Elements of Internet Critical Style

Taylor Swift - 1989

Taylor Swift - 1989

The following are selected from 11,950 iTunes user reviews of Taylor Swift’s 1989.

Kirbass, 1 star
I’m gagging after listening to this crap.

Elements of Internet Critical Style: Connects a visceral response to the music with a succinct description of its merits. Ideal technique.

Cynthia Chavez, 5 stars
Worth paying for it

EICS: Gets right to the point – buy or steal? The missing final period encourages the reader to imagine a more extensive analysis.

OliverR9, 5 stars
I have only heard Shake it Off and Out of the Woods. I know it’s going to be the best album ever!!!!!

EICS: Clearly states the limited scope of the review in the first sentence; savvily juxtaposes hyperbolic expectation in the second. Magnificent punctuation.

Caity House, 1 star
too pop and eager for radio play

EICS: At 32 characters, ideal for a Twitter review compendium. Clearly identifies the artist’s flawed ambition.

Soccafreak<33, 1 star
I’m honestly disappointed with the few songs I’ve heard so far. Her lyrics used to be so heartfelt and meaningful, now it’s just a repeat of awful lyrics “are we out of the woods are we out of the woods are we out of the woods are we out of the woods yet?” I could write better lyrics. Taylor, I miss the old you.

EICS: Points for this reviewer’s honesty; deduction for not including a link to the referenced “better lyrics.” Shrewdly assumes the artist is reading the review, a technique that allows readers to feel like privileged eavesdroppers.

ebretz, 1 star
Hearing absolutely any song on this album infuriates me. I’ve been to every single Taylor Swift concert so far, but I know that I will never feel any desire to attend this one. I don’t even like the message of these songs, let alone the tune. In my opinion, this isn’t her. I’m sorry, but I can officially say I absolutely hate Taylor Swift’s current music, I can only hope that the next album with have at least a hint of the original Taylor Swift, the one who’s dream was to make it big in country, the one who’s thing was handwritten 13s.

EICS: Awesome use of superlatives; also, wisely differentiates between “opinion” and “official” pronouncements. The writer clearly has anger issues but apologizes, a welcome folksy touch. Concludes with hope, something too many critics neglect (although said hope might arguably be more clearly communicated with the interrogative possessive pronoun “whose;” still, it is unlikely the target audience will be confused.)

Stickyved2, 1 star
Honestly this song is so basic and teeny-bopper ish. It’s nothing we haven’t heard from her before and the fact that her voice is mediocre makes me wonder why exactly this song is #1 on iTunes. Just not an attention getter.

EICS: Further proof that Internet critics are nothing if not honest. Cleverly asserts opinion as fact, allowing readers to ponder the subsequent question even as it is asked and answered. A far more complex analysis than it first appears.

CarolinaHidalgo, 1 star
As a pop star I don’t like it. Nothing seems personal. For an album that is her birth year, I would have wanted to hear more texture of emotions. Not this basic pop beat with empty words repeating over and over.

EICS: Although one might wonder which celebrity is writing, we certainly understand the need to conserve privacy on the Internet. However, we might imagine the author is a sophisticated pop star, one who does not use basic beats or empty, repetitive words. Paul Simon, perhaps. In which case we agree with him.