>You're right about Pitchfork...they are not critics. They have no true fodder to digest. I see nothing but fast food shits when I read their so-called reviews
I've been working on an animated music video for the last two months, and so far I listened to the song about 500-600 times while compositing. I can tell you that I haven't got bored of the song AT ALL. It's as fresh as the first time I've listened to it. I came to realize that this is the only way to actually "review" something. You gotta listen to it over and over again, and see how fast it gets old (or not). Blog reviewers usually listen to a whole album a maximum of 3-5 times, which is simply not enough to evaluate anything properly. Especially alternative albums which are more difficult to get into.
>that's why music made by 18-25 yr olds is so often shite.
It depends on the genre these individuals are into. Youngsters who are into the dry, calculated, periodic-beat rock-style of music, will make copy-cat shit music. The genre itself warrants it. Youngsters who are deep into alternative instead, will surpass in "alternativeness" and ingenuity most indie artists over 35 years of age because their brain is still very young and so they're able to cultivate better what we consider "alternative" (alternative music is rather free-form in comparison, so it requires that kind of unshaped brain to flourish).
>how do you explain the vinyl revival? i can't.
I can't either. There's no rational explanation behind it, other than being in fashion. If you're into hissing, you'll like vinyl, but if you're into modern electronic music (even when it's supposed to be "lo-fi"), then you won't like vinyl. Growing up very poor in Greece, we only had a radio at home, so I'm not nostalgically or emotionally invested into vinyls (or cassettes). These days, I only buy mp3s, usually from iTunes/Amazon/Bandcamp. The only CD I bought in the last 3 years was John Maus' "Songs" (import), since it ceased to be available in a digital form for some reason.
Quality-wise nothing beats a good super-audio CD or FLAC though, and most importantly, some good speakers. Everyone is talking on various forums about this and that format, but no one is taking the time to talk about speakers, which probably have a bigger impact on the sound than any of the other equipment used.