This post/rant was set off by reading a review on Pitchfork of the new Half-Handed Cloud record “As Stowaway in Cabinets of Surf, We Live-Out in our Members a Kind of Rebirth” in which the musician’s faith and Sufjan Stevens were both mentioned in the first two sentences.
I’ve always really loved reading the music criticism website Pitchfork. Their writing is usually pretty solid. They are always on the forefront of what is going on in popular indie music. Though they have gained a bit too much power over the indie music landscape in recent years, they are still doing really interesting things. I still read Pitchfork at least 3 or 4 times per week.
Pitchfork has always taken shots at Christians (see the 2002 April Fool’s Day article in which they give Jars of Clay’s “The Eleventh Hour” an ironic positive review). Usually these shots are well-deserved and rather funny. However, over the years I’ve seen a really annoying bias when it comes to their reviews on music created by Christians.
I just want to point out two obnoxious trends when it comes to Pitchfork reviews of Christian bands:
1) Every review that I’ve read of a Christian band begins with a comment about the faith of the musician. It’s almost like they have to qualify the review with “This is a Christian band so they don’t get judged by the same musical standards”.
So this brings me to my request.
I simply would ask that a website like Pitchfork would stop pointing out the faith of Christians who make art when evaluating their work. Pitchfork is a music review website. Their faith is not on trial, their music is. Let their music be the basis by which you judge their work.
Also, please stop insisting that we compare each Christian musician to Sufjan Stevens.