Last night, I wrote a review of the new McFly single, The Heart Never Lies. Have a read.
I wasn’t that impressed with the single, despite the fact that I don’t actually mind McFly. I think they’ve done some good pop songs, and as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a sucker for a good pop song. I’m far too old to worry about looking ‘cool’ and if I like a good pop song that’ll stay number 1 for a while, I’m quite happy to say so.
Anyway, I gave The Heart Never Lies a negative review, which upset the McFly fans no end. All night I’ve been reading emails from the fans, berating me for my bad taste, demanding I retract the review or just calling me a ‘hater’. While some were just abuse, there were also other articulate, well-written arguments – which made me wonder why these people weren’t joining us as writers.
While I was quite surprised, I was also quite impressed. To have that much passion and enthusiasm for a band that you can mobilise an army of people online to track down the reviewer concerned and tell him exactly what you think of him (although ladies, check the spelling next time eh?) is an impressive achievement.
It made me think about myself in fact. I like to think I’m a pretty passionate music fan – which is one reason I write for this site. Yet if I read a negative review of a band that I like, then I just kind of shrug, think "huh, what do they know?" and get on with reading the rest of the site/magazine. I just don’t have the energy or passion to mobilize my friends and war a campaign against the writer. It’s not that important to me – but should it be? Maybe I’m just not as passionate or interested in music as I once was – maybe when I was 18 I would have sat down and scribbled a letter of protest, but nowadays, I just couldn’t be bothered. The thought of not being passionate about music scares me, but maybe I’m not.
I can understand fans of unknown bands getting annoyed over bad reviews, as that could affect someone’s decision whether to buy the record. Yet a band like McFly are critic proof anyway – The Heart Never Lies is going to be a massive hit, and nothing that I write about it could prove otherwise.
So what do you think? Do you take it personally when you read a negative review of someone you like? Or do you just think "ah what-eva", and buy the record regardless? If you’re a fan, do you hate reading negative reviews?
Genuinely interested to know what other people think, and if you’re one of the many McFly fans who were upset by the review, would love to hear your (well-reasoned) arguments too.