It can be hard writing about music, all the “dancing about architecture” stuff aside. You want to say something that will evoke what’s coming through the speakers sometimes, what it makes you feel other times. Actually, forget writing about music; the hard thing sometimes is just listening to it in the first place. Music is all about context. First of all, there’s the pile of emotional baggage that some artists’ work carries with it. Then you also have to deal with a web of connections and connotations that comes with a lifetime of listening to music. Sometimes this is a good thing, especially when that past experience reminds you of something—a throwaway line or bit of phrasing, lyrical or otherwise—that somehow deepens and enriches the experience.
Sometimes, though, it’s just frustrating. I’m reminded of the more frustrating aspect listening to Wale’s debut effort, Attention Deficit.