Lug 11 2007, 16:46
As a procrastination technique, I sometimes write small album reviews for music that is new to me. When I buy (or steal) a record I haven't heard before, I like to give it several listens and then write down my thoughts in a couple paragraphs. Sometimes I don't have anything particularly insightful to say and in those cases I derive a certain pleasure from making the review sound like the work of a particular brand of mediocre music journalist. Step one is make sure this appears in the first paragraph:
On their (freshman|sophomore|nth) effort, (place)-based indie-rockers (band name) (surprise|delight|disappoint) with their (generic description of style).
Bonus points if the (generic description of style) includes the words particular brand of.
Next, if this isn't the group's first album, you want to compare it to their previous work. Pick one of "is a (major|minor) departure", "demonstrates little progress from"…