I wanted an opportunity to share my opinion of Jessica Hopper’s review of Bell Orchestre [“Nu Age,” November 11]. While it is her right not to enjoy or appreciate the album, I find her comments and attack vicious. Often, most feedback reveals a lot about the person giving it. To quote her, the review “drops like a wet turd from the sky.” After having attended two of their concerts recently, at which many other artists were present as well, their excellent skill and talent shone through. I find it really unfortunate that they were blinded by hype and did not discern Ms. Hopper’s insight that they witnessed “the push-button dynamics and overwrought gesticulation of a Billboard-charting emo band with the edginess of a Windham Hill sampler.”
A critique “doesn’t get much worse than that, rest assured: you are correct.” Being witty and mean does not ensure a good review. By the way, Bell Orchestre are not a side project of Arcade Fire. They are “some Suzuki-method yo-yos from Montreal.” Maybe you should learn more about them before making such proclamations.
Jessica Hopper replies:
Bell Orchestre shares three members with Arcade Fire: Richard Reed Parry, Sarah Neufeld, and a man the letter writer shares a last name with, Pietro Amato. Parry and Neufeld are full-time members of Arcade Fire. Amato is just a touring member.