Open Letter to Heather Phares
March 13, 2011
A little while back I made a resolution to contact my favorite artists and give thanks. I started with this letter to Heather Phares.
She is a writer for allmusic.com who has written many well observed album reviews. I came upon her well written reviews time and time again when I was researching an album or artist, and always found them really expressive and helpful.
I couldn’t figure out how to contact her through the site,
so instead I wrote an open letter of appreciation to her.
I just wanted to thank you for your countless thoughtful and insightful music reviews.
Your music reviews at Allmusic have always helped guide my decisions about what bands to check out, albums to pursue, give a second chance, or see in a different light.
I first singled out your reviews years ago when I became increasingly interested in Broadcast. As I got deeper into their catalog, I felt very well guided by your brief artfully articulate (sometimes downright poetic) descriptions:
“Trish Keenan’s air-conditioned vocals”
“layers of chopped up, sawing strings giving it an oddly and sweetly tentative feel.”
“…she can still occasionally seem to be hovering slightly outside the songs.”
I respect how you can crystallize the amorphous quality of musical impressions. I don’t know how many times I’ve been reading an allmusic album review when I was startled by a pointedly specific yet poetically expansive description, and looked up to see “by Heather Phares” at the top of the review.
Quick and economic as your words are, they often wholly gather the richness and subtlety of your subject, such as when you wrote of The National’s lead singer: “dark chocolate richness of Matt Berninger’s vocals”
So thanks for the great work,
and I look foreword to many more reviews from you in the future.
All the best,