For years I have used the NME website to keep up with music news, and through my constant criticism vast experience of this website I have realised how to write the structure of the lazy journalism which makes up an NME website. Of course, for me to use it for so long it must have it benefits, and it does; the actual news section does keep you updated with the music world. What I will now show is how to write as a NME journalist when it goes away from simply reporting music news.
Very simple, if it’s a half-decent Arctic Monkeys album or any other Indie “Working class northern man of the people band” you must give it full marks and claim how it has saved rock music forever. If it is an instant classic hip-hop album which is not Kanye West to be a NME journalist you must give it a 4 star rating at the most, claim there is something lacking or some bullshit like that to make it outstanding although every other part of your review makes it sound like it is. If you need an example of this read NME’s reviews for To Pimp a Butterfly and Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.
Then if it is an artist you like but you know the albums bollocks like, for example, any of the last three Muse albums, just put it as a 6/10, point out the albums passable songs are alright then bury your head in the sand. Similarly, if it’s an artist NME hates but it’s actually a decent album like any Drake album ever for example give it a 7/10 and claim its really shit in places or just give a complete cop out like one reviewer did in an Example album and just refuse to talk about the album at all. Of course if it’s a band you don’t really have any opinion on, have the freedom to write whatever the fuck you want about it, give it a 9/10 if you want and call the lead singer John Lennon reincarnated, the editor would probably not pick it up.
It is very simple to make an NME list. Just find a “working class hero” or “voice of a generation” which the readership seems to idolize and make a list about something in their life. It’s always great in the list to rank something about them in it. So a great example would be 12 Toilets Pete Docherty has snorted Coke in-Ranked in order of greatness or even 500 times we have licked Noel Gallagher’s arse-In Pictures. Once you make that list, to be edgy, you have to put the obvious number one (like with ranking Eminem albums for example: Marshall Mathers LP) number three because if not you lose valuable Indie points and fail to look pretentious.
This is very simple again. Unless the once every month where you actually get to interview someone interesting, a true NME journalist will fill their blog with interviews from minor MOD FOR IT lead singers which don’t realise 2005 was ten years ago, speculate over if Oasis will reunite within the next month or post about something which every other website had already beaten you to the punch line.
If you master all these, and maybe mention Feminism or Socialism or something without going in depth as they are sure crowd pleasers for NME readers; you will be your way to becoming editor within two years. Of course, even if you do write this bollocks for half the time, keeping up to date with music news, an occasional interesting interview and a debate about what’s the best Pixies or Interpol album or something will be enough to drag suckers like me back to the website most days.
*No NME journalists were tortured in the making of this blog post