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I’m hot off a heated debate with some knucklehead who’s adamant that Pearl Jam’s newest album isn’t as good as their older music.

What I realized as I dug deeper in the conversation was that this buffoon hadn’t even listened to the album. In fact, he hadn’t purchased a Pearl Jam album since 1993’s Vs. …Which is fine. I’m not telling people to buy music, but it’s not fine when you preface the conversation with “Pearl Jam is my favorite band.”

In recent conversations around music, people seem quick to dismiss artists that they used to love’s newer music. Have they listened to them since they loved them? No. Yet they are so quick to criticize it. Why is this?

I thought in order to be a critic you are supposed to have some knowledge about what you’re criticizing, otherwise you come off as ignorant.

Welcome to the stereotypical music fan of 2011. Confident in their ignorance, quick to dismiss music they haven’t listened to, and most of the time, battling a tragic case of attention deficit disorder.

Whatever happened to buying the album of the artist that you love, on the day the album comes out? Is that old school? Have I turned old and crinkly and not realized it?

We’re living in a musical period where artists aren’t putting out crap material just to tour on. Those days are over. Artists are releasing spectacular music. They have to. There’s too much media competition out there, limiting people’s attention spans. Musicians recognize this and put a lot of effort towards creating strong albums. If they expect sales they need to impress

Take artists like Phish, Widespread Panic and Dave Matthews Band. All strong touring bands, and unarguably still releasing exceptional albums. They aren’t resting on their laurels, no artist can afford to. Their last albums are tremendous examples of their work and worth buying if you’re a fan.

It’s a shame what’s happening today with people purchasing just a song and not exploring the artist’s catalog further. People hear a song they like, buy the song and then spout off some drivel about how it’s their favorite new band. All based on one song.

What happened to the fans that can sit down and discuss their favorite band, while referencing every album song for song, every tour, what kind of guitar so and so played on what tour, etcetera. Those are the conversations that I enjoy being a part of.

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