Announcement: A Change in Review Format

After much consideration, I’ve decided to change my approach to song reviews for the first time in Bias List history. From the outset of the blog, I settled on 250 words being the perfect length for a review. Three paragraphs felt not too short and not too long, and I’ve generally kept to that target over the years.

Starting this week, I’m going to shift to a single-paragraph “mini review” format for some of the songs I cover. All the biggest releases (and many of my personal favs) will still get a full review. But, a number of tracks will be covered in this new format.

There are two main reasons for this change:

1. Schedule

There’s more content than ever – much more than when I launched at the start of 2016. And, my personal schedule makes it difficult to keep up. On workdays, I wake at 5:45am and listen to new releases while squeezing out as many reviews as possible before leaving for work an hour later. This isn’t driven by a desire to be first out of the gate – I just know I’ll be too tired to write coherently after a full day of work.

For those who don’t know, I work in public education. More and more, it’s not a job for the faint of heart! I’ve come to dread workdays that coincide with a slew of new releases. It begins to feel like a chore when it really shouldn’t be.

This approach could change during summer break, but I plan to test it out for the next few months and see if it makes things feel more sustainable. Perhaps, I’ll even end up covering more songs with this newfound brevity!

2. Enthusiasm

K-pop isn’t what it used to be years ago. That’s not a judgment call. It’s just a fact. I’m not saying the music is objectively worse or better than previous eras, but it’s definitely not as geared to my own taste anymore. Songs I truly love have become the exception when they used to be the rule.

There’s tons of material out there that I’m just not enthusiastic about. Even if I can recognize a song’s merits on an objective level, it’s hard to muster up much to say about it. Trust me, I’m as sick of repeating the same old K-pop gripes as you are reading about them! Hopefully, re-formatting these types of song reviews will eliminate some of the filler and repetition that I’m well aware of in my own writing.

I’m coming up on my five thousandth post. If we take an average of 250 words, that’s well over a million words (or fourteen novels) worth of content. I’m pretty confident that’s more than most paid, professional reviewers deliver – and on a daily basis, too. I’m a pretty disciplined person and enjoy writing about music, so I have no plans of making huge changes to the blog just yet. But, hopefully this will be a good step toward making the experience more enjoyable for all.

As always, thank you to everyone who’s been a Bias List reader — both new and old!


18 thoughts on “Announcement: A Change in Review Format

  1. Honestly, on some days I have marveled at how you have managed to write 250 words for some songs. And on other days, I have marveled at how measured you keep your tone for other songs.
    So short form for most releases, long form for the bigger releases, sounds about right.

    Liked by 10 people

  2. i’ve been looking back at your old reviews (particularly on alienhits :P) and in pretty surprised you decided to return to this old, mini-review form. seems reasonable

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems I’m having to resort to sidestepping the usual path to leave a comment.

    Clinton says :

    I am so late to the k-pop party that it saddens me that I’ve missed so much great music. Hooray for YouTube!! I too find the current k-pop industry seriously lacking in imagination. So…. I would appreciate more reviews covering j-pop or international artists.


  4. Yeah definitely makes sense! And with sometimes 3-4 songs releasing even with a single day it’s obviously hard to find something to write about everything! Hopefully this means more songs can get reviewed with mini-sized reviews! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I randomly had a dream (nightmare??) last night that you were gonna stop this blog altogether so I’m actually relieved to hear this lol! I agree that you gotta do whatever you need to make it sustainable for you. Working in public education is brutal right now and I have so much respect for anyone doing it. And you couldn’t pay me to get up at 5:45 for anything so mad props for that kind of discipline!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Do what you need to do to keep yourself sane and the blog sustainable. (I remember the days where I used to have to get up at 5am for two of my old jobs, it is brutal, you have my condolences)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with you on Enthusiasm, cos I myself I’ve been completely burnt out with kpop and I read your reviews and any song rated 8 is what I’m going to take a listen to or 7.5 for groups I like and most times I’m bored before the bridge. I’m mostly an SM stan and honestly this year only SHinee solo releases and the SMCU winter album especially Priority has had a second listen and the latter on repeat regularly. (I guess I wanted to rant)
    Basically I’m trying to say I understand what you’re saying and I believe this new changes is for the better cos if you had continued on this trajectory you’ll just fizzle out of here.
    More rant:
    There’s so much kpop groups now and so so much content the idea of a bit of animosity is a hit lost and I find myself repelling variety shows as compared to when I used to wait for subs for 2nd Gen and sometimes watch without subs while I wait, now I don’t have to watch work hard the subs awaits me.
    I guess having a regular 9-5 job in finance I just need good music to unwind and rest my head and not dance and performance centered music.
    When Zico song challenge came out it was all fun and cute but now I’m tired of seeing it anywhere and everywhere, I sometimes predict the part that will be used as challenge in the music video and I’m always 88% correct. I’m tired of challenge for music but I guess it’s a good thing from a marketing standpoint.
    I guess I’m just tired of even ranting.
    Thanks Nick for creating a space where I can rant without fear, and your work life balance is very important so keep doing the reviews whichever way suits you.


  8. This is all far too civil for a K-Pop forum. Where are the people demanding you sacrifice your livelihood and happiness for them? Where are the demands for 2500 words instead that are all glowingly positive? Or someone complaining you wrote a bad review or just didn’t understand the artistry of some BTS or BP song from 5 years ago? How dare there be a healthy place for us to discuss the actual music! Pfft.

    The amount of songs you review with a full time a job are staggering. And the mini format is definitely more than enough for most of the songs coming out these days. With K-Pop being all Y2K throwbacks and coffee shop tunes or drops, I can only hope that the next retro trend to comeback is…. 2nd gen K-Pop lol.


    • ” I can only hope that the next retro trend to comeback is…. 2nd gen K-Pop lol.”

      I hope this could be thing because there’s something special about music from that era.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Props to you for listening and writing reviews early in the morning before going to work. I can hardly make breakfast for myself let alone write one paragraph coherently.

    As for enthusiasm, I understand. When I first got in kpop, there was so much music and content that I would take a break from time to time so I wouldn’t get burned out. Now I couldn’t image trying to write reviews about it on a daily basis. However, I do agree with the current state of kpop – it’s not as appealing to me as it was 4 years ago when I became a fan. I find myself listening to older kpop instead (2nd gen especially). Hopefully this new format will make things more streamlined for you as you always manage describe the music in words and feelings that I myself couldn’t have thought of.

    (Although I will miss your rants about the vocal processing – those to me were always hilarious to read)


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