Electronic Music Review translation guide

Ever wonder how reviewers come up with things to say about an electronic album? Or how those blurbs on the sticker are written?

Here’s a handy guide. Now you can write your own reviews!

“ironic retro sound” == sounds like Human League circa 1982
“minimal arrangements” == boring
“tongue-in-cheek humour” == the lyrics are embarassingly bad
“engimatic lyrics” == the standard floaty nonsensical crap that populates every trance song
“brutal beats” == used a distortion pedal on the standard 4-on-the-floor beat.
“thought-provoking lyrics” == cheesy sci-fi lyrics about future wars or replicants
“atmospheric” == no discernable melody, harmony, or rhythm
“ambient” == no discernable melody, harmony, rhythm, or low end.
“creepy” = uses horror movie samples
“intelligent” == borderline unlistenable
“sonic assault” == always loud
“groovy” == samples a 1970’s r&b drum solo
“cut and paste style” == random samples
“glitchy” == I know it sounds like your CD player is broken, but it’s really not.
“organic” == the band hired a guitarist
“loose” == the drum machine isn’t synced to the rest of the music
“genre-bending” == samples a rock song or has a rapper
“dub-influenced” == samples a reggae song or a jamaican rapper
“epic” == more than 7 minutes long
“lush, dreamy” == a cm7 chord held for 4 minutes
“trance-influenced” == 4 on the floor beat for 4 minutes.
“epic trance” == 4 on the floor beat for 7 minutes
“lush, dreamy epic trance” == a cm7 chord and 4 on the floor beat for 7 minutes
“angelic vocals” == twee, nasal female vocalist
“nod to hip hop” == samples the same breakbeat as Dr. Dre.
“trippy” == only listenable when high