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Getting an Album Reviewed

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by chris0186, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but my band released an EP this summer of all original material and I've been looking for places to review it. I think it would help us get some extra exposure and it would be interesting to see objective opinions as well.

    I'd also be willing to send it to anyone on here if they wanted it.
  2. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Congrats on making the EP.
    I think it would help if you also metioned what genre the music is and any other stuff that may draw interest. You could also provide a link to it and let others in this forum review it.
  3. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    This is a bit of a loaded question. And that's because it just brings on a series of questions about your band. Such as?

    -What is your band's social media presence? Is your band on a wide range of social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc?

    -Do you have management / legal representation / a booking agent?

    -Do you have a publicist?

    -How widely has your album been released? IE Indie release, small label, major? Released on the major online music sites like the iTunes store, Amazon, CD Baby, etc...

    -Is your band gigging or touring on a regular basis?

    These are important questions that need to be answered prior to finding outlets that are going to review your material. But as far as good places to start looking for reviews? Try finding some regional music blogs in your area. It's not a print publication, but it's a starting point for some press. Bloggers (for the most part) are in it for the love of music, and may not have become as jaded as writers for the major print outlets. Odds are that since you're in the Chicago area there are going to be some music blogs that are in line with what your project is doing.

    And if you want to get into print? That's where a publicist can come into play. A good one will have contacts that can get things rolling for serious press. And they can also get things started for other media outlets, like radio interviews, TV appearances, etc.
  4. pushbuttonfour


    Dec 20, 2012
    at any rate, I'd love for you to post it here so we can review it. Might as well get as much publicity for it as you can.
  5. Mattosaur


    Jan 21, 2011
    I think it's also important to ask yourself why you want to have your EP reviewed. Do you want to sell more copies? Get artistic credibility? Expose yourself to new fans?

    You probably don't actually want your record reviewed; you want something more basic, and the record review is the solution you've chosen to solve that problem. Re-evaluate that and see if a record review is actually the solution that's going to get you the most bang for your buck (or your time, since you probably aren't paying for a review).
  6. I suspect that the band is looking to put together a better website or some sort of promo thing where they can try to sell themselves to clubs or something. It used to be a must for original bands back a few years if you wanted a 1/2 of percent of a chance of "making it." Today, with the market so much more "do it yourself and make your own opportunities," I'm not so sure that reviews are as necessary. However, it can't hurt to have 'em from a marketing standpoint. Unless the review's bad....

    To the OP - There's HUNDREDS of websites and blogs that would happily review your EP. I'm not hip enough to know what are the better ones, which ones might be for what genre, or whatever. With a bit of research, I'm guessing you can find out which ones get the most readership.

    Here's what I suggest: Figure out which ones you think most likely might actually listen to and review your EP. Email/message the website specifically, and make specific remarks as to why that specific website might be a good place to review your EP. Tell 'em that you can either send them a CD if you have 'em or let 'em download the songs. Link them to your website - and make sure you got something better or more beyond a myspace or facebook page. If they respond with a "yes, send us what you got," and you don't get the sense that they looked much at your website, then also email them a 1-sheet pdf if you have one. Look it up if you don't - it's an old-school-ish marketing thing, but I still think it works well if the 1-sheet is VERY slick or looking.

    If you contact enough blogs or websites, someone will review it. One review on a crazy obscure website is still better then no review at all. Even a terrible review on a super popular website is still way, way better then no review at all.

    Also, are there any independent newspapers around where you live? You know those ones that are freebies, and are usually at independent coffee shops and list all the bands playing around town in the back, and have lots of ads for massage places and escort services in the back. Email them - usually there's one or two people in the music section. Figure out who they are and email them, too.

    Those two places - blogs/websites that specifically review CDs and small, independent newspaper.
  7. Thank you for the responses! I'll try to respond in depth to everything tomorrow

    I would like to avoid giving out the final version since we have finished mp3's on iTunes and Amazon and have printed cd's for sale directly on our website. I have a link below to some of the final cuts that are nearly identical to the album versions. There are some annoying beeps in there that are used as placeholders, but they shouldn't be a problem for a review on here:

  8. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    All the above points make sense- 'getting reviewed' can mean all kinds of things - for example, a well-organized systematic campaign through facebook and twitter calling up your own friends and family putting in reviews on iTunes and Amazon is totally legit these days.

    it depends what you want out of it (gigs, sales, artistic cred), and based on that and an assesment of your style of music, figure out in what media you need to be featured and then, whom you want to review it. (for example, a good publicist, through the quality of hios contacts will make sure that the right critic at a certain periodical gets your cd)

    This also means setting your goals realistically. To get reviewed in the New York Times takes many years and never at the first cd, let alone ep. If you're looking at record reviews in established media, you might want to hire a publicist. In my experience, the value of a publicist is in his/her real-life contacts, that matter for your market. Make sure of that, before you shell out money to anyone - there are really good ones, and then there are those who charge you $2500 excl. mailing costs, to mail out 400 cds to vague 'reviewers' in Craotia with silly blogs in the local language who are in it for the free cd.
  9. mcglyph


    Aug 17, 2011
    First song is ok. Simple lyrics, straight line song. Interesting singer voice, overall the song experience is kinda boring in a sound alike kinda way. Good clear recording, felt like it needed more even mixing. I'd say you need better more interesting something to get anywhere. Nothing about the first song other than the singer's voice gives me hope for the rest of the CD.
  10. I'll try to get to the other posts later today:

  11. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    If you WANT to get a larger following, consider getting more aggresive with your band's social media presence. Twitter is very hot with a younger audience right now, and that's due in large part to the pervasiveness of smart phones.

    Reviews have to be approached with some care. You want to submit your material to reviewers with some cred, as well as people who are good writers. I've seen positive reviews from terrible writers. But if the readers can't take something positive from the review because the writing is so bad, where is the value for you?

    You also want to focus your efforts on a reviewer who is generally on board with the style of your band. You probably don't want to bother with a reviewer who focuses on metal bands if you're in an alt-folk band. As for posting reviews? Focus on the more positive reviews. Posting every review isn't necessarily the best thing to do. More does not equate with better.
  12. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    Not bad. A bit long. No stand out hook.
  13. Are you talking about the first song or the whole EP?
  14. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    It is a tuff road unless you have a label or hire someone to do the dirty work for you. With downloads it makes it easy since you dont have to send say a CD but some want them for the artwork etc still.

    My originals band did this and we were featured on a few podcasts and sites. We got a few good reviews but I grew weary chasing it all and gave up. good luck
  15. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    hi there, my band The Tunesmiths made an EP about two years ago now. we packaged it up in a very cool way and sent it out to everyone we could think of locally. someone at the local radio station (listener supported) picked it up, was intrigued, and not 6 months later we were performing on the weekly live lunch program complete with free lunch!

    we did do a professional EP which we did not master so it was really more of a demo, but we burned the 4 tracks onto the CD's that look like vinyl records and packaged it in nice, parchment paper folded over where it makes a nifty little CD holder. we had a stamp made up with the band name and stamped the cover. on the back, we melted some wax and got a "T" thing and put a wax seal on it.

    looks very, very cool. and it caught some important eyes. we have since recorded a full length record that has been listed on this station (WFPK 91.9, Louisville, KY) top 50 of 2012 list as well as some of the individual DJ's year end list.

    the most important thing was they liked the songs when they listened. but clever packaging and placement could make the difference in someone picking it up and listening to it, or leaving it in the stack.


    this is our facebook. and of course there isn't a picture of what i was talking about...
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    This is a good example of the point of my post. This band sounds good and went out of its way to produce a good package and do the legwork needed to get some ears on it.

    If you want to get anywhere today with reviews, press etc it is allot of hard work for often little gain. This band got some airplay and noticed some but it took their time and money to get it and this is not to diss them but it was still little for the efforts.
    I see this all the time in my area. Great originals bands who put allot of money into recordings,websites,PR etc and have to scratch and fight to get any press that really means allot and will start a spark. In my area in the late 70's early 80's if you just had a catchy song or two and looked cool you got signed by labels...allot of bands from here did and a few went on to be big acts nationally.

    The music scene is not like this today. Digital is the new rule and boybands and other horrible music trends have almost killed rock and radio rock with online radio etc. Yes, in some respect it can get you on podcasts etc but with thousands of them out there only a few really get much notice.
    The hopes are to cast a big enough net to catch a few fish. Today the waters are deep and the fish are very scattered.
    It will depend on your efferts or you can hire someone to do it for you..but it will cost you and still the returns could be zero.

    I was outside a show I put on a year ago with a very good musician one of my local fav's who had a great band and local /regional following. He took the act on the road for 5 years ..all for nothing. A guy he toured with has made it big because he hired a PR firm to do all the work for him while he continued to tour. This firm said they would get him noticed and they did. It cost him $5000.00 a month for that service and my friend said..."that's enough...I'm out.
  17. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    You can make it big for a 5-grand-a-month investment? How many months? Depending on the answer, your friend doesn't sound too smart... and who do I call?? :p
  18. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Oh he is smart but was just a local musician with a good band and songs but nobody knocking down doors for him. 5k a month with no idea how long or even if you will get you squat is a gamble and he did not have that kind of money. I don't know many originals artists unsigned who do.

    I wont say who the artist is on here but he is getting big in the folk/Americana scene, not a household name but is national and climbing...doing festivals and mid size clubs. He's not rich ..yet.
  19. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Is anyone going to actually help the OP by suggesting places to send his music for review?
  20. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Everywhere that plays or writes about on the kind of music you are doing. Podcasts, websites, online mags,local press,college radio etc will hopefully help.

    My new band did a weekday college radio show where we played 4 songs live over the air and did a 20 min interview with the DJ. It was cool and we got a free recording to use but received little to no buzz from it. Get informed and get busy.