Brent Sirota tackles Can: “Eventually, the reviewer must concede that Live Music is simply a critical black hole, swallowing every turn-of-phrase lightlessly; it will evade all my descriptions, comparisons and evaluations. Nobody’s thoughts can keep up with this music. It was born of deed, not of word; it is from a time before or after language.”.

This annoys me, not just because it comes at the end of a 500-word review. I think it’s a silly cop-out, this latest fashion for critics to deny their own abilities in the service of hyperbole. Sirota has done an adequate job of describing the disc at hand, why then does he feel the need to cap the review with this bit of one-upmanship. By current Pitchfork standards, their ultimate review would just be white space, all their reviewers reduced to speechless, impotent ecstasy in their contemplation of the latest Modest Mouse (or whoever) offering.