Ezra Koenig at Sasquatch

The Talkhouse is a newish website that invites musicians to write about music. (They were the party responsible when Lou Reed reviewed Yeezus.) And I’m just going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing it’ll be a while before the Talkhouse again contracts the services of one Ezra Koenig. The Vampire Weekend frontman just reviewed Drake’s new album Nothing Was The Same for the site, and Koenig probably did not expend the same effort on this one as he did on, say, the lyrics to “Hannah Hunt.”

After rating the album “10 outta 10,” Koenig admits that “I gotta be honest — I didn’t listen to the whole thing.” Then he goes off on a long tangent about an unfulfilling experience with Hans, the almost-certainly-fictional frontman of an almost-certainly-fictional Danish band. Panda Bear is involved. So are Koenig’s ex-wife and child, who do not exist. He keeps using the word “motherfuckers.” It’s weird. I can’t tell if this is Koenig’s high-minded attempt to subvert the entire structure of the record review or if it’s just something he wrote when he was drunk. Read it here and decide for yourself.

[Photo by Alex Crick @ Sasquatch]

Comments (26)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I don’t know, I thought it was funny? Why can’t he just write something funny without it being some tragedy of music journalism or conceptual think-piece?

      • Drake-ing Bad not withstanding, but if this site’s next Album of the Week or Premature Evaluation piece read the same way, there would probably be a fair share amount of criticism to the writer. That’s what The Talkhouse is kind of like in its journalistic integrity, so I’m disappointed to see he chose it as a vehicle for his not-so-serious album analysis.

        • My understanding of The Talkhouse is that it lets artists do whatever they want. The style of the reviews so far has been extremely varied. Compare Matthew Friedberger’s uber-conceptual is-he-joking review of John Mayer to the Camera Obscura member’s loving, uncritical, colloquial review of Franz Ferdinand. Every Premature Evaluation here is pretty similar in terms of style and approach, so I don’t think that comparison holds up.

          • The difference between all of the other Talkhouse examples you mention, however, is that those writers at least wrote their pieces with a sense of sincerity to it, even if they didn’t subscribe to the “rigid” standards of a regular album critique. Ezra’s piece reads like its intentionally phishing for cheap laughs and for me, its not hooking. Anyone with a high school education could have written that, right? Maybe I just don’t get his brand of humor. It’s satire looks like it was inspired by inane slapstick comedy and not so much wit and sarcasm.

          • that’s comedy I guess, always somewhat subjective

          • But… but… but this is Stereogum’s comment section — Everything is supposed to be black or white!

          • just read the franz ferdinand one and it just makes me think that whenever that guy’s band is over, he has a bright future writing reviews for rolling stone. it srsly read like a press release from Domino.

  2. Well that was…something.

    I *think* his point is that the actual music is irrelevant because it has Drake’s name on it, and Drake could release an album of himself belching for a half hour and it would be highly rated. With that being the case, why not just spew nonsense in the review itself to fill the space rather than actually review the music.

  3. Maybe Ezra wrote it that way since numerically (objectively) rating/grading music (art -> subjective) is kind of a silly notion to begin with?

    …or maybe Tom’s right and he was drunk.

    • It could be that as well, but I think when you do that on the Talkhouse, a web site that — up until today — has been comprised of sincere reflections by other artists unlike many reviews on score-oriented web sites, it’s undermining what the Talkhouse is there for. (They could have been totally on board with it, too, for all I know and ran the post for that purpose.) There’s also a lot of shitty writing being done on big web sites these days and maybe he was bringing that to light. Noisey for example has that guy WHO WRITES IN ALL CAPS and always ends sentences with NAH MEAN? They also brought on board the person who maintains the modern Seinfeld Twitter account to write reviews in the modern Seinfeld tone as well. And of course, Carles from Hipster Runoff was among the more prominent overly, intentionally casual music writers.

  4. If you follow Ezra on twitter, this review is kind of par for the course. I can’t tell if I find his tweets really amusing or if he comes off as a total asshole. I guess both.

  5. anyone have a working link?

  6. Enjoyed it almost as much as the big ghost review.

  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  8. best part: he spelled “Worst Behavior” with a “u” in it, bcuz Canada.

  9. To me it kind of reads like Koenig’s attempt at writing in a Drake voice about his own (imagined) life. Drake’s whole thing is oversharing and trying to sound above it all while slinging petty revenge in every direction to deal with his hurt feewings. I really have no idea why anyone would be interested in the minutiae of Drake’s life, but I think this is Koenig’s attempt to document his own life the way Drake does, complete with exaggerations to make it all sound larger-than-life.

    Also, maybe Hans is supposed to be a guy from Iceage?

  10. So…. it’s a 10/10 album?

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