By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
Believe it or not, I don’t actively go on the hunt to find content like the piece we’re going to discuss today. Much like some prankster bringing a bag full of dog shit, lighting it on fire and chapping my door before running away, NME is consistently caught with the torjet and excrement in hand with their badly written and generic clickbait articles that seemingly flood my newsfeed despite unfollowing them on all social media.
Beforehand they had always been in my bad books for being the breeding ground for bland and dull indie rock devoid of all charisma in addition to being a safe space for old white guys to complain about Kanye West and other rappers because they “ain’t real music”. Finally, though, the magazine has fucked up big time and may very well set most of their own readership against them with one of their latest posts titled “The Vinyl Revolution Is A Sham”.
Written by Leonie Cooper, the article makes the claim that the recent boom in vinyl is a fad with albums that are being bought being golden oldies like The Stone Roses debut release and that the majority of people who are buying them are doing it merely to be cool. In one of her paragraphs, Cooper says:
It’s not an entirely out-there assumption, especially considering the current popularity of vinyl frames, made for the express purpose of locking up your records and placing them on the wall, which makes them pretty difficult – even impossible – to then play.
Being a vinyl enthusiast myself and a journalist as well, this article insulted me on various levels. Not only does the author of this piece seem to be totally naive, debatable of whether or not this is intentional, to the fact that vinyl sounds far superior to its MP3 counterparts but she seems to quickly brush over the fact that vinyl sales have recently dominated over digital downloads, showing both a complete lack of research as well as a clear bias which makes whatever the author’s aim is far less compelling.
In the process of claiming that those who buy vinyl are doing everything in their power to act against the mainstream, Cooper comes across as the fuhrer of the hipster race as she misses out some key aspects of the vinyl revolution that are vital when discussing the format. As one commenter pointed out, the reason why the majority of the vinyl charts consisted of older records no doubt came down to the fact that many consumers may be unwilling to buy a new record for the lofty but justifiable price and may want to dip their toes by starting off with an artist they’re familiar with which explains why the likes of Radiohead, David Bowie and co. all make an appearance.
Not only that but Cooper seems to have had a bit of a brain fart by forgetting to include the recent statistic showing that the recent vinyl revolution has lead to the number of physical music shops in the UK reaching a record high with the number of independent record stores also reaching a five-year peak back in 2015, reported by none other than NME themselves! Whether or not people are buying big name artist’s vinyls, it’s evidently clear that by people buying these records, stores are now able to function without the worry of becoming irrelevant or bankrupt once more.
Unfortunately, though, the reality of independent labels benefiting from the vinyl revolution as well as record stores is irrelevant when it comes to clickbait journalism like what has been witnessed with this NME article. Just by me writing this post, I have “bit” and gave the author exactly what they wanted: so for your sake and mine, ignore their trashy piece of journalism, chuck on a vinyl (whether it’s Aphex Twin or Justin Bieber) and breathe a sigh of relief that you can enjoy something without sounding like an utter arse.