That said, I’m not sure how much advice I can offer about the actual writing of reviews. I’m pretty certain the more you listen to an album before you review it, the better – repeated exposure to music sharpens your opinions, whether good or bad – and the more you research an album or the artist who made it, the better: the most arcane tangential fact can sometimes illuminate your understanding of it. Beyond that, I wouldn’t for a minute suggest that anything I do as a critic should be viewed in a prescriptive way. I’m not big on close textual reading of the music in a major-triads-in-12/8-time sense, because I tend to view an album as more than a purely sonic experience. Whether you think so or not, your response to an album is often influenced by things other than the actual sound of it. But I think one of the greatest books about rock music ever written is the late Ian MacDonald‘s astonishing anatomical study of the Beatles’ oeuvre, Revolution in the Head, which is so reliant on close textual study that it comes with a glossary of musical terms attached.
From How to write the perfect album review by Alexis Petridis