How the Hat reviews

Some Things You Should Know. Bear with me, whilst I talk about myself...again..

It has been pointed out, more than once, that there is no predictability about the music The Hat gets round to reviewing – and I'm glad about that. Sometimes it's a young and exciting talent offering up raw and unsophisticated original music and other times it is super smart traditional blues coming straight from an established musician's heart and into your head. Maybe it's a solo artist. Maybe it's a killer band playing live. Sometimes it is just the voice that grabs my emotions, or the lyrics that absorb me and take me off to another place....and other times a band can wrap me up, sling me in the back of their van and roar down the motorway with me punching the air and shouting the refrains. I have been in the left field, off the wall, outta here, lying down with my eyes closed or getting excited by a long-overdue-catching-up with something Absolutely Everybody else keeps on telling me about.
I have no pre-conceptions or priorities about anything I listen to. I don't give points, stars, medals or big ticks – (indeed, I've always wondered, if you give someone five stars out of five - and something you like better comes along – how do you score that? Make up another star? Nah...).
Also, I tend to put to one side the page of purple prose strung together by their PR people - until I've properly listened to their work. (Actually, I get quite unreasonably annoyed when I see an agent's hand-out faithfully reproduced, complete with spelling mistakes, under a lazy reviewer's name - yes it happens!). The point is that artists can spend weeks, months and even years putting something together and The Very Least I can do is respect that and listen for myself to what is on the album, maybe listen again and then again..
I hear so much talent, the vast majority of it different, clever and original. I don't always write a review about everything I hear - (a small percentage actually) but sometimes I will try and get back to the artist with my view. Simply knocking out a few positive words about the 'awesomeness' of the performance, listing the tracks and the musicians, I'm afraid, doesn't cut it for me. Over many years, you learn that whilst a three line positive review is very welcome for any artist, (and it will quickly finish up at the top of their website!|) there is always a genuine appreciation of something more carefully considered that will show others that there is more to their work other than that it is 'awesomely awesome'. Because I am a Wordy Bloke you can easily work out which camp I'm in...
Musicians, by and large, understand that magazine editors have little space for lengthy reviews and maybe they are trying to cover thirty new releases, so you can understand their dilemma. Most reviewers who want to see their work on other pages understand that as well. The more albums you mention, the more copies you shift. I used to be in that business so I understand the bumsonseats syndrome. However being The Hat is pretty sneaky...because I own my page - as far as the eye can see - with the only obstacle being that bit about falling asleep half-way through a lengthy tedious and pretentious review....(sighs). I have all the space I care to use. I can use long words that come from my dictionary, I can use Capital Letters to Emphasise My Point....and I can throw in lots of dots so you can follow my drift.
In the end though, however erudite and beautifully constructed, words can hurt and ill-considered words more so. I never stop being aware of the fact that it is just one person's opinion. The world will not end, nobody will die and talented people will continue to make fabulous music even while they are tearing the quill from my stiff frozen hand...

But....I still have to write that one review I have so nearly written over all these past years, about so many artists' music.....and this is how it goes..
This Album Is Fucking Brilliant”. Full Stop.

You can send stuff to The Hat via You can leave stuff via DropBox (labelled tracks and a bio) or if, like so many, you are not a fan of compression then albums can be sent to me direct at 22 Pecket Well Mill, Pecket Well, Yorkshire HX7 8QY.