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Over-Heaped Platters

November 15, 1998

Having just read the umpteenth, four-star, ultra-essential, destined-to-be-a-classic album review from a Times pop critic, I have determined that one or more of the following must be true of your staff: (1) They don't actually listen to the albums they review; (2) They really can't tell good music from garbage; (3) They don't believe it's a critic's place to criticize; (4) They're allowing the bands to write reviews of themselves, so us idiots don't miss the point of all those really deep, angst-filled lyrics; (5) Their salaries are based on the sales of the albums they review; or (6) Their leader, Robert Hillburn, is so afraid of being labeled "out of touch" he's decided that every album by every artist will be labeled the "Next Big Thing."

Whatever the case, it's a disservice to your readers--and to other musicians--to declare everything so mind-numbingly brilliant.

JOHN BRECKOW

Montrose

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