Pitchfork is far more than a music review site

Katherine Smith, Staff Writer

Whether a new listener just entering the expansive world of music or a seasoned veteran looking for new tunes, Pitchfork is a friend to all. Ranging from reviews of new albums and new artists to the year’s featured picks and reviews of classic albums and old music, this site dedicated to discussing and appreciating music certainly has something for everyone.

There is a reason that this site is self-deemed “the most trusted voice in music.” The deep respect the site has for the experience of listening to music elicits a profound appreciation for what it means to listen to a particular artist. Beginning in 1995 as a blog run by Ryan Schreiber, Pitchfork was initially a review site for indie bands he had heard while working in a record shop. Quickly gaining credibility and online viewership, he expanded his reviews to new genres and with it, his fanbase. Since then, it has blossomed into a musical empire, with an average of 1.5 million views per month, making it the most popular independent online music publication.

However, Pitchfork is not without controversy. Many have accused the site of writing particularly provocative and disruptive articles just to attract attention, also called “clickbait.” Additionally, Pitchfork gives their writers a lot of freedom, creating a diversity in voices and opinions that can sometimes be misleading. Time and again, the site is accused of excessive verbosity, which does not fit the expectations of the music reviewing industry.

While their technique may be different, Pitchfork’s fundamental principles remain the same: a deep and profound love of the art of music.

Pitchfork is not just a music review site — it is an artistic rendition of what it looks like to fully experience music. Their reviews stray from the typical evaluation model many others, like music dedicated magazines Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and New Musical Express adhere to; instead, Pitchfork presents a personal interpretation of albums, artists or songs.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to take a deep dive into Pitchfork’s depths. Be warned, though, this tends to be an all-encompassing and all-consuming endeavor. This site has the ability to invoke deep reverence and appreciation for the artistry of your favorite tunes while simultaneously redefining, and sometimes ruining, your admiration for others. Whatever effect it may have, Pitchfork is a worthy use of time for any listener.


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