as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own. Some music reviews get into the technical terms, others speak very metaphorically of the music's "soul," still others will compare this or that song to other artists' works or specific genres of music. And in almost any review, there is always the "informative" bit (information about the composer, artist, source material, etc). In all of these things, I may find an opinion that surprises me, and a way to approach the music as I listen.
In short, music reviews help me get more mileage out of the music. I learn new things and learn how to listen, just a little better. :)
Exactly this. When I review, since I have no technical basis whatsoever, I tend more towards the "well, these are the sounds you hear, and these are the emotions I feel when I hear it. But that's how I listen to music in general and why I think I prefer electronica and VGM in general to more mainstream stuff-- and to stuff with lyrics. I like to FEEL emotion rather than have words tell me the emotion. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to all types of VGM, especially in regards to games that are deemed "bad." I've said it numerous times on the podcast and on the site, but I can slog through a mediocre or even bad game if the music is fantastic. I love this stuff.
And every so often, there comes a reviewer who really does give a damn about the thing that they're reviewing: the music. I've been checking out the soundtracks section for this site for at least thirteen years now, and it's the biggest thing that has kept me coming back to RPGFan. The soundtrack reviewers have been very passionate about reviewing THE MUSIC, and not the bloody game it comes from, and I would not have found so much killer stuff if they had been predisposed to slag off the music based on whether or not they thought the game it came from was shit or not. Here, if I read a review that tells me something is shit, there are some bloody good reasons why they think it's shit, and there are also plenty of reasons given why I should maybe check it out for myself to see if I agree or disagree. I tend to agree a fair bit of the time, but you know, I REALLY like being given the option to figure out for myself why an album sucks based on somebody else's opinion, or why they think it absolutely rules when I can't find a bloody thing to like about it, and they give me enough information to maybe change my mind about it, along with the latitude to allow me to have my own opinion.
I agree, this is what drew me to the reviews here in the first place, and one of the reasons why I love writing here. For as long as there has been intarwabs and as long as there has been RPGFan, the soundtrack reviews here have spoken to me on the level that I understand and appreciate this kind of music from. Even as a young whipper-snapper, I recall saying "I can't stand these reviews on Gamespot! They just aren't looking at this the way RPGFan or RPGamer does; the way I do!" Passion is what I love to see; I saw and see it here, and it's why I write here.
It's also why I love musicians do who it for the love of music, not because playing guitar gets you some hot action. I'm not a huge fan of the kind of music Dincrest is into, but god damn if I don't love and understand his passion for it. Everyone here on the site is here because they love games, and everyone writing soundtrack reviews loves VGM. I know I'm guilty of occasionally not being able to separate my experience with a game from my love of the music, but overall I really love reading the opinions of people who truly love music-- and discussing it, which is why I am really glad you guys got this thread started. I'm a huge proponent of discussion, especially when it comes to music-- and I'm always telling people 'WRITE A SOUNDTRACK REVIEW! IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU DON'T KNOW TERMINOLOGY, IF YOU LOVE MUSIC THEN YOU'LL BE FINE!"
I think a review is, in part, a dialogue with an audience. It's why I liked the idea of and started doing the soundtrack spotlights-- to get people talking about some music, even if it's just five or six comments on Facebook. If even one person goes and listens to drammatica or Fragile Dreams and/or tells a friend "hey, this stuff is really cool!" or "this shit sucks!" then I couldn't be happier. Discuss, talk, perpetuate the love! A longtime friend of mine asked me yesterday "Hey... do you know where I can buy the soundtrack to Sonic Adventure? You really made me want to listen to that," and my heart fluttered. I couldn't hope for anything better than that.
And of course, I love music in general, especially game music, and I love talking about things I love :)
Lastly, Aurian, as everyone else said, thank you for sharing. That was really interesting to hear-- especially regarding your likes and dislikes.
Sorry for the drawn-out post, but seriously-- thanks for this thread, guys. This is the kind of thing I love to see, and definitely enjoy participating in.