Stephen Thomas Erlewine - Can I Lose Him?

Stephen Thomas Erlewine reminds me too much of those snarky music critics from Rolling Stone Magazine in the 70’s. Is there any way of removing or replacing his comments/critiques from the Artist database?


Hey Jeff,

Snarky? LOL. :smiley:

Erlewine is one of those critics I’ve come to begrudge rather than avoid. Whenever my copy of Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” comes up in Roon, I have to ignore his review. Especially after reading somewhere how that album came to be on his 'Desert Island" disc selection.

The thing is, for me, when he says something is good, chances are very good I will agree. It’s when he bashes something with that snarky tone that compels me to investigate and listen for myself. (Your choice of the adjective ‘snarky’ is apt so I used it.)

The man can be an assassin sometimes. Maybe that’s why he uses his full three names to sign his reviews.

Maybe at some point in the future we can customize the reviews Roon presents to the music and will be able to opt out of certain reviewers.

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Maybe his, Erlewine, reviews in music mag would be OK, for people looking to buy, if they have his taste in music. However to tell me that I was an idiot for having already bought it and like it, that’s just too much in my book. The old adage, if you can’t say something good, don’t say anything should apply. Some of the other reviewers just give you some back ground on the performance, without making any judgement calls. Maybe that’s a cop out, but at least they don’t insult the reader with their personal vendettas.


Funny, this is the only reviewer name that stands out in my mind and for exactly the same reason. Offering an honest criticism is one thing, but there’s no need to be a raving a-hole about it! :slight_smile:


Why not rely on the strength of your own convictions? And why not glean whatever insight might offer itself in said review (if any), instead of being outraged? Snarkiness has been an underlying pillar of rock criticism since Day One – get over it.

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I have trouble with critical reviewers as this is so easy to do. The difficult thing is to create something from a blank sheet.
If a critic is also creative (in a real world way) I would be much happier to spend time with their opinions and views.

I am lucky enough to be involved with hosting live music, and when meeting artists you realise they are people, just like us doing the best they can with all the pressures around them.

You get to see the real intent in the music when you experience it being played live and you recognise real talent very quickly. The Released recording is a statement of one moment in time but the live expression moves on.
Very often the striped down live performance is so much better than any commercial recording can ever be.

I’m not against reviews as they have there place and purpose but would also love to be able to substitute reviews with content I feel is more considered or even write my own.

Just thoughts, Chris

I like the reviews in the context they are provided as a useful reference point that very much adds to the end to end feel of Roon (from Allmusic I believe).

In terms of there being a global centralised service covering pretty much all music types not sure there is a lot of alternative.
Like you guys I have personally prized 5* albums getting a grating 3* from Stephen.
I’d say on the whole I find his input and those of his colleagues to be fine and their *'s and words have uncovered many examples of buried treasure for me

I’m a huge fan of Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s reviews. Guess I’m in the minority here.

Everybody complaining about Erlewine should be thankful it’s not Robert Christgau – heads would be exploding left & right here…


On a more general level, to be able to tailor the reviews, ie replace or add to text, is something that I have also requested (both for reviews and bios) and would be a great feature. It would be so nice to be able to paste in text for unadorned albums, and remove or adapt the reviews to our own taste.

This is one of the things that makes Roon so great; the potential for future information integration is so vast, and the team so pro-active in it’s goal to improve things :slight_smile:

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The main thrust of the whole thing is (as per Sallah & Chris) that I’d like to avoid scathing critiques attached to my Roon files and substitute bio info, etc.

Also a sizeable portion of the Artists/Bands have no info at all, a little cut n’ paste option would be nice. As Roon evolves, in future iterations, perhaps this may come to fruition.


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i really hope so Jeff. I have posted a long monologue on why it’s so important in the feature requests section, please feel free to add your weight to the proposal there! :slight_smile:

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Erlewine isn’t bad on hip-hop, I appreciate that.

Chiming in way late here but I like roon for the fact I can read up on stuff I don’t know much about while I listen. But it’s funny whenever it’s a biography about a band I know pretty well he either gets their timeline or details way wrong or shows his non objective flag. and 9 times out of ten I scroll to the bottom to see it’s him who did the write up.

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I find Wikipedia much more useful than Roon reviews.

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I like it when Erlewine’s comments make it obvious he hasn’t even listened to the music he’s reviewing. What a loser. Wish we could lose him.


Not a nice reviewer at all. There’s a lot of things to love or hate about bands like Dire Straits. But I grew up with their music, and they truly deserve their place in music history.

Erkewibe all but destroys them, each and every time, and that’s totally uncalled for. His disdain and snobbishness is not something I appreciate at all.

There is some really wonderful stuff in there. Some people have taken the time to dive deep, and write really elaborate, insightful biographies and album reviews.

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I find STE quite useful.

If he likes it, I most probably won’t.

If he sort of likes it, then it’s probably quite bad.

If he hates it, it’s either a classic I already know and love or can become one.


What was it that Lou Reed said about critics… “They’re like insects that can talk…”? Not a personal critique of STE by the way. Just sharing a quote that I find amusing and classic “Lou Reed”