Musings :: On Shellac and allmusic.com

allmusic.com is a great resource for writers, bloggers and music junkies alike. But one of its most puzzling sections is its "themes" junket in album reviews, and it's most startling in its vague and often misapplied themes. Case in point: On the page containing Mark Deming's review for Shellac's Excellent Italian Greyhound — which is, in a word, excellent — the themes listed are as follows:

• Party Time
• Playful
• Mischievous
• Hanging Out

Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Shellac, is it?

Now, allmusic mostly (if not always) makes up for the egregious "themes" with its "moods" meme. (Among Shellac's moods: "Bitter," "Cynical/Sarcastic," "Fiery" (which, confusingly, is listed next to "Restrained"), "Acerbic" and "Volatile.") But how any one of these moods translates into themes of "Party Time" or "Hanging Out" is beyond me.

It makes me wonder if this is an elaborate joked perpetrated by Albini; and, if it isn't, if he sees any humor in it. I'd like to think so.

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