Posted by: Cory | March 11, 2009

Anni Rossi’s “Rockwell” reviewed & (unfairly) destroyed

We recently caught the brilliant Anni Rossi performance at The Green Building, and instantly fell in love with the talented songstress. This week, Kirsten Schofield wrote an unfortunate review for the LEO, calling Anni’s “Rockwell” the measuring stick for the worst album she had ever heard, stating that her lyrics were uninspired and pretentious.  I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I cannot help but feel this review is unfair and the words to Pelle Carlberg’s “Go to Hell, Ms. Rydell keep popping in my mind as I read it.  One problem that I have with this review, and in assigning album reviews in general is that some people simply have predispositions against music.  Anni plucks at her viola with a minimalist feel, and according to Kristen that is, essentially, in and of itself, pretentious.  I would imagine that Kristen would be quick to dismiss many more experimental artists as pretentious such as Joanna Newsom, Deerhunter, Animal Collective among others.  My problem is that minimalist does not itself mean pretentious, and I’m curious what it is, other than the minimalist nature, that makes this album pretentious.  Perhaps my perception is slightly skewed after hanging out with Anni and her being the least pretentious girl you could imagine.  It’s unfortunate when persons with a preconceived notion towards a genre have the ability to influence and devalue the work of artists trying to make a living.

Although listening to it [Khia’s “Gangstress”] was a terrible experience, I decided to keep the disc for future comparison; every time I’m assigned an album I think is awful, I pull out Gangstress to hear what the bottom of the barrel really sounds like. I will be trashing Gangstress. Anni Rossi’s debut album, Rockwell, is my new measuring stick. – Kirsten Schofield

In my quick opinion, Anni Rossi’s debut is a beautiful collection of quirky and witty lyrics with beautiful and intricate eccentricities over a clearly classically trained and attentive, although minimalist viola, and I expect very big things coming her way in the very near future, and that SXSW to be a true launching pad for her career.


  1. Agreed. It is terribly written, and not even really a record review. They shouldn’t have published it.

    It’s fine to write negative reviews if you’re going to actually describe why an album fails, but the writer here is just lazy and found it easier to fill in her 150 words and say nothing at all. Pitchfork trashes albums all the time, and sometimes they don’t really deserve it, but at least they make their case.

    She doesn’t describe anything about the music at all, not even the genre, she just calls it “instrumentation”, which could mean absolutely anything. I honestly thought this was a bad self-released pop album or something, from the look of the cover and the lack of details.

  2. I’d love to weigh in, but she’s my artist… and that tells you about enough right?

  3. Drew…I hope you’re being ironic in this comment

  4. No, I wasn’t being ironic. It’s a poorly written review. The album is fine, I listened to a few songs on MySpace and liked it. I don’t the LEO review conveyed anything about what type of music it was, which is a responsibility of a reviewer. I though the attack on the lyrics was a cheap shot, and she had very little to say other than she didn’t like it. Nothing about the review or the cover of the album made me think it was a girl singing over viola, I thought it was something else entirely. I wouldn’t have ever thought to listen to it if you hadn’t posted this.

  5. Sorry…wrote that last comment on St party’s day…thus a little dranked

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