It's a refreshing change of pace for the site, given the degree to which, despite employing a handful of the best music writers currently working, you're far, far more likely to hear someone say, "Pitchfork gave the new so-and-so record a 9.2, so it must be a big deal" than "Amanda Petrusich gave the new so-and-so record a 9.2, and I find that I generally agree with her, or have at least learned enough about the ways in which I generally disagree with her that I have a good idea how I will feel about it." And speaking of Amanda Petrusich (the only female writer who took part, as pointed out to me by Lauren Beck earlier), she offered her take on No Age's "Eraser" from 2008, which contains one of the best paragraphs you will read today, especially if you have ever earned a living writing about records, but even—see how this works?—if you haven't.
In 2008, I missed wanting things— music, in particular. I missed the ecstasy of acquisition (in 1993, it took me seven weeks to sniff out a copy of Dinosaur Jr.'s Where You Been, and I spent the next seven memorizing every last crooked riff). I missed making literal investments in music, funneling all the time and cash and heart I could manage into the hunt. I had free CDs and illegally attained mp3s and lawfully purchased LPs, but unless I was being paid to render my opinion, I engaged with everything for six minutes and moved on. Listening to records felt like a cruel and absurd post-modern experiment in which discussion eclipsed everything else: Art was measured only by the amount of chatter it incited, and there was pressure to reference it all just to prove you were paying attention. I was underinvested and overwhelmed. I was trying my hardest to re-learn how to be a fan.