Anyone reviewing a new album cannot deliver an accurate assessment because they haven’t had a chance to listen enough times. Good albums are deemed great, great albums are deemed weak, and mediocrity is as praised as it is blasted. It is a gut reaction.
Historically great bands are often lauded for new works, and I have a feeling it’s because the reviewer is hedging his or her bet and playing the odds. Going all in with a great hand. But some albums, no matter how great or awful they appear to be at first listen, can take time to settle, and there’s no way for a person to fully grasp everything at the first few passes. The fervor and excitement of new music has a tendency to bias a potentially unbiased review.
In this way, hindsight is indeed 20/20. Let a work relax, its fanbase accept, and its longevity be tested. If only it were possible to defer all music reviews to 6 months after release. A year even.
In the world of music criticism, I am only interested in points of view looking on in hindsight and, as a result, with perfect vision.