Dumbed-down NME doesn't understand

From: Francis Harvey Subject: NME Judging the reviews of rock band
Dogs, which Press Gazette’s Press Cadets were set as an assignment, New
Musical Express deputy editor Alex Needham comments that one submission
betrayed a lack of understanding of NME’s audience.

This was, supposedly, because of its “pretentious allusions to Proust and the fountain at the Bellagio”.

Such
cerebral aspirations may indeed leave cold the leadership of today’s
dumbed-down incarnation of NME. But time was when the weekly UK music
press, led by NME and the late-lamented Melody-Maker, credited its
readers with aesthetic/literary faculties that are virtually absent
from NME in its current sorry state.

True, the pop scene, and the
journalism that reflects it, can tread a thin line between grating
pretentiousness and inspirational mind-expanding pretentiousness – the
difference is between showing off for its own sake, and genuine
wellmeaning cultural evangelism and experimentation.

But even the
former approach was usually at least entertainingly irritating, in the
long-gone days when Britain nurtured a weekly music press worthy of the
name. Temps perdu indeed.

Dare one suggest that it is actually
NME’s current staff who don’t understand NME’s (potential)n audience,
or at least pander to a dumbed-down demographic?

Francis Harvey Bristol

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