In A Rear-View Mirror Clearly

This article about Jim DeRogatis’s change of heart relative to a recent R.E.M. album underscores my interest in retrospective evaluation of popular culture. As DeRogatis admits, reviews written in the heat of anticipation (positive or negative) are liable to mislead; a glance through the yearly awards lists shows how great the difference is between “what seems like a great album/movie/book right at this moment” and “what has shown its merit by impressing listeners/viewers/readers over and over again.” Maybe next time I’m wrestling with writer’s block I’ll renew the Year in Retrospect series.

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