I read a recent interview with a well known member of a long running metal band who was quite dismissive at one point about reviewers and the relevance of those reviews they write. Sure, he is entitled to his opinion but I can't say I agree, otherwise I wouldn't write the ones I do or be writing this blog. Speaking for myself, I have and will always continue to read reviews and enjoy doing so. Yes it's rare that I solely base my purchases on these reviews and sure, I may not always agree with every one that I read. But without doing so I wouldn't have discovered many of the bands which I listen to today, and then missed out on so much fine music.
He made the point about the amount of material over a long period that a reviewer is subjected to and that it effects the freshness and legitimacy of those reviews they write. Well sure, we do receive many albums but I see this as a plus as we have plenty to compare against when talking originality and quality. I consider myself to be fair and rate each release on its merits and just because I may be a fan of a group I don't go in with the blinkers on. Many of my favourites from years gone by have released sub par albums and they are scored accordingly.
A review can take quite some time to write, as you want to be accurate and fair when putting ones thoughts across. I do give the material adequate time to sink in and that is the whole album. Not simply pick out the tracks that we are sometimes advised to listen to, otherwise how is it then a fair review?
The comment was also made that reviewers don't purchase anything; now I do question that one as I have accumulated a substantial collection over a long period and no it certainly wasn't free I indeed paid for it. If I receive a download for a new album which I like I do still order the actual CD and support the bands. Actually many of the reviews I have written are of releases I have purchased.
In conclusion, reviews will always continue to be relevant as they do have a place, and yes, despite what some may think, a writers thoughts are worthwhile reading and do count.