PitchFork – easily one of the biggest music blogs on the internet, and for good reason. They cover a wide range of music, from rap to country to folk, and their huge staff of talented writers do a really good job of producing in depth of reviews of major albums.
- Things I really like about them: one of, if not, the best album reviews on the web. Their analysis and rating system are incredibly good
- What I’m not a huge fan of: Complacency. Being the best comes with a certain standard of normal and industry. While I still like Pitchfork, in recent years their articles have visibly become more about views and growth rather than good content. Think of it like a buzzfeed-ifying of their work. Also, being the industry standard, they’ve become bland and a little irrelevant to a lot of, especially fringe, artists.
The Fader – while Pitchfork is almost exclusively concerned about the music, The Fader is about music, culture, fashion, style, and everything else around the music industry.
- Things I really like about them: Visuals. Since The Fader is so focused on the culture of music, their work is filled with beautiful and heavy visuals, especially magazine covers, that are noticeable around the industry. I’ve attached some of my favorite below.
- What I’m not a huge fan of: Analysis. While The Fader’s a great place for artist interviews and general news, they do a pretty lackluster job of writing meaningfully about albums and songs.
Complex – a cultural force. Complex is at the top of the socially relevant music blogs, keeping up with everything at the intersection of pop culture and music.
- Things I really like about them: comin in hot with the memes. Complex knows who their audience is, and they own it well. Most of their brand is built around a casual reading and sharing of music online, so they have a great presence on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat.
- What I’m not a huge fan of: Sometimes Complex is just too much to handle. Their constant joking and twitter fingers can’t be tolerated for too long.
RollingStone – really industry standard when it comes to music blogs. Don’t have too much clout in breaking out new artists or producers, but do a fairly good job covering relevant news.
- Things I really like about them: diversity. Rolling Stone probably has the most diverse music content out of all the major music blogs. The others have a heavy focus on rap and pop whereas Rolling Stone covers all genre’s pretty equally.
- What I’m not a huge fan of: content. It’s pretty bland – they’re hesitant to take risks and writers often write about things people already know or just announce news without adding some value on top
Those are the most relevant music blogs in the status quo. There are definitely some honorable mentions that are worth considering and I’ll quickly list:
- XXLmag – do a good job covering underground and up coming artists (mostly rap). Get caught up in a lot of celebrity gossip though.
- Pigeons & Planes – clickbait and listicle driven. Deserves space in the general field of music blogs but becomes overbearing and annoying very quickly.
- SPIN – little music reviews, heavy on news. Has seen better years and seems to be on a decline.
- Consequence of Sound – a wild card. Sometimes they’ll publish really good and conscious thought pieces and other times it’ll be filled with gossip.