns out big, bluesy, swampy rock. Jack White is on drums, but his presence dominates.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Treat Me Like Your Mother
Album
Horehound
Artist
The Dead Weather
Label
Sony
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Mos Def The Ecstatic album cover

Mos Def

  • Artist: Mos Def
  • Album: Ecstatic
  • Song: Auditorium

Mos Def is a hip-hop renaissance man on smart songs that look to the whole world and its conflicts. Slick Rick's guest spot is a nice touch.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Auditorium
Album
Ecstatic
Artist
Mos Def
Label
Downtown
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Phenomenal Handclap Band album cover

The Phenomenal Handclap Band

  • Artist: The Phenomenal Handclap Band
  • Album: Phenomenal Handclap Band
  • Song: You'll Disappear

The Phenomenal Handclap Band: Chugging, timeless, jammy throwback from eight shaggy Brooklyn hipsters. Starts slowly, gets hypnotically fun.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
You'll Disappear
Album
Phenomenal Handclap Band
Artist
The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Label
Friendly Fire
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.