Billy Corgan – Critical Reviews Have Become “A Popularity Contest”

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The always outspoken Smashing Pumpkins frontman, Billy Corgan, is fed up with feeble one-paragraph write-ups claiming to be actual critical reviews.

In an interview with KROQ’s Kevin & Bean, Corgan didn’t feel the need to hold back his feelings about reviewers.

“I think overall the level of critical review in America when it comes to music is really poor. And I’ll take myself out of this equation. We have great poets in our culture: Neil Young, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash. These are men deserving of a real thoughtful review, not some kid who’s going to write one paragraph and try to sum up a titanic figure like that.”

“In my case I would say, ‘Look, I’ve been around 25 years now. The one paragraph’s not really going to get it across.’ I’ve got a depth. Obviously I’m still here, still play my music on this station. So maybe take a little bit of a second to step back and say, “Okay, what is this person trying to communicate and then ‘are they communicating that?”

“It gets into more like a popularity contest, and in a popularity contest it sort of rewards the people who are willing to be popular. And of course we’ve had our moments of trying to be popular too.

But once you pass a certain age group, for lack of a better way to put it, you’re in this for a different set of reasons. Of course you want success. You want people to like what you’re doing. You want people to come to the shows. You want to have a good time. You want people to be enthusiastic. But not at the sacrifice of the thing that made you who you are. And that’s the hardest thing for people to understand in the post American Idol mentality, where fame is the arbiter of everything. It is not the arbiter of everything and look at what it’s done to our culture from the center out.”

-Jay Tilles / CBS Local

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