As a musician, it’s important to know the history and context of your craft. most especially legends who have impacted the music review scene with their criticism to help musicians even do more better in their music delivery.
One way to do this is by familiarizing yourself with the work of famous music critics. Music critics have been instrumental in shaping the way we think about music, from the earliest days of recorded sound to the present day.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 19 famous music critics that every musician should know.
1 – Lester Bangs
Lester Bangs was a passionate and often controversial music journalist and critic who wrote for Rolling Stone, Creem, and other publications in the 1970s.
He was known for his passionate and often controversial writing style, and his work helped to shape the way that rock music was perceived and discussed in the media. Bangs passed away in 1982, but his legacy continues to influence music criticism to this day.
2 – Greil Marcus
Greil Marcus is a writer and cultural critic known for his extensive writing about music, particularly his book “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music.”
Marcus has also written for publications such as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and The Village Voice, and has taught at universities across the United States. His work has had a significant impact on the way that music is understood and analyzed in both academic and popular contexts.
3 – Robert Christgau
Robert Christgau is a longtime music critic famous for his “Consumer Guide” reviews, which rate albums on a letter grade scale. He has written for publications such as Village Voice and Rolling Stone.
4 – Simon Reynolds
Simon Reynolds is a music journalist known for his writing on dance music, punk, and post-punk, and has written for publications such as Melody Maker and The Guardian.
5 – Jon Pareles
Jon Pareles is a music critic for The New York Times with decades of experience, having interviewed many of the biggest names in the music business.
6 – Ann Powers
Ann Powers is a music critic for NPR who has written for many publications, including Rolling Stone and The Village Voice.
7 – Chuck Klosterman
Chuck Klosterman is a cultural critic and writer known for his humorous and irreverent take on pop culture, including music.
8 – Ellen Willis
Ellen Willis was a music critic for The New Yorker and other publications in the 1960s and 1970s, known for her feminist perspective and her writings on rock music.
9 – Jody Rosen
Jody Rosen is a music critic for The New York Times who has written about a wide range of music genres, from hip-hop to classical.
10 – Dave Marsh
Dave Marsh is a music journalist and critic known for his encyclopedic knowledge of rock music. He has written for many publications, including Rolling Stone and Creem.
11 – Sasha Frere-Jones
Sasha Frere-Jones is a music critic known for his eclectic taste and writing on pop, rock, and hip-hop. He has written for The New Yorker and other publications.
12 – Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael was a film critic who also wrote about music, known for her witty and insightful reviews.
13 – Jon Landau
Jon Landau is a music critic who wrote for Rolling Stone in the 1970s, most famous for his review of a Bruce Springsteen concert, in which he declared, “I have seen rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”
14 – Greg Tate
Greg Tate is a writer and cultural critic known for his work as a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition. He has written about music, art, and politics.
15 – Carl Wilson
Carl Wilson is a music critic known for his book “Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste,” in which he explores his love-hate relationship with Celine Dion. He has written for publications such as The Globe and Mail and Slate.
16 – Lester Powell
Lester Powell was a music critic who wrote for the Chicago Defender in the 1930s and 1940s, known for his writing on jazz and blues.
17 – Nik Cohn
Nik Cohn is a music journalist and novelist who wrote for publications such as The Observer and Rolling Stone. He is famous for his influential book “Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom,” which chronicles the history of rock and roll.
18 – Ben Ratliff
Ben Ratliff is a music critic for The New York Times and has written several books on music, including “The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music” and “Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty.”
19 – Richard Goldstein
Richard Goldstein is a music journalist who wrote for The Village Voice in the 1960s and 1970s, known as one of the first critics to take rock music seriously. He is famous for his writing on artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.