The Arts section in today's Times has an article about this guy, Piero Scaruffi, one of those smart kind of people who has made his money in software somehow, lives in California, and now spends his time doing whatever he wants. And what he wants to do, it seems, is write harsh reviews of my favorite music.
When getting feel for new music, I usually triangulate the reviews I read on AMG, Pitchfork, and some third place. I might have to start adding his site now, scaruffi.com, which is loaded with the kinds of short, mean, and smart music assessments that I hate to love/ love to hate.
He's like a less obtuse Greil Marcus in his ability to explain a group or an album by pulling out references that seem from left field but make perfect sense in context. I don't agree with all of his rankings, but for some reason, the people who rank things low, who are stingy with high scores, come across as more credible. At first I was upset that Cat Power's The Greatest only earned a 5/10 from him, but then I couldn't disagree much with his actual review, and I also noticed that none of his reviews from 2006 have received more than a 7 (if memory serves).
Some of the things he likes are a little odd, like the Beirut album, which is fun, but not better than lots of other stuff he has ranked lower.
I think what got me the most was his harsh review of the newest Belle & Sebastian, which I love, but, again, I could not disagree with his written assessment. Fun site.